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Great Britain set to face Tonga in New Zealand in first Test for 12 years

Great Britain are set to face a Tonga-lashing in their first Test in 12 years.

Two Tests against New Zealand will follow the Tonga game, with games against Fiji and Samoa sandwiched between in midweek.

Sources say Auckland and Wellington are likely to be venues for the games, which will all be in the Land of the Long White Cloud, but they are also looking at holding at least one match on the South Island.

After those five games, it is thought to be off to Papua New Guinea for one final game against the Kumuls.

Current England boss Wayne Bennett is set to be in charge of Great Britain, while many of the players who impressed in this year’s series against New Zealand are likely to be in Great Britain’s squad.

However, there will be no match against Australia after the Kangaroos and the NRL decided against hosting the Lions.

It is believed commercial concerns, not selling enough tickets, are behind the decision.

Australia will play in an Oceania Cup next year before heading to England for a three-Test series in 2020.

As a result, they will not take part in the new competition, which has been ratified by the Rugby League International Federation.

The Cook Islands will take their place while they are in the northern hemisphere.

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