First Matty v Joey – now it’s Cooper v Jack in the battle of the Johns brothers

Matthew Johns, speaking with the experience of one who knows what it’s like to play against a sibling, imparted this fatherly advice to sons Cooper and Jack before their first NRL clash against each other.

“Don’t worry about him, he’s just an arsehole in an opposition jersey,” Johns senior told his boys.

Cooper Johns, 23, has been called into the Manly side to cover for five-eighth Josh Schuster, who is sidelined with a quad strain. Cooper’s selection will put him on a collision course with big brother Jack, 25, the Newcastle lock forward.

It is a situation Matthew Johns is familiar with. Having played most of his career alongside halves partner and little brother Andrew at Newcastle, the pair famously faced off when Matthew shifted to Cronulla late in his career.

Known for his witty banter, Matthew produced a sledge for the ages when he said: “Hey Johns, my dad’s been f—ing your mother.”

Matthew Johns spoke about the unusual situation of having his boys play off while on SEN radio with brother Andrew on Friday.

Clockwise from top left: Matthew Johns, Andrew Johns, Cooper Johns, Jack Johns.

“I’m going down, I’m going to the game,” Matthew Johns said.

“I haven’t thought a lot about it. I spoke to the younger bloke earlier in the week and he confided in me and said, ‘Schuey’s gone to get a scan, I think I’m going to play’.

“I was like ‘Cool, against Jack?’ and he was ‘Yeah, yeah’.

“My advice to him is, don’t worry about him, he’s just an arsehole in an opposition jersey.

“That’s how you have to treat it. You go out there and if you’re too focused on that, you lose that you’re involved in something a lot bigger.

“It will be strange, particularly because it’s Newcastle-Manly.”

Asked what advice he had for Jack, Johns said: “He’s just another arsehole in a Manly jersey.

“I think he’s pretty good. Jack understands … when you go to the Knights, there’s a lot of competition in the pack, so he can’t afford to be worrying about little brother. He’s got to get out there and go for it.”

Asked if there would be any sledging at Mudgee’s Glen Willow Oval, Johns said: “If there is a bit of chirp, it will be from the younger bloke. The older bloke will just shut up and get on with the work.”

Andrew Johns added: “I imagine it would affect Jack more, he’s more of a sensitive soul.”

Manly coach Anthony Seibold said Cooper would do a good job in Schuster’s absence.

“Josh hurt his quad in the first half against the Rabbitohs and bravely fought on, to his credit,” Seibold said.

“He will miss this week, we’re hoping he’s OK for the game against Penrith, but all our focus is on this game. Cooper comes in, I think he performed really well in the trials and in round one.

“He’s done the job, he’s played with Chez [Daly Cherry-Evans], Tom [Trbojevic] and Lachie Croker. We know Cooper will come in and do the job for us.”

Stream the NRL Premiership 2023 live and free on 9Now.

Sports news, results and expert commentary. Sign up for our Sport newsletter.

Most Viewed in Sport

From our partners

Source: Read Full Article