Rugby League: Sampson given late opportunity

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DEAN SAMPSON will go straight into Great Britain's side to play Auckland on Wednesday night after his surprise call-up for the New Zealand leg of the tour, writes Dave Hadfield from Auckland.

The Castleford prop is a direct replacement for Neil Cowie, who was well on the way to recovery from his groin strain until he aggravated it by slipping in the bath.

It will be two weeks before he is fit to play. By then the tour will be over, but the decision to bring out a replacement player at this late stage is a mark of the seriousness with which the four remaining games are being treated.

'We would not normally have sent for a player at this stage,' the Great Britain tour manager, Maurice Lindsay, who intends to resign that position next season, said.

Formal confirmation that Great Britain will play Australia in the World Cup final at Wembley on 24 October came yesterday when New Zealand beat Papua New Guinea 66-10 here.