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Marshall given another 24 hours
May 25, 2000

All Blacks scrumhalf Justin Marshall faces a fitness test in Canberra on Friday to gauge his chances of playing for the Canterbury Crusaders in the Super 12 rugby final.

The Crusaders Thursday named former New Zealand Colt Ben Hurst in the No 9 jersey for the decider with the ACT Brumbies at Bruce Stadium.

But Crusaders coach Robbie Deans said Marshall would take over if the medical team felt he has recovered "100 percent" from a calf injury.

He's still unlikely (to play)," Deans said before the Crusaders left for Canberra Thursday.

"But we are leaving Justin for another 24 hours.

"If Justin was to be 100 percent fit then he would come into the starting line-up. But we won't go past (Friday). He'll have to be completely right to be in the team, or on the bench."

Hurst had an impressive game against the Otago Highlanders, with his crisp, quick passing a feature.

But Marshall, the most capped New Zealand scrumhalf, is a seasoned campaigner and a resolute defender around the fringes, and Deans said he would opt for the All Black's extra experience.

"Ben did superbly well last week... and if Justin is fit, Hursty would go to the bench."

All Blacks lock Norm Maxell passed a fitness test Thursday on his injured calf and will take over from promising youngster Chris Jack in the middle of the lineout.

Crusaders' forward coach Steve Hansen said Jack and Steve Lancaster had performed well in Maxwell's absence this year, but the All Black was the first choice.

"Norm's been playing well, he's only had a week's lay-off and and thrives on the big occasion. He's an incumbent All Black and if he's not injured, he's playing."

Maxwell's inclusion is the only change from the starting 15 which went in against the Highlanders.

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