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Big Al relishing Kiwi clash as Thompson returns to GB training

Saints prop Luke Thompson has returned to training with the Great Britain squad and is included in the 21-man squad for Saturday's second test against the Kiwis in Christchurch in a battle which Alex Walmsley insists they are "relishing".

Thompson has not featured since popping a rib cartilage in the first 15 minutes of the Tonga test in week one of the tour, but he has trained this week and will likely feature on Saturday.

He joins Jonny Lomax, Walmsley and the returning Lachlan Coote in Wayne Bennett’s 21 man squad ahead of the weekend’s encounter.

And Saturday is a match-up Walmsley insists he and his fellow Lions are looking forward to.

“We have had a couple of disappointing losses and let’s face it as competitive as we have been in those games, we have not taken our opportunities and we are sat here with two losses. We are frustrated a little bit because of that, but ultimately everyone remains positive and we know the areas we need to work on to hopefully flip those results into wins.

“We are looking forward to Saturday now and we are going up against the Kiwis again. We had a tough battle against them last week and we are looking forward to that battle and are relishing getting stuck into them again.

“They have got one up on us but we are really looking forward to hopefully equaling the scoreboard and getting a win back. They are a big side world class side but we know we have got the metal here to get the job done.”

The 21 man squad in full is:

1. Jonny Lomax (St Helens) 2. Jermaine McGillvary (Huddersfield Giants) 3. Jack Hughes (Warrington Wolves) 4. Jake Connor (Hull FC) 5. Zak Hardaker (Wigan Warriors) 6. Gareth Widdop (St George Illawarra Dragons) 7. Jackson Hastings (Salford Red Devils) 8. Chris Hill (Warrington Wolves) 9. Josh Hodgson (Canberra Raiders) 10. Tom Burgess (South Sydney Rabbitohs) 11. John Bateman (Canberra Raiders) 12. Elliott Whitehead (Canberra Raiders) 13. James Graham (c) (St George Illawarra Dragons) 14. Josh Jones (Salford Red Devils) 15. Joe Philbin (Warrington Wolves) 16. Daryl Clark (Warrington Wolves) 17. Alex Walmsley (St Helens) 18. Blake Austin (Warrington Wolves) 19. George Williams (Wigan Warriors) 20. Luke Thompson (St Helens) 21. Lachlan Coote (St Helens)

Saturday’s second test against New Zealand kicks off at 7am (UK Time) live on BBC.

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