Lomax to start for GB as Coote and Thompson drop out

Jonny Lomax is expected to start at full back as his St.Helens teammate Lachlan Coote drops out and Luke Thompson is ruled out through injury as Wayne Bennett makes changes to his Great Britain Lions squad to face New Zealand on Saturday.

Two of the changes are enforced by injury with Oliver Gildart (shoulder) and Thompson (rib) both ruled out whilst full back Coote is replaced by Lomax who came off the bench in the defeat to Tonga.

Thompson injured his rib after just 12 minutes last weekend and will be assessed by the Great Britain medical staff ahead of hopefully making a re-appearance in the second tour match against New Zealand on Saturday 9 November.

Great Britain Assistant Coach Danny Ward is hopeful Thompson will feature again on tour, saying: “He’s a tough bloke and has had a fantastic year. He won’t want it to end like it did at the weekend.”

Jake Connor makes his return to the national side having featured in all four games for England against New Zealand in 2018 whilst South Sydney Rabbitohs front rower Tom Burgess is set to start this week having come off the bench in Saturday’s loss to Tonga Invitational XIII.

Warrington Wolves pair of Joe Philbin and Daryl Clark have been drafted into the squad to replace Coote and Thompson. Prop Philbin played in all three games for Ireland at the 2017 World Cup and has four caps in total for the Wolfhounds. He was part of the England Knights squad who toured Papua New Guinea in 2018.

Blake Austin and Jake Trueman come into the wider squad for selection this week having been outside for the 21 man squad for the clash with Tonga Invitational XIII. The squad will be further reduced to 19 on Friday at 5pm with a confirmed starting line-up named an hour before kick off on Saturday.

The 21 man Great Britain squad in full is:

1. Jonny Lomax (Orrell St James, St Helens)
2. Jermaine McGillvary (Deighton Juniors, Huddersfield Giants)
3. Zak Hardaker (Featherstone Lions, Wigan Warriors)
4. Jake Connor (Siddal, Hull FC)
5. Ryan Hall (Oulton Raiders, Sydney Roosters)
6. Gareth Widdop (Kings Cross, St George Illawarra Dragons)
7. Jackson Hastings (Western Suburbs Red Devils, Salford Red Devils)
8. Chris Hill (New Springs Lions, Warrington Wolves)
9. Josh Hodgson (East Hull, Canberra Raiders)
10. Tom Burgess (Dewsbury Moor, South Sydney Rabbitohs)
11. John Bateman (Bradford Dudley Hill, Canberra Raiders)
12. Elliott Whitehead (West Bowling, Canberra Raiders)
13. James Graham (c) (Thatto Heath, St George Illawarra Dragons)
14. Josh Jones (Blackbrook, Salford Red Devils)
15. Joe Philbin (Culcheth Eagles, Warrington Wolves)
16. Daryl Clark (Fryston Warriors, Warrington Wolves)
17. Alex Walmsley (Dewsbury Celtic, St Helens)
18. Jack Hughes (Golborne Parkside, Warrington Wolves)
19. George Williams (Wigan St Patricks, Wigan Warriors)
20. Jake Trueman (West Bowling, Castleford Tigers)
21. Blake Austin (Doonside Roos, Warrington Wolves)

Luke Thompson injury update

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