Ex-St Helens man Jon Wilkin wants ban rescinded and warns England ahead of World Cup semi-final clash with Samoa

Sky Sports and BBC pundit Jon Wilkin has warned England ahead of their World Cup semi-final clash against Samoa.

England pumped Samoa 60-6 in the first game of the tournament at Newcastle United’s St James’ Park, but it is expected to be a wholly different tie on Saturday afternoon.

Samoa reached the semis having dispatched Tonga in a 20-18 win last weekend, but Wilkin believes that Samoa will be ready psychologically for a battle – especially having been dispatched so easily in round one.

“Let’s not forget how England dispatched Samoa in the first week of the tournament and you can’t help but think that this adds to the psychology of a semi-final against a team you pumped four weeks ago,” Wilkin said.

“I think that a big trap for England is expecting Samoa to play anywhere near that level, they’re mad because it just won’t be a game like that.”

Wilkin has also spoken of his desire to see the one-match ban handed to Junior Paulo to be rescinded.

“He’s such a big man, he’s so powerful, he leads from the front,” Wilkin said of Paulo.

“I think it should be overturned let him play, I’m contradicting myself because I always say they shouldn’t get overturned but yeah get him in there.”