1st November 2019, 07:33 | great_britain

Great Britain ready to bounce back against Kiwis

Great Britain ready to bounce back against Kiwis

Great Britain will be targeting a first win since 2007 when they face New Zealand on Saturday at Eden Park, which kicks off at 4am UK time, and forms part of a huge triple-header on the day.

The Lions suffered defeat in their first outing last week, losing 14-6 to a power-packed Tonga Invitational XIII, who led 12-0 at half time, and held on to their lead despite a second-half try from Canberra's John Bateman.

Warrington's Joe Philbin - a tryscorer in the Wolves' Coral Challenge Cup Final win in August - is set for his Lions debut after being drafted into the squad to face the Kiwis, replacing St Helens prop Luke Thompson who suffered a rib injury against Tonga.

Meanwhile, Wigan centre Oliver Gildart has been ruled out of the remainder of the tour with a shoulder injury, and has been replaced by Hull FC star Jake Connor, who will be keen to make another mark against NZ, after scoring on his international debut against the Kiwis in Denver last year. 

St Helens' Scotland international full-back Lachlan Coote also misses out this time.

In the opposition camp, New Zealand have recalled half-back Kieran Foran after two years away from the international scene, with Shaun Johnson a surprise omission from the side, which will be captained by the iconic Benji Marshall.

Kiwis forward Adam Blair is in line to make his 50th senior international appearance - becoming just the eighth Rugby League player to do so.

Head Coach Michael Maguire is also set to start Zane Tetevano, as second-row Joseph Tapine comes back into the side after sitting out his side's defeat by Australia last week through suspension.

Saturday morning's clash will be shown live on BBC Two and is the first of two Test Matches against New Zealand on the first Great Britain Rugby League Lions tour since 2006. There will also be highlights on BBC One at 1:15pm, with the full game available on iPlayer too.

 

GB Squad:

Lomax, McGillvary, Hardaker, Connor, Hall, Widdop, Hastings, Hill, Hodgson, T. Burgess, Bateman, Whitehead, Graham (c), Jones, Philbin, Clark, Walmsley, Hughes, Williams.

 

NZ Squad:

Tuivasa-Sheck, Maumalo, Nicoll-Klokstad, Manu, Isaako, Foran, Marshall (c), Tetevano, Smith, Waerea-Hargreaves, Nikora, Bromwich, Tapine, Hughes, Harawira-Naera, Ah Mau, Blair, Proctor.