Great Britain missed a trick in not appointing Daryl Powell, says Brian Carney

Great Britain didn’t re-establish the Lions brand by appointing Wayne Bennett as coach, according to Sky Sports presenter Brian Carney.

The Lions are currently on a four-match Test tour of New Zealand and Papua New Guinea, with them losing to Tonga in their opening game last weekend.

Great Britain are back for the first time in 12 years – but Carney feels the Lions identity is slightly lost due to the fact that people refer to the clubs of the players, rather than the countries they have previously represented.

Carney wants Lachlan Coote and Joe Philbin to be referred to as the Scotland and Ireland representatives, rather than the St Helens and Warrington players, so it would give more of an international feel to the squad.

And he believes Great Britain officials missed an opportunity in not appointing a different coach, with them opting to have England head coach Wayne Bennett lead the Lions.

Writing in his column for Sky Sports, Carney revealed: “It shouldn’t be Joe Philbin going into camp and seeing Jonny Lomax and Lachlan Coote as just from St Helens.

“When the international game has its house in order, it will be Irish representative Philbin going into camp seeing Coote from Scotland and Lomax from England.

“That’s hugely important, otherwise – Coote and Philbin notwithstanding – you’re essentially playing with the English side. If it’s just England in another badge then I don’t think we’re going to make much significant progress.

“They missed a huge trick with just rolling England head coach Wayne Bennett in as well, when I would have plumped for a candidate like Daryl Powell.

“There was an opportunity to re-establish the brand and give it some clarity, and they didn’t do that. You can see that because it manifests itself in the way people refer to the squad.”


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