Great Britain: 2019 tour to include Tests against New Zealand, Tonga and Papua New Guinea

Great Britain during the 2006 Tri-Nations
Great Britain last played in the southern hemisphere during the 2006 Tri-Nations

Great Britain will play Test matches against New Zealand, Tonga and Papua New Guinea during their 2019 tour of the southern hemisphere.

It will be the Lions' first tour since 2006, having been disbanded after the 2007 home series against New Zealand.

After three months of talks, it was confirmed that GB will not face Fiji, Samoa or World Cup winners Australia.

"It's a shame we're not going to Australia," said Kevin Sinfield, the Rugby Football League's rugby director.

The team will be led by veteran Australian coach Wayne Bennett, who has been England coach since 2016.

"It's an honour to be involved in the revival of the Great Britain team," he said.

"I've coached against them in the past with Australia, and wherever you're from in the world of rugby league, that Great Britain jersey is a famous one."

The Rugby League International Federation announced in May 2017 that the Lions would tour again in 2019 as part of their new four-year cycle, which includes the 2021 men's and women's World Cups in England.

Australia proposed to tour the UK in 2019 but it was agreed last July that they would travel in 2020, with New Zealand visiting the UK in 2018 and 2022.

Since 2007, England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland have played under their own banners, and England will continue to do so for World Cups and incoming tours.

Great Britain fixtures

  • 26 Oct: Tonga v Great Britain, Waikato Stadium, Hamilton
  • 2 Nov: New Zealand v Great Britain, Eden Park, Auckland
  • 9 Nov: New Zealand v Great Britain, Christchurch Stadium
  • 16 Nov: Papua New Guinea v Great Britain, Port Moresby

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