BRADFORD youngster Jake Trueman has been selected as part of a 29-man Great Britain Performance Squad that will meet for the first time next week, to begin the preparations for this autumn’s first Rugby League Lions tour since 2006.

The tour will see them play four Tests in New Zealand and Papua New Guinea, including one against Tonga, the first ever Test between the two sides.

Twenty-year-old Trueman, who first impressed at amateur rugby league side West Bowling, has shone so far in his burgeoning career, spending a year at Bradford Bulls before signing for Super League side Castleford Tigers.

He has become a first team regular at Cas, and won the Super League's Young Player of the Year award for 2018. He was called into the England Performance Squad for the first time this March.

Meanwhile, players from the NRL in Australia have not yet been selected for the squad, so there could still be places for Bradfordians like Elliot Whitehead and John Bateman.

Five players from outside the England Performance Squad have found their way into this original Great Britain one.

St Helens team-mates Lachlan Coote and Morgan Knowles, who have represented Scotland and Wales respectively, are joined by Warrington forward Joe Philbin, who played for Ireland in the 2017 World Cup, plus Salford’s Josh Jones and Ash Handley of Leeds.

A third Saint, Matty Lees, would have been a sixth newcomer to the squad, but he has been ruled out by injury – as have the Wakefield wing Tom Johnstone, and the Castleford half-back Luke Gale.

The squad will gather in Leeds on Tuesday week (September 10), and training sessions will then begin during the Super League play-off series in early October.

Great Britain Head Coach Wayne Bennett said: “As we’ve said since the return of the Great Britain team was announced at the start of the year, we have considered everyone who is eligible and puts themselves forward.

“As well as this Performance Squad of players based in England and France, we’ve got another group of players based in the NRL to consider – and there’s still time for others who are eligible to impress and force their way in.”

The final 24-man squad will be announced within 48 hours of the Betfred Super League Grand Final on October 12.

Great Britain’s first appearance on the international stage since 2007 will be a first ever Test against Tonga in Hamilton, New Zealand on Saturday, October 26.

That is followed by Tests against New Zealand on each of the next two Saturdays (at Auckland’s Eden Park on November 2, and Orangetheory Stadium in Christchurch on November 9), before Great Britain conclude the tour in Port Moresby on November 16, a first Test in Papua New Guinea since 1996.

All four Tests will be shown live on the BBC, with extended highlights later in the day.