Dallas Johnson may sign off with Storm - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Dallas Johnson may sign off with Storm

By Melissa Woods 16/10/2009 08:40:50 PM Comments (0)

Melbourne are likely to grant Dallas Johnson a release to join French league club Catalans next year, however there has so far been no request from the workhorse lock.

The Queensland Origin forward, who was a integral member of Melbourne's recent NRL premiership success, has been linked to the French Super League club, coached by former Maroons and Brisbane skipper Kevin Walters.

Catalans is reportedly targeting Johnson to replace Jason Ryles, who will join Sydney Roosters next year.

Axed Cronulla star Greg Bird, as well as Steve Bell, Dane Carlaw and Jason Croker are among ex-NRL players at the club.

Johnson has another two years on his Melbourne contract, but has an out-clause that enables him to take up a Super League offer.

Sources have confirmed he is set to take up a long-term deal, however the Storm said they hadn't heard from Johnson, who is holidaying in Paris.

"We've had no official approach from either Dallas or his management," Storm football operations manager Frank Ponissi said.

"He's got a strong ambition to play overseas and we've got a basic agreement that if he ever gets an opportunity to play and he seeks release we would give it strong consideration."

Ponissi said the departure of 156-gamer Johnson, who typically leads the tackle count each month, would leave a "massive hole".

It would also ease some of the escalating salary cap pressure.

"Given his service to the club we would give it strong consideration, without a shadow of a doubt, given who he is and what he's done for the club."

Johnson's manager George Mimis said any talk he had signed with the Dragons was premature.

"There has been interest from overseas, we're not trying to hide that but to suggest that a deal is imminent is way too premature."

Meanwhile, the Storm have finalised coaching staff for 2010 with Brad Arthur promoted to an NRL assistant coach role and former Australian international Dean Pay to take Arthur's position as under-20s coach.

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