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Shaun Johnson recalled for Kiwis

Shaun Johnson has been recalled for the New Zealand side for the final Test against Great Britain in Christchurch on Saturday.

The shoulder injury to Kieran Foran aside, coach Michael Maguire wants his Kiwis outfit to sharpen their attack significantly despite beating the Lions 12-8 in Auckland last Saturday.

So with Johnson's return, he walks straight back into a brief to kick better, execute more sharply, and connect with halfback Benji Marshall more effectively.

Maguire refused to use as an excuse the fact he's had a moveable feast in the vital halves-hooker roles due to form, injury and ill-discipline. He will name the Kiwis side for their final Test in 2019 on Tuesday afternoon.

Johnson was in and then out for Foran, with Brandon Smith in and then also dropped, leading to Jahrome Hughes and Kodi Nikorima coming in. Smith returns to the side for this week's match with Nikorima moving to the bench and Hughes bumped to 18th man.

There has still not been a definitive reason for Smith being cut from the side 24 hours before kick-off apart from he "did not meet team standards". 

But Maguire did not believe the disruptions have had a flow-on effect.

"A lot of these boys have played together before. I don't read too much into that [changes affecting attack]," he told

Match Highlights: New Zealand v Great Britain

"At this level they're expected to be able to step in just like Kodi Nikorima did. He had to step in and he played his role very well.

"The forward pack really rallied around him and helped him out. They looked after each other."

Nikorima topped the tackle count for both teams with 53. The Great Britain forwards chased him around Eden Park all night trying to tire him out.

New Zealand's defence was vastly improved from the 22-point loss to Australia in Wollongong two weeks ago, to concede just eight to the Lions last Saturday.

"But our attack is a work in progress … we gave up cheap field position, loose errors, which put pressure back on us," Maguire said.

"Great Britain are a strong team but we were turning the ball over at silly times. That's something that reared its head in the Australia game.

"If we don't get that right this week, any team that Wayne [Bennett] coaches will complete at a high rate and keep turning up that pressure gauge.

"We need to use our attack to build pressure. It's still executing your plays and making the right passes but it's getting our kicks into the corners, finding the grass down field.

"Our kicking game wasn't utilised well at all last weekend. We need to mix it up a bit.

"And to Jahrome's credit he hadn't trained in the halves at all. We had said that he was going to play in and around the hooking position.

"But he jumped in there [halves] and that's where our attack will improve the fact that we get the right combination in there this week with everyone on the same page."

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