Tonga Invitational XIII v Great Britain Rugby League Lions (Sat)

James Graham listens to coach Wayne Bennett
James Graham has won 44 England caps and five caps for the Great Britain Lions
Great Britain Rugby League Lions 2019
Venue: Waikato Stadium, Hamilton Date: Saturday, 26 October Kick-off: 08:00 BST Coverage: Live on BBC Two (07:30-10:30 BST), highlights on BBC One 13:15-14:30 BST (repeat 17:30-21:15 BST - BBC Red Button)

Great Britain Rugby League Lions' prop James Graham will win his 50th international cap as they face a Tonga Invitational side in Hamilton, in their first tour match since 2007.

Australia-born pair Lachlan Coote and Jackson Hastings are set to start at full-back and scrum-half respectively.

Zak Hardaker is set to start at centre, with Jake Trueman, Blake Austin and Joe Philbin left out of the 21-man squad.

The match is the first of four Tests on the Lions' four-week tour.

Coach Wayne Bennett's squad announcement was delayed after Great Britain were forced to leave their Auckland base because of a serious fire near their hotel.

St George Illawarra prop Graham, 34, will become the fourth British player to win a half-century of caps and the eighth recipient of a Golden Cap, awarded by the Rugby League International Federation.

He is the only survivor from the Lions' last series, which ended in a 3-0 whitewash of New Zealand in 2007.

Tonga have included Salford stand-off Tui Lolohea, Warrington forward Ben Murdoch-Masila, Leeds centre Konrad Hurrell and Hull-bound enforcer Manu Ma'u in their initial squad, as well as 2016 Dally M medal winner Jason Taumalolo.

Disagreement between the island's rugby league governing body and the players led to their suspension by the International Rugby League federation.

The new organisation in association with the Tongan government also secured the return of new St Helens boss Kristian Woolf as coach after he had previously been released.

Both sides must reduce their squad to 19 on Friday morning (08:00 BST) - 24 hours before kick-off.

The Lions will go onto play two Tests against New Zealand, before moving on to Port Moresby to face Papua New Guinea.

Great Britain Lions (from): Coote, McGillvary, Hardaker, Gildart, Hall, Widdop, Hastings, Hill, Hodgson, Thompson, Bateman, Whitehead, Graham, Jones, Burgess, Lomax, Walmsley, Connor, Hughes, Williams, Clark.

Tonga Invitational XIII: Hopoate, Fusitu'a, Jennings, Staggs, Tupou, Lolohea, Hingano, Fifita, Havili, Taukeiaho (co-capt), Murdoch-Masila, Ma'u, Taumalolo (co-capt).

Interchanges (from): Katoa, Fonua-Blake, Asiata, Tupouniua, Tatola, Hurrell, Niu.

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