Auckland, New Zealand, June 18, 2019 – Benji Marshall and Shaun Johnson have been listed as the starting halves combination for the New Zealand Kiwis’ Oceania Cup Test against Mate Ma’a Tonga at Mount Smart Stadium in Auckland on Saturday, June 22 (5.40pm kick-off).
Head coach Michael Maguire has named Marshall (34) in the No 7 jersey for his 28th Test, seven years after his last. Johnson is listed in the No 6 jersey for his 30th international.
The Kiwis were required to submit their team tonight despite having just their first field session at Mount Smart Stadium today. Of the starting team used in the 34-0 third Test win over England in Leeds last November, four players are missing.
Captain Dallin Watene-Zelezniak has been named on the wing replacing Jamayne Isaako with Roger Tuivasa-Sheck at fullback in his first Test since the 2017 Rugby League World Cup.
Marshall replaces the unavailable Kodi Nikorima while debutant Briton Nikora and Kenny Bromwich – on the interchange in Leeds – come into the starting back row to replace the injured Kevin Proctor and Adam Blair.
The extended bench comprises Jahrome Hughes, Leeson Ah Mau, Nelson Asofa-Solomona, James Fisher-Harris, Zane Tetevano and Kieran Foran.
Kiwi Ferns coach Justin Morgan has also named his team to take on Fetu Samoa in the curtain-raiser on Saturday (3.10pm). It features debutantes Madison Bartlett and Kiana Takairangi.
The Kiwi Ferns also trained at Mount Smart Stadium today.
New Zealand Kiwis v Tonga
1 ROGER TUIVASA-SHECK (Vodafone Warriors)
2 KEN MAUMALO (Vodafone Warriors)
3 ESAN MARSTERS (Wests Tigers)
4 JOSEPH MANU (Sydney Roosters)
5 DALLIN WATENE-ZELEZNIAK (c) (Canterbury Bankstown Bulldogs)
6 SHAUN JOHNSON (Cronulla Sutherland Sharks)
7 BENJI MARSHALL (Wests Tigers)
8 JESSE BROMWICH (Melbourne Storm)
9 BRANDON SMITH (Melbourne Storm)
10 JARED WAEREA-HARGREAVES (Sydney Roosters)
11 KENNY BROMWICH (Melbourne Storm)
12 BRITON NIKORA (Cronulla Sutherland Sharks)
13 ISAAC LIU (Sydney Roosters)
14 JAHROME HUGHES (Melbourne Storm)
15 LEESON AH MAU (Vodafone Warriors)
16 NELSON ASOFA-SOLOMONA (Melbourne Storm)
17 JAMES FISHER-HARRIS (Penrith Panthers)
18 ZANE TETEVANO (Sydney Roosters)
19 KIERAN FORAN (Canterbury Bankstown Bulldogs)
New Zealand Ferns v Fetu Samoa
1 APII NICHOLLS
2 MADISON BARTLETT
3 HONEY HIREME (c)
4 KIANA TAKAIRANGI
5 HILDA MARIU
6 RAQUEL ANDERSON-PITMAN
7 RAECENE McGREGOR
8 ANNETTA-CLAUDIA NUUAUSALA
9 KRYSTAL ROTA
10 AEISHALEIGH SMALLEY
11 KATHLEEN WHARTON
12 TEUILA FOTU-MOALA
13 GEORGIA HALE
14 NITA MAYNARD
15 AMBER PARIS HALL
16 AMBER KANI
17 CRYSTAL TAMARUA
18 CHARNTAY POKO
19 JULES NEWMAN