Great Britain squad forced to move base ahead of schedule due to Auckland fire

The Great Britain 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 planned to prepare for Saturday’s first Test of the tour against the Tonga Invitational XIII at the Waikato Stadium.

The players, who had been on a day off on Tuesday, left Auckland at 5pm local time to make the 69-mile trip south to Hamilton.

A spokesman said: “It all happened very quickly. Within an hour of being told to pack their bags we were on the coach out of Auckland.”

The team were due to train in Auckland on Wednesday before making the trip but will now train in Hamilton instead and the announcement of a 21-man squad for Saturday’s game is likely to be postponed.

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