Wigan Warriors star could yet play for England against Samoa this afternoon

Rugby League is a funny old game. It is one of the rare sports where there isn’t a standardised set of rules for every competition with the NRL and Super League having slightly different rules.

For instance, in the NRL a drop goal from outside the 40 metre line is worth two points instead of the conventional one.

Meanwhile, ruck infringements early in the tackle count in the opposition half don’t yield a set restart as in Super League and at other instances on the pitch and instead leads to a penalty.

Neither of these NRL rules have made it into the tournament but two that have are the captain’s challenge and the 18th man.

The 18th man rule allows teams to name an 18th player in their squad in the event that the team loses three players to head injuries and concussions.

This means that someone outside the 17 named by England could yet play today and the man in question is Wigan Warriors youngster Kai Pearce-Paul.

Capable of playing second-row or centre, he has shone for Wigan over the last few years and has a killer offload game and his World Cup debut could still happen in the event of injury.

Samoa’s 18th man is Chanel Harris-Tavita.

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