THE Britain Rugby League Lions squad have been evacuated from their Auckland base after a fire at the neighbouring SkyCity Convention Centre.

The centre of Auckland has been covered by smoke from the fire and the team have been moved to Hamilton a day earlier than had been planned ahead of Saturday’s first Test of the tour against the Tonga Invitational XIII in Hamilton.

The squad, featuring four saints - Lachlan Coote, Jonny Lomax, Alex Walmsley and Luke Thompson - had been on a day off on Tuesday and left Auckland at 5pm for Hamilton.

The team were due to train on Wednesday in Auckland but will now train in Hamilton to ensure preparations can continue for Saturday’s game.