Seven Copeland ARL stars are set to head Down Under on a ground-breaking tour of New Zealand with England Community Lions.

Fran King is one of three Wath Brow players to be named in the 22-man England squad and he will also captain the side after the club topped the National Conference League this season.

He is joined by team-mates Curtis Teare and Karl Dixon, alongside Tony Burns of Kells and a trio from Egremont Rangers, Keiran Glenn, Tom Horner and Marcus O’Brien.

The Community Lions will play three games on what is their very first tour of New Zealand.

These will be against a North Island Select XIII on Thursday, October 24, the New Zealand Maoris in Rotorua on October 27 and a New Zealand Residents XIII on November 1.

Sky Sports hope to broadcast all three games live.

Rugby Football League international manager Alan Davidson said: “This is the first time the Community Lions have toured New Zealand and the players can’t wait to get there, test themselves against high-quality opposition and enjoy the whole touring experience.

“Those selected have made it through the most comprehensive, nationwide selection process we’ve ever had and for many this will be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. I’m confident that they will give the best possible account of themselves and the grassroots game.”

More than 80 players from 40 community clubs, including police, university and London regional clubs, took part in the Community Lions’ most comprehensive trials process yet.

Community Lions’ players will also attend two of the Great Britain Lions test matches, in addition to schools and community commitments.

Prior to travelling, squad members will be presented with their shirts by RFL chief executive Ralph Rimmer at the Betfred Women’s Super League Grand Final which takes place at St Helens’ Totally Wicked Stadium on Friday, October 11.

They will also attend the Betfred Super League Grand Final on the following day.

Head coach is Thatto Heath’s Richard Owen, who will be assisted by Richard Knight from Underbank.

The full squad is as follows.

Tony Burns (Kells), Karl Dixon (Wath Brow), Connor Dwyer (Thatto Heath), Gareth Gale (Featherstone Lions), Keiran Glen (Egremont Rangers), Danny Hirst (Underbank), Ben Heyes (Thatto Heath), Tom Horner (Egremont Rangers), David Kennedy (Orrell St James), Fran King (Wath Brow, Captain), Jack Lazenby (West Hull), Gareth Morgan (Saddleworth Rangers), Marcus O’Brien (Egremont Rangers), Gavin Rodden (Wigan St Judes), Danny Ryding (Wigan St Pats), Chris Siddons (Lock Lane, Vice-captain), Scott Spaven ( West Hull), Mike Stark (Thatto Heath), Curtis Teare (Wath Brow), Jamie Tracy (Thatto Heath), Freddie Walker (Siddal), Ryan Wilson (West Hull).