WAYNE Bennett is ready to open the Great Britain door to Saints’ Scottish international full back Lachlan Coote.

The Lions are being reformed this year and Bennett, who will lead them on the end-of-season tour to New Zealand and Papua New Guinea.

“The England part is a bit foreign to me actually as it was always Great Britain,” said Bennett.

“I’m really pleased but more importantly the players are pleased.

“All the English-based players when we got together in Australia were elated about playing for Great Britain.

“In Australia, the Great Britain name is a household name in terms of the older people.

“People my age and younger than me certainly remember them all and what an impact they had on our country. It was something we used to look forward to every four years.”

On the subject of Coote and Warrington’s Blake Austin, "I have seen Lachlan play,” Bennett said of the former North Queensland full-back. “He was a tremendous player in Australia.

“I was sorry to see him leave Australia because I’ve always rated what he brought to a team.

“I see great talent in Blake that he hasn’t lived up to at times but he seems to be settled now and playing some wonderful football.

“If they’re eligible and want to come into the mix then that’s a decision we’ll have to make.

“I’m going to pick the best team I possibly can from what I’m allowed to pick.”

He also confirmed Saints assistant coach Paul Wellens will not be part of the national backroom staff this year after requesting time off this winter after a long run on international duty.