Shaun Johnson has been axed for the clash with Great Britain. Picture: Mark Metcalfe
Shaun Johnson has been axed for the clash with Great Britain. Picture: Mark Metcalfe

Test teams: Johnson axed from Kiwi side

KIERAN Foran and Benji Marshall will play alongside each other for the first time in seven years after Kiwis coach Michael Maguire dumped Shaun Johnson

Kangaroos coach Mal Meninga has also handed Cameron Murray a Test debut in place of Ben Hunt ahead of Australia's clash against Tonga on Saturday night.

But it is Maguire's decision to dump Johnson in place for Foran which is the biggest selection call when the Kiwis play Great Britain this weekend. Maguire was far from pleased in Johnson's performance during the Kiwis' 26-4 loss to Australia last Friday.

Foran has played just two Tests since 2015 - his last a mid-year match against Australia in 2017. He has overcome a raft of career threatening injuries and off-field problems to produce his best football since leaving Manly in 2015 at the closing stages of this season for Canterbury.

Foran, who is off-contract at the end of next season, is one of two changes with Joe Tapine replacing Braden Hamlin-Uele in what will be Adam Blair's 50th Test.

Murray's inclusion is the only alteration to the Kangaroos side.

Tom Burgess has won a starting spot to face New Zealand. Picture: Fiona Goodall
Tom Burgess has won a starting spot to face New Zealand. Picture: Fiona Goodall

GREAT BRITAIN v NEW ZEALAND

Saturday, 2pm (AEST), Eden Park, Auckland

Great Britain: 1. Jonny Lomax, 2. Jermaine McGillvary, 3. Zak Hardaker, 4. Jake Connor, 5. Ryan Hall, 6. Gareth Widdop, 7. Jackson Hastings, 8. Chris Hill, 9. Josh Hodgson, 10. Tom Burgess, 11. John Bateman, 12. Elliott Whitehead, 13. James Graham.. Interchange: 14. Josh Jones, 15. Joe Philbin, 16. Daryl Clark, 17. Alex Walmsley.. Reserves: 18.Jack Hughes, 19. George Williams, 20. Jake Trueman, 21. Blake Austin

Team news: Jonny Lomax replaces Lachlan Coote at fullback, Jake Connor comes into the team at centre for Oliver Gildart. Tom Burgess starts at prop with Luke Thompson dropping out. Joe Philbin and Daryl Clark join the bench.

New Zealand: 1. Roger Tuivasa-Sheck 2. Ken Maumalo 3. Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad 4. Joseph Manu 5. Jamayne Isaako 6. Kieran Foran 7. Benji Marshall (c) 8. Zane Tetevano 9. Brandon Smith 10. Jared Waerea-Hargreaves 11. Briton Nikora 12. Kenneath Bromwich 13. Joseph Tapine. Interchange: 14. Jahrome Hughes 15. Corey Harawira-Naera 16. Leeson Ah Mau 17. Adam Blair 18. Kevin Proctor

Team news: Five-eighth Shaun Johnson has been sensationally axed for Kieran Foran following the heavy loss to Australia. Zane Tetevano starts at prop with Leeson Ah Mau shifting to the bench. Joseph Tapine returns at lock pushing Adam Blair to the bench.

 

Cameron Murray will make his Test debut for Australia. Picture: Phil Walter
Cameron Murray will make his Test debut for Australia. Picture: Phil Walter

AUSTRALIA v TONGA

Saturday, 4.40pm (AEST), Eden Park, Auckland

Australia: 1. James Tedesco 2. Nick Cotric 3. Jack Wighton 4. Latrell Mitchell 5. Josh Addo-Carr 6. Cameron Munster 7. Daly Cherry-Evans 8. Josh Papalii 9. Damien Cook 10. David Klemmer 11. Boyd Cordner 12. Tyson Frizell 13. Jake Trbojevic. Interchange: 14. Cameron Murray 15. Payne Haas 16. Paul Vaughan 17. Wade Graham. Reserves: 18. Ben Hunt 19. Clint Gutherson 20. Victor Radley

Team news: Cameron Murray replaces Ben Hunt on the bench in the only change.

Tonga: 1. Will Hopoate, 2. David Fusitu'a, 3. Michael Jennings, 4. Konrad Hurrell, 5. Daniel Tupou, 6. Tuimoala Lolohea, 7. Ata Hingano, 8. Andrew Fifita, 9. Siliva Havili, 10. Siosiua Taukeiaho, 11. Ben Murdoch-Masila, 12. Manu Ma'u, 13. Jason Taumalolo. Interchange: 14. Sione Katoa, 15. Addin Fonua-Blake, 16. John Asiata, 17. Sitili Tupouniua, Reserves: 18. Fanitesi Niu, 19. Tevita Pangai Jnr, 20. Joe Ofahengaue, 21. Kotoni Staggs, 22. Tevita Tatola

Team news: Ata Hingano starts at halfback in place of Fanitesi Niu.

 

SAMOA v FIJI

Saturday, 11.20pm (AEST), Eden Park, Auckland

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