England suffering with a “couple” of injuries as St Helens star could play out of position to solve problem

Shaun Wane will later today confirm his England squad for the opener against Samoa on Saturday at St James’ Park but he has a couple of slight niggles to worry about.

Wane confirmed as such in his press conference this week: “There’s a couple of slight niggles with a couple of people that I need to sort out with the medical staff, nothing major at all. I just need to settle with my own selections.”

One of these is Mike McMeeken but Wane confirmed that he has been training this week and could feature in the vital game against Samoa, a threat to top spot in the group.

Wane said: “McMeeken has trained and if he does he has a chance of playing.”

In terms of options England have in that role, John Bateman is of course absent through suspension which leaves the door open for Kai Pearce-Paul and Joe Batchelor to play.

Wane also listed Morgan Knowles as an option which would see the 13 by trade play out of position: “We have Morgan Knowles, Kai Pearce-Paul and Joe Batchelor. We have a lot of options.”

Knowles was given the number 15 shirt yesterday with Victor Radley wearing 13 seemingly as the first choice loose-forward.

Meanwhile, Kallum Watkins, who has played second-row all year, was given the number three shirt as a centre and that is where Wane sees him: “I see him as a centre.”

He did note that he would have no issues playing him in the backrow but this seems unlikely.

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