“The Aussies are coming!” – ‘Sensational’ English winger attracting NRL interest

Josh McAllister
Tom Johnstone, PA Images

PHOTO: Richard Sellers/PA Wire/PA Images.

Catalans winger Tom Johnstone is being noticed by NRL clubs following his ‘sensational’ start to 2023, according to rugby league expert Mike ‘Stevo’ Stephenson.

The former Sky Sports commentator shared his admiration for the 27-year-old England international on episode 86 of his shared podcast with Eddie Hemmings.

Johnstone has found career-best form since swapping west Yorkshire for the south of France, leading the way in Super League with 17 tries in 14 appearances.

His Wakefield career was hampered by injuries, including just six appearances in 2019, 11 in 2021 and just 10 in his final season at Belle Vue.

The winger joined Catalans on a two-year deal ahead of 2023 under Steve McNamara in a move that has seen a new lease of life.

Johnstone has crossed for a hat-trick of hat-tricks in the opening 14 rounds of Super League against former club Wakefield, Hull KR and most recently Wigan in the 46-22 Magic Weekend victory.

And his impressive form has captured the attention of the other side of the globe according to Stevo.

“[He’s been] sensational,” he said.

“I can assure you, there’s a large country called Australia, they’ve noticed too.

“The Aussies are coming!”

Tom Johnstone has potential to be best winger in Super League

Catalans playmaker and two-time Man of Steel winner Sam Tomkins has tipped his team-mate to become one of the best wingers in Super League.

Tomkins, who captained England during last year’s World Cup on home soil, has also backed Johnstone to add to his solitary England cap, with Shaun Wane’s side facing Tonga in an end of year series in St Helens, Huddersfield and Leeds.

Tomkins previously said: “He’s unbelievable. He’s the best finisher in the game.

“As a half-back playing on that side of the field with him, it’s a luxury because you don’t need to create too much.

“You can just kick the ball around the same area and there’s a good chance he’ll get it down, or you pass the ball and he only needs a couple of inches and he does something special.

“He’s had a tough run of injuries. I think Tommy Makinson has been the best winger for a long time in the competition. But I think outside of that, Tom Johnstone is the best and I think if he stays fit, he’ll be the best winger in the competition for a long time.”

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