And Canucks coach Dave Clark has impressed Johnson with the way he has prepared his side for the tournament.
"They have a great work ethic," says the Wales skills coach.
"They don't get to play a lot of international rugby, and as a consequence their skills are not up to some of the elite sides in the world. But what they lack in skills they make up for in effort.
"Playing Canada 12 months ago provided the coaching staff and team a level of understanding about the Canadian's game plan and style.
"They have an Australian coach, and we have seen his style develop and achieve a level of consistency in the way they are playing.
"We have analysed their last four games, and they have shown genuine improvement in their overall team cohesion."
Johnson's focus with the team this week has been on unit skills, with individual sessions for each of the backs.
While there is the mental preparation of taking part in a six week tournament, Johnson said the team have to take one game at a time, and keep their focus on each single Test."This weekend will be a dog fight. Sixteen teams are involved, but only eight will be happy with the start of their cup campaigns come Sunday night."