Tonga Invitational XIII vs Great Britain – Test Match Preview & Prediction

THE FACTS

When is Tonga Invitational XIII vs Great Britain taking place? Saturday 26th October, 2019 – 08:00 (UK)

Where is Tonga Invitational XIII vs Great Britain taking place? Waikato Stadium, Hamilton

What is the expected weather for Tonga Invitational XIII vs Great Britain? 14c in sunny skies

What channel is Tonga Invitational XIII vs Great Britain on? BBC Two

Where can I stream Tonga Invitational XIII vs Great Britain? This game can be streamed online via the BBC Sport website and app

Where can I get tickets for Tonga Invitational XIII vs Great Britain? https://premier.ticketek.co.nz/shows/Show.aspx?sh=LIONTONG19

LAST MEETING
N/A

THE TEAM NEWS

TONGA INVITATIONAL XIII

  • Tonga will look to put their off-field dramas behind them as they select an Invitational XIII for this game with Great Britain because of issues with their board that had placed this fixture under threat.
  • The Tongans have avoided a disaster by being able to name their strongest team after their star players had threatened to boycott in the wake of head coach Kristian Woolf’s shock sacking but after overthrowing the old board, Woolf was reinstated.
  • That means that the likes of Jason Taumalolo and Andrew Fifita are available for selection and will lead a powerful pack that also includes Manu Ma’u and Siosiua Taukeiaho but it will be their halves pairing that will need to fire if they are to come out on top in this encounter.

GREAT BRITAIN

  • Great Britain will play their first tour match since 2007 as they head to New Zealand to face the Kiwis as well as this game with Tonga before wrapping their tour up with a game against Papua New Guinea.
  • Zak Hardaker looks set to play at centre for the Lions in this opening game after he was handed the #3 shirt whilst Jackson Hastings could be a controversial selection in the halves due to his Australian heritage.
  • Great Britain are without the services of the injured Sam Burgess but look to have a formidable pack even in his absence with Canberra Raiders trio Josh Hodgson, John Bateman and Elliott Whitehead all having big roles to play.

THE PREDICTION

Hamilton's Waikato Stadium will play host to the first Lions tour match in 12 years, with a Tongan Invitational XIII the opponents. They have named a strong side for this clash and will pose a big threat to Great Britain. What's more, with a huge crowd behind them the Tongans could sneak the win. This game could act as a big learning curve for the Lions as Wayne Bennett aims to find his best side before their two games against New Zealand but with lots of new combinations, it may take time to gel.

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