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.


"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.