Kiwi Hayden Paddon's new combination with co-driver Seb Marshall will get an earlier-than-expected chance to shine.

The Hyundai factory pair will contest next week's WRC Portugal together after Paddon's regular co-driver John Kennard withdrew due to a lingering hip injury.

"This is a tough one for John," Marshall told Autosport.

"I've been there with an injury and it's difficult to step out of the car, but he's such a competitive fella, he'll be back for Sardinia.

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"From my point of view, it means my first WRC event with Hayden comes earlier than expected and that's really exciting for me.

"I've done Portugal a few times and it's an event I enjoy and it's a rewarding one for the co-driver."

New Zealander Kennard will return for WRC Sardinia and continue in the roll until July's WRC Finland, which will serve as his swansong.

Paddon and Marshall competed in a non-championship round in Sanremo prior to WRC Corsica.