Wigan Warriors forward John Bateman has been named in the England Knights squad for their two upcoming friendlies.
Bateman is currently awaiting the outcome of a disciplinary tribunal which could see him banned for between three and five matches, for a high tackle in Wigan’s Super League play-off semi-final defeat to Leeds Rhinos last week.
The Knights play two friendlies, against France B in Bordeaux on Saturday 1 October and Scotland in Edinburgh on Saturday 8 October.
Shaun Wane’s senior England side play only one warm-up before the World Cup, on Friday 7 October against Fiji in Salford, so Bateman’s selection for the Knights would run down an extra game of any ban received.
The likely controversial move would allow Bateman to participate earlier in the World Cup.
Paul Anderson has named 21 players in total for the Knights, including first call-ups for Deon Cross of Salford Red Devils and St Helens’ Jon Bennison.
England Knights squad: John Bateman (Wigan Warriors), Jon Bennison (St Helens), Deon Cross (Salford Red Devils), Matty English (Huddersfield Giants), Sam Halsall (Wigan Warriors), Ethan Havard (Wigan Warriors), Jordan Lane (Hull FC), Mikey Lewis (Hull KR), Jez Litten (Hull KR), Ellis Longstaff (Warrington Wolves), Matt Nicholson (Warrington Wolves), Oliver Partington (Wigan Warriors), Kai Pearce-Paul (Wigan Warriors), Will Pryce (Huddersfield Giants), Olly Russell (Huddersfield Giants), Morgan Smithies (Wigan Warriors), Josh Thewlis (Warrington Wolves), Liam Tindall (Leeds Rhinos), Owen Trout (Huddersfield Giants), Danny Walker (Warrington Wolves), Matt Whitley (Catalans Dragons)