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Tonga name near-full strength side for first Test with Great Britain

Fresh from appearing in the Super League grand final, Salford five-eighth Tui Lolohea will line up against Great Britain for Tonga in Hamilton on Saturday.

Lolohea, who enjoyed a new lease of life following his mid-season move from Leeds, was a key member of the Tongan team that reached the 2017 World Cup semi- finals and flew out to Auckland in June for the Test against New Zealand.

Kristian Woolf, who is delaying his arrival at St Helens after being restored as head coach, is able to field a virtual full-strength side for their first-ever match against the Lions, with Andrew Fifita, Ata Hingano and Michael Jennings available after missing the mid-season defeat by the Kiwis due to injury.

The side also includes Warrington second rower Ben Murdoch-Masila and Hull's new signing Manu Ma'u but Leeds centre Konrad Hurrell is set to miss out.

The team is called a Tonga Invitational XIII because of a legal dispute with the old Tonga Rugby League but the game has been given official Test match status by the International Rugby League.

Tonga Invitational XIII:

Will Hopoate, David Fusitu'a, Michael Jennings, Kotoni Staggs, Daniel Tupou, Tui Lolohea, Ata Hingano, Andrew Fifita, Siliva Havili, Sio Siua Taukeiaho, Ben Murdoch-Masila, Manu Ma'u, Jason Taumalolo. Interchange (from): Sione Katoa, Addin Fonua-Blake, John Asiata, Sitili Tupouniua, Junior Tatola, Konrad Hurrell, Fanitesi Niu.

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