Australians playing for Great Britain “doesn’t sit right with me”, says Richie Mathers

Drew Darbyshire

Photo courtesy of Richard Long

Former international players Richie Mathers and Nick Fozzard have slammed Wayne Bennett’s decision to select Australian-born players in the Great Britain squad.

The 24-man squad for the Lions tour of the southern hemisphere was announced on Monday.

Australian-born players Lachlan Coote, Jackson Hastings and Blake Austin have been included. Coote qualifies to represent Great Britain through his Scottish grandmother, while Hastings and Austin have English grandmothers.

In response to the squad announcement, two-time England international Mathers tweeted: “It is nothing personal but I’m absolutely not having three Aussies representing the pinnacle of the game – a touring Great Britain side.

“They are three outstanding players but it does not sit right one bit.

“On a positive note, I love our forwards and I’m so happy for Joe Philbin.”

Former Great Britain international Fozzard tweeted: “It’s disgraceful and shouldn’t be allowed to happen.

“It’s weak management/governance again.”

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