Great Britain Lions take on New Zealand in the first of two Tests on Saturday, hoping to bounce back from defeat to a Tonga Invitational XIII. It looks set to be a thrilling encounter and we take a look at the betting opportunities for the match.
Great Britain Lions v New Zealand Betting Odds
New Zealand to win @ 2/5 - BET NOW
It was 12 years since the GB shirt has been worn and it showed as they went down 14-6 to the Tongans last Saturday. The players had been representing their individual nations but are now back as one and must regroup for the challenge ahead. There was possibly some rustiness in the ranks for the tour opener and New Zealand will want to exploit any hangover from that loss.
The Kiwis were also beaten in their warm-up match with Australia, however, as Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad scored their only try in a 26-4 loss in Wollongong. Neither side will be full of confidence but home advantage must be key at Eden Park, and New Zealand should have enough to claim the spoils. The GB side will doubtless improve but I cannot see them being able to raise their game enough to get the job done.
Great Britain Lions v New Zealand Team News
Great Britain head coach Wayne Bennett is set to make some changes from the Tonga loss, a few of them enforced due to injury. St Helens prop Luke Thompson is unavailable after suffering a rib injury last time out and so Warrington's Joe Philbin should make his Lions debut. Oliver Gildart has a shoulder problem and misses out, while Lachlan Coote is replaced by St Helens team-mate Jonny Lomax.
Jake Connor comes back into contention after featuring in all four games for England against New Zealand in 2018. Front-row star Tom Burgess came off the bench against Tonga but has been tipped to land a starting berth.
There will also be changes to the Kiwis' side after their reverse to the Kangaroos, as half-back Kieran Foran returns after a couple of years in the wilderness to replace Shaun Johnson. Head coach Michael Maguire will start Zane Tetevano at prop, while back-rower Joseph Tapine returns after missing the Australia defeat.
Great Britain Lions v New Zealand Prediction
New Zealand to win by 6-10 points @ 4/1 - BET NOW
This is always a risky market but I do not see it being a wide open game with what has gone before. Neither side is top drawer at present and it may be the team that makes the least mistakes takes the opener. The tourists will lift themselves but a narrow win for the hosts seems on the cards.
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