Why Shaun Johnson Will Be New Zealand’s MVP This Season

Shaun Johnson’s consistent performances have made him a standout player in the New Zealand Warriors’ line-up. With the 2023 National Rugby League (NRL) season unfolding, Johnson’s contributions to the team and the sport have been significant, making him a key player to watch. Shaun Johnson’s journey is a compelling narrative of talent, perseverance, and an unwavering commitment to the sport. 

His influence extends beyond the boundaries of the rugby field, shaping the dynamics of the New Zealand Warriors and leaving an indelible impact on the sport in New Zealand. In the 2023 NRL season, Johnson’s performance reinforces his position as a frontrunner for New Zealand’s Most Valuable Player (MVP) title.

Born on September 9, 1990, in Auckland, New Zealand, Shaun Johnson has grown to become one of the country’s most talented rugby league players. His journey from a young, promising player to a seasoned professional is a testament to his dedication and love for the sport.

Johnson’s role as a halfback has seen him control the game with finesse, creating opportunities for his team and scoring vital points. His ability to read the play, agility, and speed make him a formidable opponent on the field. His innovative playmaking style and natural flair for producing stunning tries and game-changing moments have often turned the tide in his team’s favour.

Johnson has played 244 NRL games, scoring 78 tries and 508 goals, contributing to 1344 points. These impressive statistics reflect his skill, consistency, and reliability as a player. His performance in the 2023 season has been particularly noteworthy, with six tries and 49 goals in 17 games, contributing to 122 points.

Johnson’s career has been marked by several accolades, reflecting his talent and contribution to the sport. In 2012, he was named the RLIF Rookie of the Year, and in 2014, he received the Golden Boot Award, further cementing his status as a top rugby league player.

International Career

Johnson’s impact as a player extends beyond his abilities. He has been a critical figure in the success of the New Zealand national rugby league team, known as the Kiwis. His performances in international tournaments, including the Rugby League World Cup, have played a significant role in New Zealand’s achievements on the global stage.

He has represented New Zealand in 32 international matches from 2012 to 2019, scoring 14 tries and 83 goals, contributing 223 points. His performance in the World Cup has been particularly noteworthy, with six tries and 48 goals in 10 matches, contributing to 120 points.

Johnson’s international career highlights his ability to perform at the highest level, further cementing his status as one of New Zealand’s top rugby league players. His international performances have brought glory to his country and inspired a generation of young players who aspire to represent New Zealand in rugby league.

Leadership Qualities

Johnson’s leadership qualities are a crucial aspect of his profile. His ability to remain calm under pressure and his strategic understanding of the game have earned him the respect and admiration of teammates and fans. He consistently demonstrates a strong work ethic, dedication, and constant desire to improve his skills.

He is known for his sportsmanship, professionalism, and commitment to the team. His ability to inspire his teammates and lead by example makes him a valuable asset to the Warriors and the Kiwis. His leadership has been instrumental in guiding the Warriors through challenging matches and maintaining team morale.

Impact on the Warriors

Johnson’s impact on the New Zealand Warriors cannot be overstated. His return to the team in 2022 after a stint with the Cronulla Sharks has been a significant boost. His presence on the field has not only strengthened the team’s performance but also boosted the morale and confidence of his teammates.

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His influence on the Warriors is evident in the team’s attacking strategies. His ability to create opportunities and exceptional decision-making skills have been instrumental in the Warriors’ offensive play. His quick thinking and agility have often turned potential losses into victories, making him a crucial player in the team’s success.

Moreover, Johnson’s defensive skills have also been vital for the Warriors. His ability to anticipate the opposition’s moves and quick reflexes have often thwarted potential scoring opportunities for the opponents, making him a valuable player in offensive and defensive scenarios.


Shaun Johnson’s exceptional talent, consistent performance, and influential role in the New Zealand rugby league team make him deserving of the title “New Zealand’s MVP” for this season. His contributions to the Warriors and the Kiwis have been significant, and his impact on the sport in New Zealand is undeniable.

With the 2023 season progressing, Johnson’s performance will continue to impress. His skills, leadership, and dedication to the sport make him a valuable player and an inspiration to aspiring rugby league players in New Zealand and beyond. 

His journey serves as a reminder of the heights one can reach with talent, hard work, and a passion for the sport. Johnson’s influence is far-reaching, whether it’s his game-changing plays on the field, his leadership in guiding his team, or his efforts to promote the sport among the youth. 

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