St Helens pair Lachlan Coote and Morgan Knowles have been named in the Great Britain Performance squad for the first time as the Scotland and Wales internationals join three other new faces from outside of the England Elite Performance Squad.
29-year-old Coote has made three appearances for Scotland, all of which came in the 2016 Four Nations, while back-rower Knowles, 22, has made four appearances for the Welsh national team.
Super League’s top try scorer Ash Handley has been named in the squad and is in contention to travel to the Southern Hemisphere with the reformed Lions alongside his Leeds Rhinos teammate Stevie Ward who, despite missing the majority of the season through injury, has been included in the squad.
Salford Red Devil’s Hull FC-bound back-rower/centre Josh Jones has also been brought in for the first time, the 26-year-old having sufficiently impressed over the last two seasons for Ian Watson’s men.
The 29-strong squad – which doesn’t include any NRL-based players – will be whittled down to a group of twenty-four who will head to the Southern Hemisphere shortly after the Super League Grand Final.
GB Rugby League Elite Performance Squad:
Jake Trueman, Liam Watts, Sam Tomkins, Jermaine McGillvary, Jake Connor, Jamie Shaul, Scott Taylor, Ash Handley, Stevie Ward, Jonny Lomax, Tommy Makinson, Mark Percival, James Roby, Luke Thompson, Alex Walmsley, Morgan Knowles, Lachlan Coote, Josh Jones, Reece Lyne, Blake Austin, Josh Charnley, Daryl Clark, Chris Hill, Jack Hughes, Joe Philbin, Stefan Ratchford, Oliver Gildart, Sean O’Loughlin, George Williams