Hastings and Hardaker included in Great Britain squad

By Rob Lancaster 14 October 2019 6
Hastings and Hardaker included in Great Britain squad

Jackson Hastings has been included in Great Britain's 24-man squad for the tour to New Zealand and Papua New Guinea.

The Australian-born Hastings, who qualifies through a grandparent born in Plymouth, is rewarded after a stellar season with Salford that saw him lead the Red Devils to the Super League Grand Final, though they lost to St Helens in Saturday's showpiece.

Super League's newly crowned Man of Steel could form a half-back partnership with Blake Austin, another born in Australia but available for selection via an English relative.

Wigan Warriors full-back Zak Hardaker is also among the list of names for the first Lions tour since 2006.

Saints quartet Lachlan Coote, Jonny Lomax, Luke Thompson and Alex Walmsley will be on the trip too, though club colleagues Morgan Knowles, James Roby, who had withdrawn from contention before the Grand Final, Tommy Makinson and Mark Percival were all unavailable.

Coach Wayne Bennett had already confirmed 11 of the touring party through the England squad for the upcoming World Cup Nines tournament.

"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," Bennett said.

"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."

Great Britain, who will be captained by James Graham, face a Tongan Invitational XIII on October 26 in New Zealand before a two-Test series against the Kiwis in November.

The tour concludes with a one-off game against Papua New Guinea, which takes place in Port Moresby on November 16.

 

Great Britain squad in full: James Graham (St George Illawarra Dragons) Blake Austin (Warrington Wolves) John Bateman (Canberra Raiders) Tom Burgess (South Sydney) Daryl Clark (Warrington Wolves) Jake Connor (Hull FC) Lachlan Coote (St Helens) Oliver Gildart (Wigan Warriors) Zak Hardaker (Wigan Warriors) Jackson Hastings (Salford Red Devils) Ryan Hall (Sydney Roosters) Chris Hill (Warrington Wolves) Josh Hodgson (Canberra Raiders) Jack Hughes (Warrington Wolves) Josh Jones (Salford Red Devils) Jonny Lomax (St Helens) Jermaine McGillvary (Huddersfield Giants) Joe Philbin (Warrington Wolves) Luke Thompson (St Helens) Jake Trueman (Castleford Tigers) Alex Walmsley (St Helens) Elliott Whitehead (Canberra Raiders) Gareth Widdop (St George Illawarra Dragons) George Williams (Wigan Warriors).

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