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Great Britain announce squad to play Kiwis
Great Britain head coach David Waite has started his preparations to face World Cup finalists New Zealand in November's three-Test series in this country by naming a 32-man training squad.
The door has, however, not been shut in the face of players who are not included in the training squad.
Waite said: "This is just the start of the process. Players who show the right level of form through the final stages of the season in both play- off and relegation games will be taken into consideration.
"Likewise, players in the squad whose form dips below the required standard could be replaced by players who show the level of commitment and form we want from Great Britain players"
The Great Britain management team will remain in contact with the players' clubs during the run up to the series and there will be at least two get-togethers for the squad before they go into camp.
The final squad selection will be delayed until all the players in the squad have finished their club commitments and, as the eventual Tetley's Super League Grand Final winners are due to play New Zealand on Friday, October 25, it is anticipated that the earliest possible moment for Waite to settle a final squad selection will be Saturday, October 26 although this date has yet to be confirmed.
Back in contention for Great Britain will be long-term injury victims Paul Anderson of Bradford Bulls and Adrian Morley of Sydney City Roosters while there are nominations for Wigan Warriors trio Paul Johnson, Kris Radlinksi and Andy Farrell as well as St Helens' back rower Tim Jonkers all of whom are currently ruled out of action with injury.
Having missed the trip to Sydney earlier this month there is a return to arms call for Wigan's long-serving centre Gary Connolly. Likewise Bradford Bulls' Leon Pryce is in the squad while scrum half Sean Long, having returned to the St Helens team after his hand injury, is one of three specialist halfbacks in the side along with Ryan Sheridan (Leeds Rhinos) and Paul Deacon (Bradford Bulls).
The full squad (in alphabetical order) is: Paul Anderson (Bradford Bulls), Gary Connolly (Wigan Warriors), Keiron Cunningham (St Helens), Paul Deacon (Bradford Bulls), Andy Farrell (Wigan Warriors), Stuart Fielden (Bradford Bulls), Mike Forshaw (Bradford Bulls), Lee Gilmour (Bradford Bulls), Martyn Gleeson (St Helens), David Hodgson (Wigan Warriors), Richard Horne (Hull FC), Paul Johnson (Wigan Warriors), Tim Jonkers (St Helens), Chris Joynt (St Helens), Paul King (Hull FC), Sean Long (St Helens), Barrie McDermott (Leeds Rhinos), Adrian Morley (Sydney City Roosters), Terry Newton (Wigan Warriors), Terry O'Connor (Wigan Warriors), Danny Orr (Castleford Tigers), Jamie Peacock (Bradford Bulls), Karl Pratt (Leeds Rhinos), Leon Pryce (Bradford Bulls), Kris Radlinski (Wigan Warriors), Paul Sculthorpe (St Helens), Keith Senior (Leeds Rhinos), Ryan Sheridan (Leeds Rhinos), Kevin Sinfield (Leeds Rhinos), John Stankevitch (St Helens), Paul Wellens (St Helens), Stephen Wild (Wigan Warriors).