Why Leeds Rhinos star could still play for England today despite not being picked in Shaun Wane’s 17

Shaun Wane has named his team for England’s last game of the group stage in the rugby league world cup.

He’s made a surprise call in naming Tommy Makinson at fullback instead of Jack Welsby with skipper Sam Tomkins rested.

Welsby instead starts at centre alongside Kai Pearce-Paul with Herbie Farnworth rested and Kallum Watkins recovering from a head knock.

This leaves Dom Young and Ryan Hall on the wings.

In Tomkins’ absence, George Williams skippers the side from the halves alongside Marc Sneyd. Sneyd is joined in the team by Salford Red Devils teammate Andy Ackers at nine.

Matty Lees and Mike Cooper start at prop with usual starters Chris Hill and Tom Burgess on the bench which means there is no space for Mikolaj Oledzki left out as Mike McMeeken and Morgan Knowles complete the bench with John Bateman, debutant Joe Batchelor and Victor Radley the back three of the scrum.

So, Oledzki and Luke Thompson are the players in the initial 19-man squad who miss out.

However, Oledzki could yet play having been named the 18th man with the World Cup incorporating the NRL’s 18th man rule which allows a fifth substitute to come onto the field should a team suffer three head injuries.

Ireland came close to this last night with the likes of Dan Norman withdrawn and failing his Head Injury Assessment.

So, should England cop some bad luck with head injuries, Leeds star Mikolaj Oledzki could yet feature.

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