Shaun Wane welcomes Stuart Pearce to the England World Cup camp

Stuart Pearce England PA

Former international footballer Stuart Pearce has linked up with England’s rugby league squad to help Shaun Wane’s side prepare for the World Cup knockout stages.

Pearce, known as “Psycho” for his physical approach during his playing career, addressed Wane’s 24-man squad at Wigan’s Robin Park arena ahead of Saturday’s final Group A clash with Greece at Sheffield’s Bramall Lane.

Wane also tapped into the knowledge of England manager Gareth Southgate on Wednesday morning as he looks to find the extra edge in his bid to end the country’s 50-year wait for World Cup success.

“Stuart is an impressive Englishman who is very passionate,” Wane said at his weekly press conference. “We’ve learned a lot from him.

“He presented to the group this morning and was really good. He spoke very highly about the camp and how we went about our session.

“We’re going to have other people coming in. It’s important players experience that, there are other ways of learning that will make us better at rugby league, listening to legends like him was very important.

“I spoke to Gareth (Southgate) this morning over text and invited him to the games. We’ve got other people who are going to come in and present jerseys.”

England learning lessons from Stuart Pearce

St Helens second rower Joe Batchelor, who will make his England debut on Saturday, said: “It was great to get someone of his experience.

“He’s got the knowledge of representing his country at the highest level, it was a really valuable morning for us.

“He’s a leader, that’s what he was known for. He gave us some lessons in that and on being part of a team in a major tournament.”

Wane has confirmed he will rest Elliott Whitehead and Sam Tomkins will be rested for Saturday’s match against Greece. George Williams will captain England in the absence of Tomkins.

Wigan youngster Kai Pearce-Paul gets a chance in the absence of centre Kallum Watkins, who is ruled out through the concussion protocols.

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