Cronulla’s Shaun Johnson has been granted an early release from the final period of his contract.
Shaun, wife Kayla and daughter Millah will return home to New Zealand on Wednesday.
The Sharks received the request after Shaun had secured flights home to New Zealand for him and his family and in considering the difficult and delicate situation surrounding interstate and international travel, granted the release.
Injured in the Sharks round 19 game against the Bulldogs, Shaun was facing an indefinite period on the sidelines and would not have been able to return to the field during the 2021 season. He has signed a new two-year contract with the New Zealand Warriors starting in 2022.
“We acknowledge and thank Shaun for his three years at the Sharks,” Sharks CEO Dino Mezzatesta said.
“Shaun was the ultimate professional on the field, the highlight being him winning the Porter Gallen Medal as the Club’s best after an outstanding 2020 season. He was also popular and always engaging with our members, fans and corporate partners in making a significant contribution off the field as well.
“Everybody at the Sharks wishes him a speedy and full recovery from his current injury and all the best for his return to the Warriors in 2022,” Mezzatesta added.
At the Sharks Johnson played 44 NRL games, scoring six tries and kicking 119 goals, while recording an amazing 44 try assists in those 44 games, 23 assists in leading all players in the NRL through the home and away season last year.
Johnson leaves the Sharks for the next chapter of his career with fond memories of his time at the Cronulla Club.
“I can’t thank the Club, staff, members and fans enough for the past three seasons. I’ve loved every minute in the black, white and blue, suiting up with the boys each week is something I never take for granted and thank them for welcoming me and making Cronulla my home away from home,” Johnson said.
“Although it’s not the way I wanted it to finish, I leave with a smile and good relationships. UpUp!.”