MIKE McIlorum yesterday spoke of his delight after being given the green-light to face Wales on Saturday.
The Wigan hooker had been resigned to missing the match through suspension.
But, as the Evening Post exclusively revealed yesterday, England management asked for last Saturday’s match involving the England second-string side, the Knights, to count towards the ban – and the RFL disciplinary committee agreed.
McIlorum said: “I only found out when Steve (McNamara) said yesterday that I might be able to take part.
“I’m just glad to be able to play and that the ban’s all over with, it’s frustrating when you’re just training all the time. This series is a great opportunity for me, and hopefully I can show my qualities.”
Test coach McNamara yesterday denied doing anything untoward, insisting McIlorum would have figured for the Knights to get some game-time under his belt, having not played since being red-carded against St Helens on September 7 – the offence which earned him a three-game ban.
“I don’t think it’s jumping through a hoop. The rules are there,” said McNamara.
McIlorum added: “I was going to play for the Knights but I couldn’t – if I was banned this week too, it would feel like a four game ban – five if you include the fact I missed most of the Saints game!”