BARLA Great Britain International Manager Mick Turner has announced that John McMullen will be the captain of the Unison BARLA Great Britain Lions squad that embarks on their tour of the South Pacific on Tuesday 9th June and returns on Friday 3rd July.
John McMullen, a 27-year-old Community Sports Coach is a half back who plays his club rugby for Wigan St Judes. He has represented Lancashire County, and played for BARLA at 18’s, 21’s, 23’s and the BARLA Great Britain Open Age side. With that side he toured Australia in 2004, South Africa in 2007 and played against Morocco in France in 2007. He captained and played in last year’s home Test victory over the South Africa Rhinos.
The Lions will be playing five matches including four Test Matches during the tour whilst visiting Tonga, Samoa, and Fiji. All three national sides of these countries played in last years World Cup in Australia and the Lions will play a Test Match in Tonga, a Test Match in Samoa and Two Tests in Fiji They will play.
John McMullen sad: “This tops off the season for me as I been informed that I have also been selected as the BARLA Open Age Player of the Year. I have been involved with my club Wigan St Judes and we avoided relegation from the National Conference League Premier Division with a win in the last game of our season and also only two points off a play off position due to the closeness of the league. I also captained the BARLA Great Britain side which defeated the South Africa Rhinos at Hull KR’s ground last October and that was a proud moment for me.
“The squad for the Unison BARLA Great Britain Lions tour of the South Pacific has been working hard in the training sessions under the watchful eye of our head coach John Fieldhouse. He demands the highest standards and we all know what is expected of us and what to expect when we play our first game. John has played at the highest stage of the game representing his country and his record speaks for itself in a distinguished playing career.
“When I was told I would be captain of this Lions squad for the tour I was shocked and honoured at the same time. I know that I follow some great players who have captained their country previously. I have been on previous tours and I have that experience to know what to expect both on and off the playing field.
“My ambition is to lead the team through the tour unbeaten and I am sure that the quality is there in the squad to achieve that goal. We are aware we are playing against three countries that played in last years World Cup so we know the task that is in front of us and we know that we are representing our country. We hope that the whole family of rugby league will get behind us as well as the country as a whole.”
BARLA Great Britain International Manager Mick Turner said: “I must congratulate John McMullen on his appointment of captain of the Unison BARLA Great Britain Lions squad for the tour of the South Pacific. He is a great player, great motivator and has previously experience as tourist which is essential on a tour of this magnitude. We have an exciting youthful squad and John will be hands on working with the players coaching staff and management to ensure the success of the tour.”