Johnston faces All Blacks

2015-07-06 08:28
Census Johnston (Getty Images)

Apia - Samoa have called veteran prop Census Johnston out of retirement to bolster their pack in Wednesday's one-off historic Test against the All Blacks in Apia.

"We simply couldn't leave him out," coach Stephan Betham said when naming his team on Monday.

The 34-year-old Toulouse prop, who has played 47 Tests for Samoa since 2005, had announced his retirement in April but has been training with the Samoa squad in recent weeks.

Chiefs fullback Tim Nanai Williams is the only uncapped player in the starting 15, while outside back Faialaga Afamasaga, the only Samoa-based member of the squad, is set to make his debut off the bench.

New Zealand-born Nanai Williams, a cousin of All Blacks centre Sonny Bill Williams, has previously represented New Zealand as a sevens player but switched allegiance to his parents' home country last year to boost his World Cup and Olympic prospects.

All but five members of the 23-man Samoa squad are based in Europe including captain and back-rower Ofisa Treviranus who plays for London Irish.

The match will be the first appearance in Samoa by the All Blacks, who have won all five previous Tests between the two countries played in New Zealand.


Samoa: 15 Tim Nanai Williams, 14 Alofa Alofa, 13 Paul Perez, 12 Johnny Leota, 11 Alesana Tuilagi, 10 Tusi Pisi, 9 Kahn Fotuali'i, 8 Ofisa Treviranus (captain), 7 Jack Lam, 6 Alafoti Faosiliva, 5 Kane Thompson, 4 Teofilo Paulo, 3 Census Johnston, 2 Wayne Ole Avei, 1 Sakaria Taulafo

Substitutes: 16 Ma'atulimanu Leiataua, 17 Viliamu Afatia, 8 Anthony Perenise, 19 Iosefa Tekori, 20 Maurie Fa'asavalu, 21 Pele Cowley, 22 Faialaga Afamasaga, 23 Ken Pisi

All Blacks: 15 Israel Dagg, 14 George Moala, 13 Sonny Bill Williams, 12 Ryan Crotty, 11 Charles Piutau, 10 Daniel Carter, 9 Andy Ellis, 8 Kieran Read, 7 Richie McCaw, 6 Jerome Kaino, 5 Sam Whitelock, 4 Luke Romano, 3 Owen Franks, 2 Keven Mealamu, 1 Tony Woodcock

Substitutes: 16 Hikawera Elliot, 17 Wyatt Crockett, 18 Nepo Laulala, 19 Brodie Retallick, 20 Matt Todd, 21 Brad Weber, 22 Colin Slade, 23 Charlie Ngatai

Read more on:    samoa  |  rugby

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