Ruthless Smith calls up Clarke for debut

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The Independent Online

The Great Britain coach, Tony Smith, said he would not be afraid to change a winning side and has proved as good as his word by giving a first cap to Warrington's Jon Clarke for tomorrow's second Test against New Zealand.

The 28-year-old hooker comes into the side in place of Terry Newton, who is unceremoniously dropped. "He's been in good form this season in a team that has sometimes lacked consistency," said Smith of his newcomer. "It's a bit of a tough call on Terry, but he would probably admit himself that he hasn't been happy with his own form."

Smith will also be without his other hooker from last week because James Roby has been given time off to be with his partner, who has just given birth to the couple's first child. His St Helens team-mate, Jon Wilkin, is also left out and Kevin Sinfield, who missed the last Test through illness, starts at loose-forward, with Danny McGuire coming in on the bench. There is a reshuffle in the forwards, with Jamie Peacock moving up to prop and Sean O'Loughlin to second row, with Sam Burgess on the bench.

New Zealand have been forced into two changes through injury, with Clinton Toopi coming into the centre and Shontayne Hape moving to the wing for Tame Tupou and David Faiumu replacing Epi Lauaki among the substitutes.

Leeds have given a new one-year contract to their young loose forward, Carl Ablett, thus completing their first-team squad for next season.

Mick Cassidy of Widnes and Paul Prescott of Wigan are in the running for places in the Irish pack as they try to claim a place in the World Cup against Lebanon at Dewsbury tonight.

Wales have Mark Lennon, Damien Gibson and Aaron Summers undergoing treatment as they prepare for their qualifier against Scotland this Sunday.

Great Britain (v New Zealand, KC Stadium, Hull, tomorrow): P Wellens (St Helens), A Gardner (St Helens), K Senior (Leeds), M Gleeson (Warrington), G Raynor (Hull); L Pryce (St Helens), R Burrow (Leeds), A Morley (Warrington), J Clarke (Warrington), J Peacock (Leeds, capt), G Ellis (Leeds), S O'Loughlin (Wigan), K Sinfield (Leeds). Substitutes: M Fa'asavalu (St Helens), J Graham (St Helens), S Burgess (Bradford), D McGuire (Leeds).

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