Samoa could be without captain Junior Paulo for England semi-final

Junior Paulo Samoa SWpix Credit: Alamy
Junior Paulo Samoa SWpix Credit: Alamy

Samoa could be without their captain Junior Paulo for Saturday’s World Cup semi-final against England after he was given a one-match ban.

The 28-year-old powerhouse was placed on report in their 20-18 quarter-final win over Tonga. He caught David Fifita in the face with his forearm as he carried the ball.

The RLWC2021’s match review panel have given Paulo a one-match penalty notice.

Paulo will appeal the one-match penalty notice on Tuesday evening at an independent judiciary tribunal.

Junior Paulo could miss semi-final

Speaking in his post-match conference after Sunday’s game, Paulo said he wasn’t really worried about picking up a ban after being put on report.

“I was quite surprised with the penalty in general and where it was with how long we had left,” Paulo said.

“Things are out of our control. We knew we just had to keep turning up and keep producing those little 1% efforts.”

Elsewhere, Paulo’s team-mate Joseph Suaalii has received a caution for raising his knees in a tackle. He will be free to face England in Saturday’s semi-final at the Emirates Stadium.

Nathan McAvoy, Paul Dixon, Phil Veivers and Jerome Guisset are on the RLWC2021’s match review panel.

No England have received penalty notices after their 46-6 win over Papua New Guinea at the DW Stadium. Speaking after the game on Saturday, England coach Shaun Wane said he will have all 24 players in his squad to choose from for the Samoa semi.

In the other semi-final, there are no players from Australia or New Zealand who have been suspended for Friday’s clash at Elland Road.

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