Kevin Sinfield has admitted that players from Australia and New Zealand who qualify to play for Great Britain, via their family heritage, will be considered for selection for this autumn’s tour of the southern hemisphere.
The likes of Lachlan Coote and Jackson Hastings have confirmed this season that they’d like to be in the mix, if they were playing well enough, and even Warrington superstar, Blake Austin could be under consideration, owing to his British heritage.
Sinfield also confirmed however, that while the RFL and those involved with Great Britain will not go out of their way to find ex-pat players who are eligible, they will consider anyone who both qualifies and has made it clear they wish to be involved.
When asked about Coote and Hastings, Sinfield said: “They will be on the list when it is drawn up. The fact that they have let it be known they’re interested is great, because we want people who want to wear the Great Britain shirt, no matter who they are.
“If they come forward and say they want to do their British heritage proud, we’ll consider them just as we would anyone born in Britain. Our sport looks upon it differently to other sports. Look at cricket, rugby union and football. People qualify for those sports from different countries now for a number of different reasons. I was fortunate to play alongside guys like Chris Heighington, Rangi Chase and Maurie Fa’asavalu who have all put their hands up and represented the England shirt, despite not having been born here.”
Sinfield continued: “It’s great to see non-English players performing well. The competition for the Great Britain squad is hotting up nicely, and we have said from the start that if you qualify you will be considered.
“The squad is going to be picked exclusively on form, in September or October, so if you qualify and you’re on top of your game, you’ve got a huge chance of touring. We are drawing up a list of players who qualify from all across the world, but we won’t be knocking on anyone’s door. They have got to come to us.
“We won’t devalue the Great Britain badge or brand, but if people make it known they would like to represent Great Britain, they will be considered. W are going there to win all four games, and we want a strong, committed squad.”