Great Britain disadvantaged by not having mid-season test

Drew Darbyshire

Tom Burgess says it wasn’t ideal preparation that Great Britain didn’t have a mid-season test this year.

The Lions fell short to a 14-6 defeat against Tonga in their first match of their tour of New Zealand and Papua New Guinea this autumn.

Great Britain didn’t have any mid-season internationals this year, while their Tongan counterparts played New Zealand in the Oceania Cup back in June.

Burgess said: “We’ve got to look at where we can improve. We matched them on effort, we’ve just got to tidy a few things up and execute a little bit better.

“Tonga played well and fair play to them. It’s good to see them up there competing with the top tier teams but we need to have a look this week and see where we can get better.

“We’ve got quite a few players coming in who are new to the team. We didn’t have a mid-season test so it has been 12 months since we’ve been together.

“We need to have a good week’s training and look forward to New Zealand.”

The Lions take on New Zealand in Auckland on Saturday, 4am kick-off (GMT).

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