British & Irish Lion Dwayne Peel is looking forward to the possibility of testing himself against New Zealand’s Justin Marshall in this summer’s Test series.
If the Wales number nine gains Sir Clive Woodward’s Test team vote, then it would appear he could be heading for an intriguing battle opposite Marshall – a player he rates as the world’s leading scrum-half.
Marshall, one of the most experienced and wily scrum-halves in world rugby, would relish one final All Blacks fling before heading to a new career with current Zurich Premiership strugglers Leeds.
"Justin Marshall is a brilliant player, probably the best (scrum-half) in the world. He’s been around for years, and has all the experience," said Peel.
"I think he is a good manager of a game, and he is strong and quick, with the respect of everyone around him."
Peel versus Marshall could match up as one of the series’ key individual battles, together with a potential fly-half showdown between Stephen Jones and Daniel Carter.
If Jones can see off the challenge of Jonny Wilkinson – provided that the Newcastle fly-half is fit enough to travel – then it could herald a special liaison, reuniting Llanelli’s former half-back partnership.
"I think Stephen has been outstanding this year," added Peel, who saw Jones leave the Scarlets last summer for a new career in France with Clermont Auvergne.
"He is really enjoying his rugby and he is really enjoying playing in France, and I am sure he will go to New Zealand and have a great tour."