Why Wigan Warriors' Oliver Gildart isn't taking Great Britain spot for granted
Oliver Gildart will start against Tonga but is not taking his place in the Great Britain team for granted – despite being the only recognised centre in the squad!
The Lions launch their four-Test tour against the Tongans this Saturday.
With Mark Percival and Kallum Watkins missing out through injury, Gildart is the only specialist centre among the 24 players - though Hull FC’s versatile Jake Connor has spent the majority of this season in that role.
But Wigan full-back Zak Hardaker has been picked at centre for Saturday’s Test, ahead of Connor – and Wayne Bennett has previously used John Bateman in that position.
Indeed, Gildart’s own experience in the international fold has taught him to expect the unexpected.
He explained: “You can’t take it for granted.
“I wasn’t originally in the England squad last year, I only got picked late on when Sam Burgess pulled out and so there were three centres ahead of me – yet I ended up playing every game.
“So I’ll be working hard because you can’t take anything for granted.”