Rugby League: Papua New Guinea beat GB Lions in ‘historic’ comeback

Warrington prop Chris Hill is proud of making his Great Britain Lions debut in 2019 despite disappointing results during the southern hemisphere tour.

Hill was part of a Lions squad that lost all four Tests – against Tonga, twice against New Zealand and then against Papua New Guinea.

The 32-year-old co-captain is focusing on the positives from the trip, rather than feeling down about the outcome.

“The results weren’t there,” the Wire captain told BBC Sport.

“But as an experience – going to Papua New Guinea and seeing how their culture is – I’ll always hold that very highly.

“It was something I’ve always wanted to do – play for Great Britain and especially down under.”

Chris Hill signed autographs for schoolkids in rugby league-mad Papua New Guinea, another example of the adoration the players received on the Great Britain tour

Last year’s tour was the first by a Great Britain side since Brian Noble’s Tri-Nations contestants in 2006, and the first outing of the famous red and blue chevron since a home series whitewash of New Zealand in 2007.

Much of the public opinion surrounding the Lions in the aftermath of the 2019 incarnation was negative given the early kick-off times, lack of exposure and string of losses.

“It was something I was really proud of doing, I’ll never say I’m not,” Hill added. “I’m always ready to pull on the international jersey, whether it’s England or even more so Great Britain.

“It’s something I’m always inspired to do since I watched Moz [Adrian Morley] and JP [Jamie Peacock] in the last tour many years ago.

“It could have gone either way against Tonga and New Zealand in both games we should have got a draw. But that’s the way rugby league is, it’s fine margins especially at international level.”

Hill impressed by Wolves recruitment

Hill’s England teammate Gareth Widdop has linked up with Warrington in 2020

Having lifted the Challenge Cup at Wembley in 2019, Warrington fell short in the race for the Super League title as they were beaten by Castleford in the first round of the play-offs elimination semi-final.

Their bid to go better in 2020 has been strengthened by the marquee signing of Gareth Widdop and some exciting lower-league talent such as Widnes centre Keanan Brand and Swinton’s free-scoring outside back Matty Ashton – who touched down 23 tries in 22 games last term.

“We’ve had a few come in, a few young ones who have been really impressive,” Hill said.

“Keanan will have a big future at Warrington, Anthony Gelling is back in Super League, which is really exciting, and there’s Gareth, who I’ve played with for England.

“We know what Gaz can do, he’s silky and guides us round the pitch and can pull something out of nothing.

“We’re looking good, but everyone is exactly the same.”


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