Skip to main contentAccess keys helpA-Z index

[an error occurred while processing this directive]
| Help
---------------
CHOOSE A SPORT
RELATED BBC SITES
Last Updated: Tuesday, 21 June, 2005, 02:16 GMT 03:16 UK
NZ recall Marshall to face Lions
All Blacks scrum-half Justin Marshall
Marshall is on his way to Leeds Tykes next season
New Zealand have restored full-back Leon MacDonald and scrum-half Justin Marshall to their team for Saturday's first Test against the Lions.

All Blacks coach Graham Henry made five changes in total to the team that beat Fiji 91-0, with Carl Hayman, Keven Mealamu and Chris Jack also returning.

Marshall's selection sees rival Byron Kelleher drop to the bench, while Mils Muliaina makes way for MacDonald.

The Lions are expected to name their Test side on Wednesday.

The 31-year-old Marshall has endured a difficult relationship with Henry and had questioned whether he would be available for the three-Test series.

Marshall, who has 77 caps, will join English side Leeds Tykes at the end of the series, and will have the chance to end his international career on a high note.

"They (Marshall and Kelleher) are both form half-backs and that's what has made it so difficult," said All Blacks assistant coach Wayne Smith.

"Justin had a very good Super 12 and we expect him to step up on Saturday."

MacDonald has not played for the All Blacks in two years after he moved to play his rugby in Japan in 2003.

There are a number of players who have been pretty unlucky
All Blacks coach Graham Henry
But a return to New Zealand and Super 12 - together with an outstanding performance in the New Zealand Maori's defeat of the Lions earlier in the tour - earned him the recall.

"Leon's play for the Maori was exceptional," said Henry.

"His form is such that he's forced his way into the line-up ahead of Mils Muliaina, who was the player of the tour at the end of last year.

"There are a number of players who have been pretty unlucky, Conrad Smith, Rico Gear, Byron Kelleher, Jono Gibbes and Greg Somerville for example.

"They are playing good football, but we can only start 15."

Hooker Anton Oliver was unavailable for selection because of a calf muscle injury, while utility back Ma'a Nonu was one of the notable omissions.

Wingers Doug Howlett and Sitiveni Sivivatu - who scored four tries on his debut against Fiji - both retained their places.

Jono Gibbes, who captained the Maori to their deserved victory over the Lions, won a call-up after being left out of the original squad following the withdrawal of Mose Tuiali'i with a back injury.

Henry said the Lions had the All Blacks' full respect.

"As far as personnel are concerned, this is one of the strongest sides the All Blacks could play," he said.


New Zealand: Leon Macdonald; Doug Howlett, Tana Umaga (captain), Aaron Mauger, Sitiveni Sivivatu; Daniel Carter, Justin Marshall; Tony Woodcock, Keven Mealamu, Carl Hayman; Chris Jack, Ali Williams; Jerry Collins, Richie McCaw, Rodney So'oialo.
Replacements: Derren Witcombe, Greg Somerville, Jono Gibbes, Sione Lauaki, Byron Kelleher, Mils Muliaina, Rico Gear.



WATCH AND LISTEN
Report: BBC Five Live's Alastair Hignell



SEE ALSO
Pick your Lions XV
24 May 05 |  Lions in NZ
Lions tour venue guides
18 May 05 |  Lions in NZ
Early history of the Lions
18 May 05 |  Lions in NZ
Fixture list for Lions tour to NZ
08 Apr 05 |  Lions in NZ
Lions player profiles
25 May 05 |  Lions in NZ
All Blacks player profiles
25 May 05 |  Lions in NZ


RELATED BBC LINKS:

RELATED INTERNET LINKS:
The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

ALSO IN THIS SECTION

E-mail services | Sport on mobiles/PDAs

MMIX

Back to top

Sport Homepage | Football | Cricket | Rugby Union | Rugby League | Tennis | Golf | Motorsport | Boxing | Athletics | Snooker | Horse Racing | Cycling | Disability Sport | Olympics 2012 | Sport Relief | Other Sport...

BBC Sport Academy >> | BBC News >> | BBC Weather >>
About the BBC | News sources | Privacy & Cookies Policy | Contact us
banner watch listen bbc sport