AS Warrington prepares to host Papua New Guinea in the 2021 Rugby League World Cup, an interesting link is that the Kumuls' all-time record points scorer played for The Wire.

John Wilshere turned out for Warrington Wolves during the 2004 season, the first at The Halliwell Jones Stadium, when he crossed the whitewash five times in eight matches.

After arriving from St George Illawarra Dragons with high hopes, his campaign was hindered by injury problems and he ended up being released on medical grounds, but went on to continue his career in England with rival clubs.

The winger or full-back remains a legend in Papua New Guinea, where he was born in 1978, having not only racked up stacks of points and appearances but skippered his country during the 2008 Rugby League World Cup in Australia.

Wilshere, one of only two Papua New Guinean internationals to have played for Warrington, kicked three goals in the Kumuls' opening match of that tournament against Tony Smith's England side on a day when PNG gained a lot of respect as an international team for having led at half time and only narrowly losing 32-22.

Wilshere's record points haul of 104 points for his country is made up of five tries and 42 goals.

The most points he scored in one match was 12, from six goals, in a 44-14 win against Tonga in the 2009 Pacific Cup competition.

He added five more goals against the Cook Islands a week later in the last of his 16 appearances for PNG, that number of caps being a joint record he holds with Paul Aiton and Stanley Gene – two other players to have plied their trade for spells on this side of the world.

Wilshere made his first-grade debut with Western Reds in the 1997 Australian Super League competition and then moved on to Melbourne Storm, where he played one NRL game in 1998.

He racked up a lot of points at the lower level for Norths Devils and Easts Tigers in the Queensland Cup before getting his NRL shot again with St George Illawarra Dragons in 2003.

That led to Paul Cullen bringing Wilshere to The Wire for 2004 with a reputation for being a deadly finisher and a menace under the high bomb.

He scored five tries in his first seven outings before breaking his cheekbone at London Broncos.

The injury sidelined him for six weeks and Wilshere then suffered knee ligament damage in his comeback game at home to St Helens.

The problem proved to be far more stubborn than the club had anticipated and he eventually had an operation near the end of the season after a cartilage tear was diagnosed.

After his time in Warrington, Wilshere enjoyed a brief spell with Leigh, before making 49 appearances for Salford between 2006 and 2009 – scoring 252 points in the process and celebrating a League One Grand Final win over Celtic Crusaders at The Halliwell Jones Stadium.

The only other PNG man to play for Warrington was Tom O'Reilly.

He figured in a number of reserve team games before being given his first-team chance.

O'Reilly, who made 34 first-grade appearances with Gold Coast in the late 1990s, made 16 appearances in primrose and blue, 15 of those coming in the infamous 2002 season headed by Steve Anderson that ended up being a year-long battle against relegation.

He played all of PNG's games in the 2000 World Cup, after having gained his first two caps in 1996 and 1997.

O'Reilly also played for Bramley, Oldham and Sheffield Eagles in England, while he was a try scorer for Pia in the 2003 French Cup Final.