Paulo cleared to play in Samoa semi-final

Samoa captain Junior Paulo has successfully overturned his one-game ban for striking Tonga forward David Fifita, clearing the way for him to play in his country's semi-final against England.

Paulo was facing the prospect of being rubbed out of Saturday's (Sunday AEDT) game against the tournament hosts after his elbow made contact with Fifita's face during his side's 20-18 win over Tonga.

The Rugby League World Cup match review committee hit Paulo with a grade A suspension, which resulted in him missing one game.

Paulo took his fight to the World Cup's independent judiciary and was able to successfully overturn the charge, allowing him to play in the semi-final at the Emirates Stadium in London.

The Parramatta forward became the first player at this tournament to get a charge thrown out after a hearing involving Sarah Wright, Wilf George and Lindsay Arnold.

Speaking before the hearing Samoa defence coach Lee Radford said: It's got huge implications. Junior has been fantastic. He's a genuine leader of men and to have him out there is important."