The 1995 ARL season saw prosperous times for Johns, as in the absence of Super League-aligned players, he was selected for the first time to represent New South Wales in the 1995 State of Origin series. Incumbent New South Wales halfback Ricky Stuart was not selected due to his affiliation with Super League. Also that year he was able to make his début for the Kangaroos in Australia's successful 1995 World Cup campaign in England. He played as a hooker and was named man of the match in the decider against England at Wembley Stadium as Australia once again retained the World Cup. At the conclusion of the World Cup, Johns was awarded his first significant accolade, being named Most Valuable Player of the tournament. The following year Johns was moved to hooker for the State of Origin, with New South Wales selectors favouring Geoff Toovey in the halfback role.  Since then, Johns was regularly chosen for state and national representative sides when fit, only missing out on a Blues or Australian cap due to injury.