Austin to debut on the wing for GB

Blake Austin will make his Great Britain debut against New Zealand on the wing after being named as a replacement for Zak Hardaker, who has pulled out through injury.

Austin hasn’t featured on the tour thus far and has never being named on the wing in the professional arena, but has now been called in as cover after Hardaker picked up a shoulder injury this week.

Warrington’s Joe Philbin has also been ruled out, with Saints prop Luke Thompson now set to return early from a rib injury.

Despite his lack of experience in that position, Lions coach Wayne Bennett has little doubt Austin will step up to the mark.

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“Blake’s been wonderful, he’s accepted the challenge, wants to play and is keen as,” he told NRL.com’s Corey Rosser.

“He’s a football player, Blake is one of those guys that can play any position.

“I’m confident in him, he’s confident, the team is confident in him and he’s done everything right at training. It’s a good challenge, it’s not something I’m worried about.”

Elsewhere, the Kiwis have made a late change. With Kenny Bromwich expecting the imminent arrival of his second child, his place in the backrow has been taken by Corey Harawira-Naera, with Kevin Proctor set to get his first minutes on the bench.

Updated team lists:

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