June International Tours

Samoa include Johnston in team for All Blacks

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Samoa have included veteran prop Census Johnston in their team to play a one-off historic Test against the All Blacks in Apia on Wednesday.

Johnston announced his retirement in April but will come out of retirement for the match and has been training with the Samoa squad in recent weeks.

"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

Waikato 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

Tim Nanai Williams (Waikato Chiefs); Alofa Alofa (La Rochelle), Paul Perez (Natal Sharks), Johnny Leota (Sale), Alesana Tuilagi (Newcastle); Tusi Pisi (Suntory), Kahn Fotuali’i (Northampton); Ofisa Treviranus (capt, London Irish), Jack Lam (Bristol), Alafoti Faosiliva (Bath); Kane Thompson (Newcastle Falcons), Teofilo Paulo (Cardiff Blues); Census Johnston (unattached) Wayne Ole Avei (Bordeaux), Sakaria Taulafo (Stade Francais)

Replacements: Ma’atulimanu Leiataua (Aurillac), Viliamu Afatia (Agen), Anthony Perenise (Bristol), Iosefa Tekori (Toulouse), Maurie Fa’asavalu (Oyonnax), Pele Cowley (Auckland), Faialaga Afamasaga (Samoa A), Ken Pisi (Northampton)

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