For what could be his last game in charge of Great Britian and England Head coach Wayne Bennett as named his 21 man squad for the final game of their current Oceanic tour where they will take on Papua New Guinea in Port Moseby on Saturday.
Canberra bound half back George Williams and Castleford Half back Jake Trueman have been named in the squad that includes all 17 that played in Saturday’s third straight test defeat and second against New Zealand. Also named are the returning duo Zak Hardaker and Joe Philbin who both were withdrawn from Saturday’s game due to Injury.
Warrington Wolves half back Blake Austin retains his place after making his GB debut in the unaccustomed position on the wing on Saturday, while one noticeable absentee is replacement wingman Ash Handley who as been flown into join the squad following the loss of Ryan Hall with a dislocated knee in the first test defeat to New Zealand.
This seems a strange move by the Lions coaching staff as Handley is a winger by trade and has played the conditions of PNG while being part of Last seasons England Knights squad that visited.
After suffering only defeat so far on tour the Lions will be hoping to at least come away without a white wash, however the PNG side can never be under estimated especially this current crop who have a number of players with Super League and NRL experience which helped push a very strong Fiji all the way in last weeks narrow defeat.
Speaking in the build up GB assistant coach Ian Watson said;
“They really play for the shirt so we need to be at our best this weekend, physically and mentally,
“The heat will test us because it's not something we're used to and they played really well against Fiji. They have got some really good players.
“It's our last Test. We're finished after this, and we don't want any regrets. We just want to go out there and give our best.”
While South Sydney prop forward Tom Burgess stressed, they can’t be complacent as he told reporters;
“We know if we're not on our game this weekend, we can get beat. They have got a lot of quality players.
“I know one of them very well, Alex Johnston, who plays with me at Souths and he's top quality. We're not taking it lightly at all. They are all strong.”
The Great Britian team will arrive on Tuesday before taking a few days to prepare before naming the 19 man test squad on Friday.
Great Britain Rugby League Lions squad:
Graham (capt, St George Illawarra Dragons), Lomax (St Helens), McGillvary (Huddersfield), Hughes (Warrington), Connor (Hull), Austin (Warrington), Widdop (St George Illawarra Dragons), Hastings (Salford), Hill (Warrington), Hodgson (Canberra Raiders), Burgess (South Sydney Rabbitohs), Bateman (Canberra Raiders), Whitehead (Canberra Raiders), Jones (Salford), Thompson (St Helens), Clark (Warrington), Walmsley (St Helens), Philbin (Warrington), Williams (Wigan), Trueman (Castleford), Hardaker (Wigan).
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