GB Squad announced

The Great Britain squad has been announced ahead of their tour of the Southern hemisphere.

As revealed earlier this week, Kallum Watkins, Sam Burgess, Sean O’Loughlin, Tommy Makinson, James Roby and Ben Currie would all miss out as they recover from injuries.

Among the inclusions are heritage players Lachlan Coote, Jackson Hastings and Blake Austin, who despite being born in Australia, can all play for Great Britain through their families.

As well as the heritage players, a number of Brits in the NRL have also been selected, including the captain James Graham.

It’s very emotional for me,” said Graham of the prospect of leading Great Britain for the first time. “It will have a history and tradition, and it’s something that resounds with the fans and our sport. They will be four incredibly difficult matches, but the difficulty rating was always going to be high. It’s a challenge for us, but as a group I think we’re going to grow into that challenge.”

Wayne Bennett, the Great Britain and England head coach, said of Graham: “No-one plays with more pride and passion than he does for his country, I can tell you.”

Of the selection more generally, Bennett added: “It was pretty tough actually, with a lot of players in contention. A couple of guys got injured and that’s taken a bit of the pressure off, and given a couple of other guys opportunities.

“I think we’ve got a pretty good squad which is more than representative of the best players in the game in England and Australia.”

The other Brits down under are Tom Burgess, John Bateman, Ryan Hall, Josh Hodgson, Elliot Whitehead and Gareth Widdop.

The rest of the players consist of Super League clubs, with five from Warrington including Austin, Daryl Clark, Jack Hughes, Chris Hill and Joe Philbin.

Super League champions St Helens also have four in the squad with Coote, Jonny Lomax, Alex Walmsley and Luke Thompson all in the squad.

The next best represented club are the Wigan Warriors with George Williams, Zak Hardaker and Oliver Gildart.

Elsewhere, Salford Red Devils have two players in the squad with Hastings and Josh Jones being rewarded for the Manchester sides incredible season.

Castleford Tigers’ Jake Trueman, Huddersfield Giants’ Jermaine McGillvary and Hull FC’s Jake Connor complete the squad.



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