Cooper Johns on the attack last year for Storm feeder side the Sunshine Coast Falcons. Picture: NRM
Cooper Johns on the attack last year for Storm feeder side the Sunshine Coast Falcons. Picture: NRM

Rookie Johns starting to look like the son of a gun

HE'S stock of one of rugby league's most famous families, but expect a little more ­Andrew and a little less Matthew from Melbourne Storm rookie half Cooper Johns.

Like his Immortal uncle, Andrew, young Johns is a larrikin and a prankster, but also a confident, controlling half.

His father and Fox League funny man, Matthew, says his youngest son likes a beer and a laugh.

"Cooper is a lot like his uncle, he's very outgoing," Matthew Johns said.

"He's a ball-player and his kicking game is decent."

The 20-year-old is among a host of rookies knocking on the door for an NRL call-up.

Also on the watch list are Dragons flyers Tristan Sailor and Jason Saab, Souths prop Keaon Koloamatangi, Knights young guns Phoenix Crossland and Bradman Best and Nines standout Hamiso Tabuai-Fidow from the Cowboys.

Matty Johns is happy to see his son in the Storm’s professional system. Picture: Jonathan Ng
Matty Johns is happy to see his son in the Storm’s professional system. Picture: Jonathan Ng

In his second-season appren­ticeship with the Storm's feeder club, the Sunshine Coast Falcons, Johns notched 19 try assists en route to the minor premiership.

"He has done really well, ­really developed in the past 12 months," Matthew said. "He went up to the Sunny Coast in 2018, just out of school and playing against men.

"I remember watching him against Redcliffe and I said to my wife, Trish, 'He is just struggling with the pace and physicality of it'.

"But then last year he got up and fitted right in. With young players, especially playmakers, that's ongoing.

"I don't know if he's ready for it, but he's at a club that if they put him in, he's ready, or if he goes back to the Sunny Coast for six months, then that's right.

"Jeez that Queensland Cup is a great competition."

Former premiership winner Cooper Cronk had little to do with Johns coming through the ranks at the Storm but said he had his "father's skill set".

"He's a tremendous kid from a tremendous family and by all reports he is training the house down," Cronk said.

"He has all the first-grade credentials and is in a really good system."



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