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Last Updated: Sunday, 31 July 2005, 10:50 GMT 11:50 UK
Johns 'pumped' to get Wolves deal
Andrew Johns

Andrew Johns says his new contract with Newcastle Knights has given him the "best of both worlds" by allowing him to play in Super League as well.

Under the contract, which runs until 2008, Johns has sealed a short-term deal with Warrington, from September.

"It's no secret I wanted to experience footy in England before I finished but I also wanted to end my career with the Knights," he told the Sydney Telegraph.

"Staying on for another couple of years keeps both camps happy. I'm pumped."

Twice voted the world's best player, the 31-year-old half-back will head to England once he has honoured his commitments with Newcastle.

The Australian side have agreed to release him to play up to six matches for Warrington from early September.

The move is a massive coup for the Wolves, who are currently fourth in the table and eyeing a Grand Final berth.

Johns will be available for the last two games of the regular Super League campaign and up to four play-off ties, depending on the success of Wolves' bid to reach the Grand Final.

Warrington, who are fourth in the table, hope to stage a news conference on Wednesday to officially unveil Johns, who will return to the Knights once Warrington's season is over.

Johns could make his debut against champions Leeds at the Halliwell Jones Stadium on 11 September.

The double Golden Boot winner has only just returned to full fitness after two years of injury problems, which forced him to miss last year's Tri-Nations.

He was recently sidelined by knee and neck injuries before breaking his jaw earlier this year, but fitness allowing, he is sure to be in this year's Tri-Nations squad for what will probably be his international farewell.

But despite the lack of match action, he returned to inspire New South Wales to a 2-1 victory over Queensland in the recent State of Origin Series.

John is not the first Australian half-back legend to play for Warrington after Allan Langer made 47 appearances for the club from 2000-01.

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

Allan Langer
Langer was a big hit at Warrington five years ago
Warrington have spending power courtesy of wealthy music promoter Simon Moran, who bankrolled the 200,000 signing of Great Britain centre Martin Gleeson a year ago.

The Knights say they will need to finalise their insurance requirements before signing off the deal for Johns to play in England.

Johns has re-signed with Newcastle until the end of 2008 but, as part of the deal, has agreed to retire from representative football after next year's State of Origin Series.

"I'm extremely happy to commit to playing out my career with the Knights," said Johns.

In my mind he is without doubt the greatest player in the game
Newcastle coach Michael Hagan

"I've been with the club since I was a kid and I've been fortunate to have been a member of two premiership winning teams.

"We're now involved in an important rebuilding programme and I look forward to playing a big part in that."

Knights coach Hagan said: "In my mind he is without doubt the greatest player in the game and having him in the red and blue is certainly a satisfying feeling."




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