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Nikora and Johnson in Kiwi Test team

Sharks young gun Briton Nikora and Kiwi Test veteran Shaun Johnson have been named in the 19-man squad to play Tonga on Saturday. 

The selection of Nikora comes as no surprise to many after his outstanding start to the 2019 season, his first in the NRL, while Johnson has been included despite missing a large chuck of the year with a hamstring injury.

The pair went into Kiwi camp last night in Auckland ahead of the game scheduled to be played at Mount Smart Stadium on Saturday.

The final make-up of the team is yet to be determined, with Nikora if chosen to make his international debut, while for Johnson it would be his 30th game in his country's colours.

Kiwis coach Michael Maguire has named three halves in Benji Marshall, Kieran Foran and Johnson in the halves, however he has apparently stated it is likely he will go with the Marshall-Jonhson combination. 

The pair first partnered up when Johnson debuted for the Kiwis in the Anzac Test back in 2012. 

Dallin Watene-Zelezniak, who recently switched from the Panthers to the Bulldogs, will captain the New Zealand side. 

Shark Andrew Fifita has been named in the Tonga team, pending a judiciary appearance on Tuesday night where he will try to have a dangerous contact charge downgraded. 

The 19-man New Zealand squad is listed below (in alphabetical order). 

Leeson Ah Mau (Warriors)
Nelson Asofa-Solomona (Storm)
Jesse Bromwich (Storm)
Kenneath Bromwich (Storm)
James Fisher-Harris (Panthers)
Kieran Foran (Bulldogs)
Jahrome Hughes (Storm)
Shaun Johnson (Sharks)
Isaac Liu (Roosters)
Joseph Manu (Roosters)
Benji Marshall (Wests Tigers)
Esan Marsters (Wests Tigers)
Ken Maumalo (Warriors)
Briton Nikora (Sharks)
Brandon Smith (Storm)
Zane Tetevano (Roosters)
Roger Tuivasa-Sheck (Warriors)
Jared Waerea-Hargreaves (Roosters)
Dallin Watene-Zelezniak - captain (Bulldogs)

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