Great Britian coach Wayne Bennett as made three changes to his squad ahead of the upcoming first test against New Zealand in Auckland this weekend. With the two enforced changes coming from the loss of Luke Thompson and Oliver Gildart due to injury also missing out on a place in the squad is Scottish Fullback Lachlan Coote.
As expected, Hull FC utility forward Jake Connor will add to his four England caps which have all come against New Zealand and will probably line up alongside Wigan Warriors star Zac Hardaker in the centres.
South’s Sydney prop forward Tom Burgess will move of the bench and into a starting shirt after being one of the few to impress in last week’s opening defeat to Tonga, while Irish International Joe Philbin will cap of a fantastic season if he gets into the matchday squad. That leaves St Helen’s player of the season Jonny Lomax (pictured) to start at full back in the absence of his club teammate Coote.
Also added to the wider squad is half backs Blake Austin and Jake Trueman who have both yet to make their internationals debut’s at XIII a side, having both represented England in the World nine aside competition two weeks ago.
The opposition on Saturday New Zealand have also sprung somewhat of a surprise as they look to overcome a defeat to Australia last week as Kieran Foran will make his international comeback at the expense of Shaun Johnson. In a straight swap at Stand off Foran will end a two year absence from the kiwi side. In the game which will see New Zealand forward Adam Blair win his 50th Cap if he comes off the bench, head coach Michael Maguire has welcomed back the suspended Joseph Tapine into his starting line up at loose forward while prop Zane Tetevano makes his first start in a kiwi shirt!
New Zealand: Roger Tuivasa-Sheck, Ken Maumalo, Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad, Joseph Manu, Jamayne Isaako, Kieran Foran, Benji Marshall, Zane Tetevano, Brandon Smith, Jared Waerea-Hargreaves, Briton Nikora, Kenny Bromwich, Joseph Tapine
Interchange (from): Jahrome Hughes, Corey Harawira-Naera, Leeson Ah Mau, Adam Blair, Kevin Procter, Bailey Simonsson
Great Britain's provisional team to face New Zealand: Jonny Lomax (St Helens); Jermaine McGillvary (Huddersfield), Zak Hardaker (Wigan), Jake Connor (Hull), Ryan Hall (Sydney Roosters); Gareth Widdop (St George Illawarra), Jackson Hastings (Salford); Chris Hill (Warrington), Josh Hodgson (Canberra), Tom Burgess (Sydney Roosters), John Bateman (Canberra), Elliott Whitehead (Canberra), James Graham (St George Illawarrra).
Replacements: Josh Jones (Salford), Joe Philbin (Warrington), Daryl Clark (Warrington), Alex Walmsley (St Helens), Jack Hughes (Warrington), George Williams (Wigan), Jacob Trueman (Castleford), Blake Austin (Warrington)