Britain call on Australian-born pair
Australian-born Lachlan Coote and Jackson Hastings are set to start for Great Britain against a Tonga Invitational XIII in Saturday’s Test opener, in which captain James Graham will win his 50th international cap.
The Great Britain side have been revived after a 12year absence and this weekend’s clash in Hamilton is followed by matches against New Zealand in Auckland and Christchurch, ending on Nov 16 in Port Moresby with a first Test in Papua New Guinea since 1996.
Eyebrows were raised by Wayne Bennett’s inclusion of St Helens full-back Coote, Salford scrum-half Hastings and compatriot Blake Austin, the Warrington stand-off, in his 24-man squad. They qualified through their heritage. There is also a place for reformed character Zak Hardaker.
Great Britain’s players, coaches and staff were forced to evacuate their training base in Auckland yesterday because of a huge fire at the Skycity Convention Centre and moved to Hamilton. Initial GB squad