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Kiwis backing Shaun Johnson to fire on Test return, says Stacey Jones

The Kiwis are confident that Shaun Johnson has learned the lessons needed from his axing, assistant coach Stacey Jones says, ahead of this weekend's second Test against Great Britain in Christchurch.

A casualty of the Kiwis' loss to Australia two weeks ago, Johnson, 29, comes back into the side for Saturday night's second Test, with teammate Kieran Foran scratched due to a shoulder injury.

While one week might not necessarily be long enough for Johnson to fix the issues that saw him dropped in the first place, assistant coach Jones says that the star playmaker is ready to prove himself at the highest level.

"Obviously, Shaun had some parts of his game that he was disappointed in against Australia," Jones told media.

"The key for him, is that we keep it pretty simple for him.

Jones is also certain that Johnson will slot right back into the side, partnered in the halves by Benji Marshall, having effectively been a playmaker down during last weekend's victory at Eden Park.

"I thought Benji did a very good job handling the team, especially around the kick game.

"Losing Kieran Foran early in that Test put more pressure on Benji. With Shaun in the team, he can take that pressure off.

"Jahrome Hughes did a good job, but Shaun just brings a bit more experience, especially around us trying to finish our sets."

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Johnson returns to the halves for Saturday night's Test against Great Britain. Source: 1 NEWS


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