Johns to sign
for Warrington

Warrington's sensational recruit Andrew Johns was celebrating a new contract that will give him "the best of both worlds".

The 31-year-old Australian Test star has agreed to end his career with his beloved Newcastle Knights but will also realise his dream of playing in England after securing a short-term deal with the Wolves.

Newcastle, who have secured the services of their inspirational captain until the end of the 2008 season, have agreed to release him to play up to six matches for Warrington from early September.

He will fly over to England once Newcastle's season is over and play the last two games of the regular Super League campaign and up to four play-off ties, depending on how successful the Wolves are in their bid to reach the Grand Final.

"I'm really pumped about it," Johns told the Sydney Telegraph. "It's no secret I wanted to experience footy over there in England before I finished up but I also wanted to end my career in Newcastle with the Knights. This is basically the best of both worlds - it's allowing me to do both.

"By staying on for another couple of years after next season, it keeps both camps happy. It also gives me some stability as well because this time next year, I would have been tossing up whether to go again with the Knights or possibly England."

The deal will also bring down the curtain on Johns' representative career after next year's State of Origin series.

Johns has only just returned to full fitness after two years of injury problems which forced him to sit out last year's Gillette Tri-Nations Series.

He spent several months on the sidelines after damaging his knee and neck in separate incidents before breaking his jaw earlier this year.

But, despite the lack of match action, he returned to inspire New South Wales to a 2-1 victory over Queensland in this year's Origin Series and has played a key role in the Knights' late-season revival.

Johns' new deal means this year's Tri-Nations Series is likely to be international swansong for a player who has won 18 Test caps and was a member of Australia's World Cup-winning teams of 1995 and 2000. He has also played 23 times for New South Wales.

Warrington hope to stage a press conference on Wednesday to formally announce their capture of a man who has twice been voted the world's best player and who amassed 1,842 points in 209 matches in the NRL Premiership before the start of this season.

Johns will follow in the footsteps of another Australian half-back legend, Allan Langer, who made 47 appearances for Warrington from 2000-01.

The move echoes the short-term stint by another all-time great, Wally Lewis, the former Kangaroo captain who played 10 games for Wakefield Trinity, at ?1,000 a time, in 1983-84.

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Thanks to www.superleague.co.uk for this great article.

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