Wayne Bennett Defends👀 English Majority in Great Britain Squad

  |   Rugby

Great Britain coach Wayne Bennett has defended his selection policy on the Lions tour of New Zealand and Papua New Guinea.

Speaking at a press conference in Port Moresby, the veteran Australian was also forced to explain his decision to fly Ash Handley 10,000 miles to join up with the Lions squad and not play him in the last match of the tour.

Although the Great Britain brand has been revived after an absence of 12 years, Bennett's 24-man squad is essentially English but he denied any bias against the other nations.

"That's not true," Bennett told the press conference. "The best players are here in the English competition.

"Lachlan Coote is Scottish and another of the boys Joe [Philbin] has played for Ireland and there's a couple of others [who were] due to come but got injured and couldn't come.

"We picked what we thought what the best team. Noe one looked at their nationalities. That's how it was picked. Obviously it's predominantly English but that's the way it's been for a long time."

Leeds winger Handley was called up late after Britain lost Ryan Hall and Oliver Gildart to injury inside the first two matches but has not been included in the squad for Saturday's match against the Kumuls.

"I wanted to bring him to Papua New Guinea, for some culture and experience," Bennett said.

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