Ash Handley receives Great Britain call-up

Drew Darbyshire

Great Britain have called up Leeds winger Ash Handley to their squad after Ryan Hall’s tour ended early due to a knee injury.

Handley, 23, made his international debut for England at the World Cup Nines last month. He will not be considered for Saturday’s test against New Zealand in Christchurch though – but could play against Papua New Guinea in Port Moresby for the last match of the Lions tour.

Meanwhile, injured duo Hall and Oliver Gildart have returned home early after suffering injuries in the opening two games against New Zealand and Tonga.

Players need to have injections three weeks prior to arriving in Papua New Guinea and Handley has had the required injections as he was part of the Great Britain Performance Squad.

Wales winger Regan Grace would not have been up for selection because he wasn’t in the Great Britain Performance Squad and, therefore, not had the injections.

Great Britain tour manager, Jamie Peacock, said: “We’ve been considering our options since losing Ryan Hall last weekend, and it makes sense for Ash to come out and join us in PNG.

“He had a good season with Leeds to earn his place in the Great Britain Performance Squad, which means he’s had all the necessary injections to come to PNG at short notice.

“He’s the sort of guy who will really appreciate and benefit from the experience of joining the senior squad, and he will add to our options in an area where our plans have been affected by injury.”

More on site

Adam Tangata returns to Wakefield

Scott Wheeldon re-joins Sheffield

Off the Record: Rugby League Rumours and Gossip #188

TV deal for French domestic comp, but nothing yet for Catalans; Pia go top of Elite 2

Lithuania head to Wales for first ever international