JONNY Lomax will replace his Saints teammate Lachlan Coote at full-back when Great Britain face New Zealand in Auckland on Saturday morning.

Most of Lomax’s club rugby has been spent in the halves for the past two seasons but he is looking forward to returning to a role in which he has played a huge chunk of his career – including helping England win the Baskerville Shield over three Tests against the Kiwis last year.

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He finished the opening Lions defeat to a Tonga Invitational XIII in the position, too, after starting on the bench and added some spark in attack, but his starting call against the Kiwis means Coote misses out completely.

“It’s a dream come true really,” said the 29-year-old.

“It was an honour to put on the shirt last week and it’s something you dream of as a young lad.

“To have the chance to start this week is a huge honour for myself and a privilege.

“Anytime you get to pull on a Great Britain shirt is a huge honour.

“It’s an exciting time and something you want to do justice.”

Having faced the Kiwis four times last year, including the one-off Test in Denver, he knows what’s coming from the hosts as well as anybody.

“It’s an exciting proposition and challenge that we go forward into,” he said.

“We’ll try and resurrect a few things from last week.

“We weren’t a million miles off. Big games are won and lost by small margins and they’re some of the areas we’re going to have to try and clean up.

“Everyone knows New Zealand are a quality side and have threats all over the field.

“On their day they are an incredible side and we’re going to have to do our best to try and nullify that.”

Scrum-half Shaun Johnson has been a thorn in the side of England many times but the Kiwis have left him out of their squad for this first of two Tests.

“The threats that they pose enables them to leave someone out of the side of that quality and it just shows how good they are,” said Lomax.

“You go into every game wanting to win.

“This is what this side will do, put in the best performance to give us a chance of winning.”

Lomax’s Saints teammate Alex Walmsley is expected to start on the bench as per last week.

Luke Thompson lasted only 12 minutes of the Tonga game and first fears were that the rib injury sustained would put an end to his tour.

However, GB medical chiefs are hopeful that the Saints front rower will be available again for selection before the tour ends in Papua New Guinea on November 16.

Confirmed 19-man squads:

New Zealand 19: R Tuivasa-Sheck (NZ Warriors); K Maumalo (NZ Warriors), C Nicoll-Klokstad (Canberra), J Manu (Sydney Roosters), J Isaako (Brisbane); K Foran (Canterbury Bulldogs), B Marshall (Wests Tigers, capt); Z Tetevano (Sydney Roosters), B Smith (Melbourne), J Waerea-Hargreaves (Sydney Roosters), B Nikora (Cronulla), K Bromwich (Melbourne), J Tapine (Canberra).

Replacements: J Hughes (Melbourne), C Harawira-Naera (Canterbury Bulldogs), L Ah Mau (NZ Warriors), A Blair (NZ Warriors).

Great Britain 19: J Lomax (St Helens); J McGillvary (Huddersfield), Z Hardaker (Wigan), J Connor (Hull), R Hall (Sydney Roosters); G Widdop (St George Illawarra), J Hastings (Salford); C Hill (Warrington), J Hodgson (Canberra), T Burgess (Sydney Roosters), J Bateman (Canberra), E Whitehead (Canberra), J Graham (St George Illawarrra (capt).

Replacements: J Jones (Salford), J Philbin (Warrington), D Clark (Warrington), A Walmsley (St Helens).