Jackson Hastings, Victor Radley, Campbell Graham, Blake Austin and Lachlan Coote are among the current and former NRL stars in line to play for the British Lions.
Jackson Hastings, Victor Radley, Campbell Graham, Blake Austin and Lachlan Coote are among the current and former NRL stars in line to play for the British Lions.

British Lions not too proud to poach Aussie talent

The Great Britain Lions - a combined rugby league team featuring players from England, Wales, Scotland and Ireland - are back after a 12-year hiatus, and they have their eyes on a slew of Australian talent to bolster their squad.

The Lions have games against New Zealand, Tonga and Papua New Guinea in October and November and team director Kevin Sinfield told The Sun the reformed side is set to seek talent from around the world.

Former North Queensland Cowboy star Lachlan Coote has established his bona fides having played three Tests for Scotland in the 2016 Four Nations tournament but Sinfield admits the door is open to other former NRL players now in the Super League.

Sinfield says the door is open for Blake Austin (Warrington) and Jackson Hastings (Salford), as well as NRL stars Victor Radley and Campbell Graham - if they come calling.

He said: "Lachlan and Jackson will be on the list of players when it's drawn up because everyone who qualifies will be.

"The fact they've made it known they're interested is great as we want people who want to wear the shirt, we don't want to devalue it.

 

Kevin Sinfield admits anyone who qualifies for Great Britain will go on the list for selection. Picture: Mark Robinson
Kevin Sinfield admits anyone who qualifies for Great Britain will go on the list for selection. Picture: Mark Robinson

 

"We've had a couple of players get in contact already and our sport looks on the issue differently to others. I was fortunate enough to play internationally alongside Maurie Fa'asavalu and Rangi Chase.

"People qualify for different countries for a number of different reasons. Chris Heighington hadn't been to England before 2011 and he was more English than I was!

"If you're qualified you'll be seriously considered. If you're on top of your game, you've a huge chance. We're drawing up a list of players around the world but won't be knocking down anyone's door.

"If someone really desperately wants to play, they qualify and their form is good enough, they'll certainly be in with a shout."

While England do not have a senior 13-a-side game this year, they will be at the inaugural Rugby League World Cup Nines competition in Australia on October 18 and 19 and coached by Wayne Bennett.

News Corp Australia


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