Injuries rule Kallum Watkins, Stevie Ward and Sam Burgess out of GB tour squad
FORMER LEEDS Rhinos captain Kallum Watkins has been ruled out of contention for Great Britain’s four-match tour of New Zealand and Papua New Guinea.
And Rugby Football League rugby director Kevin Sinfield confirmed Rhinos’ Stevie Ward, who was left out of a training squad announced last week, is also unavailable owing to injury.
Watkins, who joined Gold Coast Titans in June, has a rib problem.
Ward suffered hamstring damage in Leeds’s final game of the Betfred Super League season, against Warrington Wolves last month, in only his second comeback match following a long-term knee injury.
“It’s disappointing to lose players and they are all gutted to be out of contention for the tour,” said Sinfield who has chaired the Great Britain selection panel.
“The reaction we’ve had from all players is overwhelmingly positive about the return of GB and that was the case for Kallum, Stevie and especially Sam, as he’s one of the few guys in contention to have played for Great Britain previously.
“But injuries happen, they test your strength in depth and they provide opportunities to others. We’ll still have plenty of quality and experience in our squad when it’s announced next week.”
Selection will be finalised after Saturday’s Super League Grand Final and Great Britain will name a 24-man squad two days later.