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The story of the Johnston brothers

John GriffithsJanuary 18, 2014
Census Johnston charges forward for Toulouse © Getty Images
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What major honours have the Johnston brothers won - at international and club level? David Jackson, England

Elder brother Census (32) was born in Auckland and played for the Ponsonby club there before moving to Taranaki where he was playing for Eltham-Kaponga when Michael Jones (then coach) first called him into the Samoa trials for the squad for the 2005 short tour of Australia. Johnston subsequently made his Test debut against the Wallabies in the one-off Test in Sydney that year.

All told he has won 42 caps for Samoa and three on Pacific Islands tours to Europe (in 2006 and 2008), scoring four Test tries.

Census broke into first-class pro rugby in January 2006 when he joined Biarritz for the second half of their domestic season. He was a member of the side that carried off the French Championship title in his first season of major domestic rugby, before returning home to play a season for Taranaki in Pool A of the Air New Zealand Cup.

He then came to Britain to play for Saracens, making more than 50 first-class appearances for the club before joining Toulouse at the start of the 2009-10 season. Johnston senior won Heineken Cup honours (2010 when he came on as a sub in the Final) and was part of the side that won back-to-back French Championship titles in 2011 and 2012.

James, also Auckland-born, played for Ponsonby before breaking into the first-class pro game in 2009 when he joined Harlequins. He made more than 100 first-class appearances for the club between 2009 and 2013, starting in the club's Amlin Cup Final win in 2011 and in their Premiership Final success of 2012 before transferring to Saracens at the start of this season (2013-14).

He made his Test debut for Samoa against Tonga in 2008 and has won a dozen caps to date.

John Griffiths is a widely respected rugby historian and is the author of several sports books, a regular contributor to the Daily Telegraph and co-author of the IRB International Rugby Yearbook. He has provided insight for Scrum.com since 1999.

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Writer Bio

John Griffiths is a widely respected rugby historian and is the author of several sports books, a regular contributor to the Daily Telegraph and co-author of the IRB International Rugby Yearbook. He has provided insight for Scrum.com since 1999.

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