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Marshall At Scrum-Half For the Blacks.

21st June 2005 By Munster Rugby

Marshall At  Scrum-Half For the Blacks.

Justin Marshall is in the All Blacks starting line-up to face the Lions in Christchurch on Saturday, a side that shows five changes from the one that started against Fiji.

New Zealand: Leon MacDonald, Doug Howlett, Tana Umaga (captain), Aaron Mauger, Sitiveni Sivivatu; Dan Carter, Justin Marshall; Tony Woodcock, Keven Mealamu, Carl Hayman, Chris Jack, Ali Williams, Jerry Collins, Richie McCaw, Rodney So’oialo.

Reserves: Derren Witcombe, Greg Somerville, Jono Gibbes, Sione Lauaki, Byron Kelleher, Mils Muliaina, Rico Gear.

Justin Marshall is in the All Blacks starting line-up to face the Lions in Christchurch on Saturday. Halfback Marshall was on the bench for the All Blacks last match against Fiji, while Byron Kelleher started the game.

The starting side for the first test has five changes from the team against Fiji. Prop Carl Hayman and fullback Leon MacDonald join the team from the New Zealand Maori squad while hooker Keven Mealamu, lock Chris Jack and Marshall assume starting spots after being on the bench against the Fijians.

MacDonald’s return to the All Blacks comes after an absence of nearly two years his last appearance was in the 2003World Cup and a Super 12 season that coach Graham Henry described as “extraordinary”. “Leon’s play for the New Zealand Maori was exceptional as well,” 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.”

Henry said several other All Blacks were also playing very well, but were unable to make the starting side. He said: “There are number of players who have been pretty unlucky really; Conrad Smith, Rico Gear, Byron Kelleher, Jono Gibbes and Greg Somerville, for example. They are playing good football, but we can only start fifteen.”

Hooker Anton Oliver and flanker Mose Tuali’i were not considered for selection due to injury.

Henry said the All Blacks will face a formidable Lions side on Saturday. He said: “As far as personnel are concerned, this is one of the strongest sides the All Blacks could play.”

New Zealand Herald.

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