Date: Saturday 26th October 2019
Kick Off: 08:00
Venue: FMG Stadium (Hamilton)
TV: Live on BBC2
Radio: Live on BBC Radio and via the BBC Website
Tonga v Great Britain Lions
Tonga take on the re-formed Great Britain Lions and the great news for fans is that you can watch all of the action live on BBC2 early on Sunday morning.
Tonga have been one of the great stories of the international game over the last decade and who can forget that England v Tonga World Cup semi-final in front of a huge and passionate crowd.
Unfortunately, and as is always the case in Rugby League it seems, whenever something great happens to the sport, the sport tries to destroy it so everybody stays in their comfort zone.
That incompetence led to this match been called off just a couple of weeks ago and leaves the Tongans been called a Tonga Invitational XIII and therefore the match not having the same level of excitement than it really should have.
When you add the fact that this is a Britain side reformed at the request of nobody and you have a game that seemingly will be played in front of a small crowd instead of having the sold out signs put up once more.
That should play into the favour of Great Britain, which from a purely sporting point of view as an Brit, is a plus on the day but a huge negative long term.
Tonga’s big weaknesses have always been in the halves and that looks the same once more with Tuimoala Lolohea and Ata Hingano picked.
After doubts over the majority of big names heading into the game, Tonga are pretty much at full strength.
Great Britain have named a couple of surprise picks with Scotland’s Lachlan Coote getting the nod at full back. Gareth Widdop & Jackson Hastings get the half back roles whilst James Graham starts at loose forward.
With such a strange build up and with so many changes it is difficult to predict the outcome of this game in terms of winning margins but it should in the end be a comfortable win for Britain.
BG have extra quality throughout with only 2-3 Tongans likely to make the ions squad but they will paly with passion and that will keep things close for the opening 40-50 minutes. In the end the extra quality of Britain should shine through, especially in the creativity of both squads as whilst Tonga are strong in the forwards, there central spine continues to be there let down.
Score Prediction Great Britain Lions by 14