Junior Paulo free to play against England after successful appeal

Junior Paulo Samoa SWpix
Photo: Olly Hassell/SWpix

Samoa captain Junior Paulo has been cleared to play in Saturday’s semi-final against England after being successful in his challenge against his 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.

However, Paulo was successful in his challenge against the ban at an independent tribunal on Tuesday evening.

As a result, the Parramatta powerhouse will be available to play for Samoa in Saturday’s semi-final against England at the Emirates Stadium.

Tribunals are independent of the RLWC2021, made up of a legally qualified Chair and assisted by side members with relevant experience such as ex-professional players, coaches or match officials.

“RLWC2021 would like to thank the independent judiciary tribunal HHJ Sarah Wright, Wilf George and Lindsay Arnold,” a RLWC2021 statement read.

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

There are no players from Australia or New Zealand who are been suspended for Friday’s semi-final at Elland Road.

Junior Paulo proud of Samoan and Tongan communities

Samoa reached the semi-finals by edging past their Pacific neighbours Tonga 20-18 in a thrilling quarter-final in Warrington.

“Both teams can be proud of what they’ve achieved over the course of the tournament,” Paulo said after the game.

“We’re seeing both cultures celebrating, quite proudly, all over the world. I think that’s part of our job of being role models within our communities.

“We talk about inspiring the next generation all the time… You can definitely be proud and say that it’s heading in the right direction for us.”

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About Drew Darbyshire 8536 Articles
Love Rugby League Deputy Editor. Joined the site ahead of the 2017 World Cup and been a full-time reporter since 2018.

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