Refresh your memories of a fabulous 2013 Rugby League World Cup in England, Wales and France in our tournament image gallery above

This Is Lancashire:

Picture: NRLPhotos

14 nations, 334 players, 28 games, 37 days, 1 winner - but will it be the Kangaroos like in 2013 or will there be a new king of the world in 2017?

The 15th Rugby League World Cup, being staged in Australia, New Zealand and Papua New Guinea, started on October 27 in Melbourne and concludes with the final on December 2 in Brisbane.

England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales are all taking part.

Everyone's very excited for the tournament in Tonga!

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And in Papua New Guinea too after the trophy landed in Goroka!

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Watch for some great tries, smash hits, magical moments, a fantasia of colour and some memories to last a lifetime.

Here's our guide, compiled by Matt Turner and Mike Parsons, to what lies ahead:

POOLS (Rugby League International Federation rankings in brackets):

Pool A.

Australia (1), England (3), France (6), Lebanon (18).
Pool B.
New Zealand (2), Scotland (4), Tonga (11), Samoa (5).
Pool C.
Papua New Guinea (16), Wales (9), Ireland (8).
Pool D.
Fiji (7), USA (10), Italy (12).

FIXTURES AND TV (all times are UK time): Key - Kick off time, fixture, venue (live TV coverage in brackets).

Friday, October 27:

Australia 18 England 4, AAMI Park, Melbourne.

This Is Lancashire:

Josh Dugan with the final try for the Kangaroos. Picture: NRLPhotos

Saturday, October 28:

Papua New Guinea 50 Wales 6 at Oil Search National Stadium, Port Moresby

New Zealand 38 Samoa 8 at Mt Smart Stadium, Auckland

Fiji 58 USA 12 at 1300Smiles Stadium, Townsville

This Is Lancashire:

Fiji celebrating a try against USA. Picture: NRLPhotos

Sunday, October 29:

Ireland 36 Italy 12 at Barlow Park, Cairns

France 18 Lebanon 29 at GIO Stadium, Canberra

Scotland 4 Tonga 50 at Barlow Park, Cairns

This Is Lancashire:

Better sit down for this, it's so good. Tonga win easy against Scotland. Picture: NRLPhotos

Friday, November 3:

Australia 52 France 6 at GIO Stadium, Canberra

Saturday, November 4:

New Zealand 74 Scotland 6 at AMI Stadium, Christchurch

Samoa 18 Tonga 32 at FMG Stadium Waikaton, Hamilton

England 29 Lebanon10, Allianz Stadium, Sydney

Sunday, November 5:

Papua New Guinea 14 Ireland 6 at Oil Search National Stadium, Port Moresby

Italy 46 USA 0 at 1300Smiles Stadium, Townsville

Fiji 72 Wales 6 at 1300Smiles Stadium, Townsville

Friday, November 10:

Fiji 38 Italy 10 at GIO Stadium, Canberra

Saturday, November 11:

New Zealand 22 Tonga 28 at FMG Stadium Waikato, Hamilton

Samoa 14 Scotland 14 at Barlow Park, Cairns

Australia 34 Lebanon 0 at Allianz Stadium, Sydney

Sunday, November 12:

Papua New Guinea 64 USA 0 at Oil Search National Stadium, Port Moresby

Wales 6 Ireland 34 at nib Stadium, Perth

England 36 France 6 at nib Stadium, Perth

Friday, November 17:

Quarter Final 1: Australia 46 Samoa 0 at Darwin Stadium, Darwin.

Highlights: BBC2, 1pm.

Saturday, November 18:

6.30am, Quarter Final 2: New Zealand v Fiji, Wellington Regional Stadium, Wellington (Premier Sports, 6.15am).

4am, Quarter Final 3: Tonga v Lebanon, Christchurch Stadium, Christchurch (Premier Sports, 3.30am).

Highlights: BBC1, 1.15pm.

Sunday, November 19:

5am, Quarter Final 4: England v Papua New Guinea at Melbourne Rectangular Stadium, Melbourne (BBC2, 4.30am; Premier Sports 4.40am).

Highlights: BBC2, 2pm.

Friday, November 24: 9am, Semi Final 1: Australia v QF 3 Winner, Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane.

(BBC1, 8.30am (if selected); Premier Sports 8.30am).

Highlights: BBC2, 1pm.

Saturday, November 25:

5am, Semi Final 2: QF 2 Winner v QF 4 Winner, Mt. Smart Stadium, Auckland.

(BBC1, 4.30am (only if England progress); Premier Sports 4.30am).

Highlights: BBC1, 1.15pm.

Note: BBC will only televise one semi final, either the one featuring England or first choice if they are knocked out.

Saturday, December 2: 9am, World Cup Final, Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane.

(BBC1, 8.30am; Premier Sports 8.30am).

Highlights: BBC2, 6pm.

SQUADS:

Players have been drawn from the NRL, NSW Cup, Queensland Cup, Super League, English Championship and League One, Fiji National Rugby League, France's Elite One Championship, USARL, Lebanon Championship, Italian Serie A, All-Ireland League and local Canberra, Cairns, lllawarra, Newcastle and NSW Country Group 6, Group 7 South Coast and Group 20 competitions.

Pool A

AUSTRALIA.

Reagan Campbell-Gillard (Penrith Panthers), Will Chambers (Melbourne Storm), Boyd Cordner (Vice-Captain) (Sydney Roosters), Cooper Cronk (Melbourne Storm), Josh Dugan (St George Illawarra Dragons), Tyson Frizell (St George Illawarra Dragons), Dane Gagai (Newcastle Knights), Matt Gillett (Brisbane Broncos), Wade Graham (Cronulla Sharks), Valentine Holmes (Cronulla Sharks), Ben Hunt (Brisbane Broncos), Felise Kaufusi (Melbourne Storm), David Klemmer (Canterbury Bulldogs), Josh McGuire (Brisbane Broncos), James Maloney (Cronulla Sharks), Josh Mansour (Penrith Panthers), Jordan McLean (Melbourne Storm), Michael Morgan (North Queensland Cowboys), Cameron Munster (Melbourne Storm), Billy Slater (Melbourne Storm), Cameron Smith (Captain) (Melbourne Storm), Jake Trbojevic (Manly Sea Eagles), Tom Trbojevic (Manly Sea Eagles), Aaron Woods (Wests Tigers).

ONE TO WATCH: Billy Slater - Now fully recovered from the shoulder injury which threatened to derail his glittering career, Slater has returned with aplomb and has his sights set on one last World Cup. English fans were privileged to see the full-back at his brilliant best in 2013 as he helped Australia to the title. Now 34 years of age, he showed he has lost none of his pace and awareness when he played a key role in Melbourne Storm's NRL Grand Final victory over North Queensland, scoring a try and setting up another to win the Clive Churchill medal for man of the match in the Sydney showpiece. Despite younger pretenders to his throne such as James Tedesco snapping at his heels, Slater will be Mal Meninga's go-to guy at full-back.

This Is Lancashire:

Picture by Mike Boden

ENGLAND.

John Bateman (Wigan Warriors), Kevin Brown (Warrington Wolves), Sam Burgess (South Sydney Rabbitohs), Thomas Burgess (South Sydney Rabbitohs), Ben Currie (Warrington Wolves), Luke Gale (Castleford Tigers), James Graham (Canterbury Bulldogs), Ryan Hall (Leeds Rhinos), Chris Heighington (Cronulla Sharks), Chris Hill (Warrington Wolves), Josh Hodgson (Canberra Raiders), Jonny Lomax (St Helens), Jermaine McGillvary (Huddersfield Giants), Mike McMeeken (Castleford Tigers), Sean O’Loughlin (Captain) (Wigan Warriors), Mark Percival (St Helens), Stefan Ratchford (Warrington Wolves), James Roby (St Helens), Scott Taylor (Hull FC), Alex Walmsley (St Helens), Kallum Watkins (Leeds Rhinos), Elliott Whitehead (Canberra Raiders), Gareth Widdop (St George Illawarra Dragons), George Williams (Wigan Warriors).

ONE TO WATCH: Sam Burgess - After being the poster boy of England's home World Cup in 2013, Burgess has flown a lot more under the radar this year. He has had a busy four years since then, leading South Sydney to their first NRL Premiership for 43 years in 2014, playing the full Grand Final with a fractured cheekbone, before an ill-fated spell in rugby union in 2015. Burgess is back where he is happiest, playing rugby league with Souths, but comes into the World Cup on the back of an indifferent personal and collective season as the Rabbitohs failed to make the NRL play-offs. However, the 28-year-old will surely still be key to England's hopes of finally dethroning the old enemy Australia.

This Is Lancashire:

Picture by Mike Boden

FRANCE.

Bastien Ader (Toulouse Olympique), Olivier Arnaud (SO Avignon XIII), Lucas Albert (Catalans Dragons), Jason Baitieri (Catalans Dragons), William Barthau (London Broncos), Remy Marginet (Sheffield Eagles), Julian Bousquet (Catalans Dragons), Clement Boyer (Toulouse Olympique), Damien Cardace (FC Lezignan), Nabil Djalout (Catalans Dragons), Theo Fages (Captain, St Helens), John Boudebza (London Broncos), Benjamin Garcia (Catalans Dragons), Maxime Herold (XIII Limouxin), Benjamin Jullien (Warrington Wolves), Thibault Margalet (Catalans Dragons), Antoni Maria (Leigh Centurions), Ilias Bergal (Swinton Lions), Mark Keirallah (Toulouse Olympique), Romain Navarette (Wigan Warriors), Eloi Pelissier (Leigh Centurions), Mickael Rouch (XIII Limouxin), Fouad Yaha (Catalans Dragons), Lambert Belmas (Catalans Dragons).

ONE TO WATCH: Theo Fages - The French skipper has been known as a prodigious talent for years, prompting owner Marwan Koukash to demand a world-record fee for his services during his time at Salford. He did eventually leave for St Helens ahead of 2016 and, after an inconsistent start, is now finding his feet at the club. Still only 23 years of age, Fages has a long career ahead of him and his unpredictability with ball in hand makes him a force to be reckoned with.

This Is Lancashire:

Picture by Bernard Platt

LEBANON.

Robbie Farah (Captain, South Sydney Rabbitohs), Mitchell Moses (Vice-captain, Parramatta Eels), Danny Barakat (Wentworthville Magpies), Jamie Clark (Auburn Warriors), Adam Doueihi (South Sydney Rabbitohs), James Elias (West Newcastle), Ahmad Ellaz (Auburn Warriors), Nick Kassis (Blacktown Workers), Andrew Kazzi (Wests Tigers), Anthony Layoun (Parramatta Eels), Michael Lichaa (Canterbury Bulldogs), Mitchell Mamary (Wentworthville Magpies), Bilal Maarbani (Manly Sea Eagles), Abbas Miski (North Sydney Bears), Tim Mannah (Parramatta Eels), Ray Moujalli (Canterbury Bulldogs), Daniel Abou Sleiman (unattached), Travis Robinson (Newtown Jets), Chris Saab (Blacktown Workers), Raymond Sabat (Lycans FC), Jaleel Seve-Derbas (Wests Tigers), Elias Sukkar (Wentworthville Magpies), Alex Twal (Wests Tigers), Jason Wehbe (unattached).

ONE TO WATCH: Robbie Farah - After playing second fiddle to Australia skipper Cameron Smith, arguably the best hooker of the modern era for many years, Farah finally gets a chance to play centre stage. He will skipper Lebanon as they play in their first World Cup since 2000. Playing for Lebanon for the first time since 2002 will be another highlight in the storied career of Farah, who has two Dally M Hooker of the Year awards to his name as well as representative honours for Australia and New South Wales during his decorated spell at Wests Tigers.

This Is Lancashire:

Picture by Mike Boden

Pool B:

NEW ZEALAND.

Nelson Asofa-Solomona (Melbourne Storm), Gerard Beale (Cronulla Sharks), Adam Blair (Captain, Brisbane Broncos), Kenneath Bromwich (Melbourne Storm), Addin Fonua-Blake (Manly Sea Eagles), Peta Hiku (Warrington Wolves), Shaun Johnson (New Zealand Warriors), Thomas Leuluai (Wigan Warriors), Danny Levi (Newcastle Knights), Isaac Liu (Sydney Roosters), Simon Mannering (New Zealand Warriors), Te Maire Martin (North Queensland Cowboys), Jason Nightingale (St George Illawarra Dragons), Kodi Nikorima (Brisbane Broncos), Russell Packer (St George Illawarra Dragons), Jordan Rapana (Canberra Raiders), Brad Takairangi (Parramatta Eels), Joseph Tapine (Canberra Raiders), Martin Taupau (Manly Sea Eagles), Elijah Taylor (Wests Tigers), Roger Tuivasa-Sheck (New Zealand Warriors), Jared Waerea-Hargreaves (Sydney Roosters), Dallin Watene-Zelezniak (Penrith Panthers), Dean Whare (Penrith Panthers).

ONE TO WATCH.

Shaun Johnson - Embattled head coach David Kidwell may have been hit by several high-profile defections from his New Zealand squad, but his star half-back is fit and ready to go. Since being named the world's best player in 2014, having helped the Kiwis to a Four Nations title, Johnson has struggled with injuries but is now back at full fitness. As well as an impressive kicking game, Johnson's frighteningly quick footwork make him a dangerous running half, as England know all too well after his 80th-minute try in the 2013 semi final denied them a chance to contest a World Cup final on home soil. His presence alone is key for the Kiwis, for those players around him grow in confidence knowing he can turn a game on its head with one piece of magic.

This Is Lancashire:

Picture by SWpix

SAMOA.

Frank Pritchard (Captain, Parramatta Eels), Bunty Afoa (NZ Warriors), Leeson Ah Mau (St George Illawarra Dragons), Fa’amanu Brown (Cronulla Sharks), Herman Ese’ese (Brisbane Broncos), Pita Godinet (Manly Sea Eagles), Tim Lafai (St George Illawarra Dragons), Joseph Leilua (Canberra Raiders), Ricky Leutele (Cronulla Sharks), Sam Lisone (NZ Warriors), Jarome Luai (Penrith Panthers), Suaia Matagi (Parramatta Eels), Peter Mata’utia (Newcastle Knights), Ken Maumalo (NZ Warriors), Zane Musgrove (South Sydney Rabbitohs), Josh Papalii (Canberra Raiders), Joseph Paulo (Canberra Raiders), Junior Paulo (Cronulla Sharks), Ben Roberts (Castleford Tigers), Sam Tagataese (Cronulla Sharks), Jazz Tevaga (NZ Warriors), Young Tonumaipea (Melbourne Storm), Frank Winterstein (Manly Sea Eagles), Matthew Wright (Manly Sea Eagles).

ONE TO WATCH.

Joseph Leilua - To cut a long story short, you do not want to get in Joey Leilua's way. An incredibly devastating ball-runner, the 25-year-old was hailed as the best right centre in the NRL by Ricky Stuart, his coach at club side Canberra Raiders. Indeed, the Sydney-born powerhouse was considered by Australia coach Mal Meninga to fill the void at centre left by Greg Inglis in his side but instead, Leilua will continue to represent Samoa. England know all about Leilua as he scored a try against them in the mid-season Test in Sydney in May. He was a shining light for Toa Samoa four years ago, especially in the opening Group B game when he and his brothers in blue gave the mighty Kiwis a fright with a gutsy second-half fightback in Warrington.

This Is Lancashire:

Picture by Mike Boden

SCOTLAND.

Alex Walker (London Broncos), Andrew Bentley (Toulouse Olympique), Ben Hellewell (London Broncos), Ben Kavanagh (Hull KR), Brandan Wilkinson (Bradford Bulls), Callum Phillips (Workington Town), Dale Ferguson (Huddersfield Giants), Danny Addy (Hull KR), Danny Brough (Captain, Huddersfield Giants), David Scott (Batley Bulldogs), Frankie Mariano (Featherstone Rovers), James Bell (NZ Warriors), Jarred Anderson (Sydney Roosters), Johnny Walker (Darlington Point Roosters), Kane Bentley (Toulouse Olympique), Kieran Moran (Hull KR), Lachlan Stein (Penrith Panthers), Lewis Tierney (Wigan Warriors), Luke Douglas (St Helens), Matthew Russell (Warrington Wolves), Oscar Thomas (Bradford Bulls), Will Oakes (Hull KR), Sam Brooks (Featherstone Rovers), Shane Toal (Barrow Raiders).

This Is Lancashire:

Picture by SWpix

ONE TO WATCH.

Danny Brough - Scotland's captain is the most important cog in their machine. Playing at his third World Cup for the Bravehearts, it could have been so different in 2013 when, after a stellar season which saw him win the Man of Steel prize, Brough looked a certainty to be picked for the England squad. However, then-coach Steve McNamara overlooked him, firmly entrenching Brough's loyalty to Scotland. At 34 years of age, this could arguably be the Huddersfield man's last chance to display the metronomic kicking game so familiar to these shores on the world stage. He and his squad have a lot to live up to after the draw with New Zealand during last year's Four Nations in the UK.

TONGA.

Andrew Fifita (Cronulla Sharks), Mahe Fonua (Hull FC), David Fusitu’a (NZ Warriors), Siliva Havili (St George Illawarra Dragons), Ata Hingano (NZ Warriors), Will Hopoate (Captain, Canterbury Bulldogs), Konrad Hurrell (Gold Coast Titans), Michael Jennings (Parramatta Eels), Solomone Kata (NZ Warriors), Sione Katoa (Penrith Panthers), Samisoni Langi (Leigh Centurions), Tuimoala Lolohea (Wests Tigers), Sika Manu (Hull FC), Manu Ma'u (Parramatta Eels), Sam Moa (Catalans Dragons), Ben Murdoch Masila (Salford Red Devils), Joe Ofahengaue (Brisbane Broncos), Tevita Pangai jnr (Brisbane Broncos), Ukuma Ta'ai (Huddersfield Giants), Sio Siua Taukieaho (Sydney Roosters), Jason Taumalolo (North Queensland Cowboys), Peni Terepo (Parramatta Eels), Daniel Tupou (Sydney Roosters), Manu Vatuvei (Salford Red Devils).

ONE TO WATCH.

Jason Taumalolo - Arguably the most fearsome pack in the competition will be led by one of rugby league's biggest stars. Widely thought of as the best forward in the world, Taumalolo shocked everyone by leading a group of players to defect from New Zealand to Tonga, the country of his heritage whom he played for at the 2013 World Cup. After his Dally M Medal-winning season in 2016, the North Queensland Cowboys sensation arrives at the World Cup having become the first ever forward to run 5,000 metres in an NRL season, averaging just over 200m per game. His mere involvement in the squad has catapulted Tonga to among the tournament favourites. And red-cloaked fans have been enjoying a frenzy of street parades in honour and anticipation since the squad's announcement.

This Is Lancashire:

Picture by Mike Boden

Pool C.

PAPUA NEW GUINEA.

David Mead (Captain, Brisbane Broncos), Ase Boas (Vice-captain, PNG Hunters), Enoch Maki (PNG Hunters), Garry Lo (Sheffield Eagles), James Segeyaro (Cronulla Sharks), Justin Olam (Melbourne Storm/Sunshine Coast Falcons), Kato Ottio (Canberra Raiders), Kurt Baptiste (Canberra Raiders), Lachlan Lam (Sydney Roosters), Luke Page (Burleigh Bears), Moses Meninga (PNG Hunters), Nene MacDonald (St. George Illawarra Dragons), Nixon Put (PNG Hunters), Paul Aiton (Catalan Dragons), Rhyse Martin (Canterbury Bulldogs), Rod Griffin (Canterbury Bulldogs), Stanton Albert (PNG Hunters), Stargroth Amean (PNG Hunters), Thompson Teteh (Redcliffe Dolphins), Wartovo Puara Jnr (PNG Hunters), Wellington Albert (PNG Hunters), Watson Boas (PNG Hunters), Willie Minoga (PNG Hunters).

ONE TO WATCH.

Paul Aiton - Fresh from helping Catalans beat the drop in the Million Pound Game, Aiton heads back to home soil with the task of helping PNG delight a nation of rugby league fanatics. A vastly-experienced hooker, Aiton will help give a young, dynamic pack some direction, as we have seen on these shores in his spells with Wakefield and Leeds before moving to the south of France. For Aiton and the rest of the PNG team, being roared on by a large and passionate home crowd in Port Moresby in games against Wales, Ireland and the USA will be a career highlight.

This Is Lancashire:

Picture by Mike Boden

IRELAND.

Liam Finn (Captain, Wakefield Trinity), Scott Grix (Vice-captain, Wakefield Trinity), James Hasson (Wakefield Trinity), Kyle Amor (St Helens), Liam Kay (Toronto Wolfpack), Will Hope (Sheffield Eagles), Oliver Roberts (Huddersfield Giants), Ed Chamberlain (Widnes Vikings), George King (Warrington Wolves), Joe Keyes (Bradford Bulls), Joe Philbin (Warrington Wolves), Jack Higginson (Wigan Warriors), Anthony Mullally (Leeds Rhinos), Tyrone McCarthy (Salford Red Devils), Brad Singleton (Leeds Rhinos), Micky McIlorum (Wigan Warriors), Louie McCarthy-Scarsbrook (St Helens), Api Pewhairangi (London Broncos), Matty Hadden (Rochdale Hornets), Shannon McDonnell (Camden Rams), Michael Morgan (Canterbury Bulldogs), Casey Dunne (Athboy Longhorns), James Kelly (Sheffield Eagles), Alan McMahon (Waterford Vikings).

ONE TO WATCH.

Brad Singleton - In the absence of former Australia powerhouse Keith Galloway for much of 2017, Singleton stepped up to become a reliable starting prop for Leeds Rhinos in a season which ended in Grand Final glory. The Barrow-born forward started the Old Trafford victory over Castleford, the second time he has featured in a Grand Final-winning team. Singleton, a fierce competitor and full-on ball carrier, will be a key part of a pack which contains plenty of Super League experience. Samoa came up against him in a World Cup warm-up game in 2013 when Singleton was in the young England Knights side and picked a fight with man-mountain Mose Masoe!

This Is Lancashire:

Picture by Mike Boden

WALES.

Courtney Davies (Gloucestershire All Golds), Steve Parry (Gloucestershire All Golds), Chester Butler (Halifax), Danny Ansell (Hunslet), Sam Hopkins (Leigh Centurions), Michael Channing (London Broncos), Ben Evans (London Broncos), Dalton Grant (London Broncos), Elliot Kear (Vice-captain, London Broncos), Rhys Williams (London Broncos), Matty Barron (Newcastle Thunder), Joe Burke (Oldham Roughyeds), Gavin Bennion (Rochdale Hornets), Craig Kopczak (Captain, Salford Red Devils), Matty Fozard (Sheffield Eagles), Andrew Gay (South Wales Ironmen), Christiaan Roets (South Wales Ironmen), Regan Grace (St Helens), Morgan Knowles (St Helens), Ben Morris (St Helens), Rhodri Lloyd (Swinton Lions), Josh Ralph (Tweed Heads Seagulls), Phil Joseph (Vice-captain, Workington Town), Matty Seamark (Wynnum Manly Seagulls).

ONE TO WATCH.

Rhys Williams - If Wales are to make an impact on the tournament, they will need their all-time top try scorer to be in his best form. Williams, who started his career with Warrington, joins up with the national squad having had another productive year with London Broncos, helping them to second place in the Championship and a place in the Middle 8s. The Wrexham-born flyer now has more than 100 tries in his professional career, which has also encompassed spells at the likes of Castleford, Salford and Bradford as well as a stint Down Under with Central Queensland Capras.

This Is Lancashire:

Picture by Mike Boden

Pool D:

FIJI.

Kane Evans (Sydney Roosters), Salesi Faingaa (Parramatta Eels), Jarryd Hayne (Gold Coast Titans), Tui Kamikamica (Melbourne Storm/Sunshine Coast Falcons), Viliame Kikau (Penrith Panthers), Apisai Koroisau (Manly Sea Eagles), Joe Lovadua (St George Illawarra Dragons), Henry Raiwalui (Mounties), Taane Milne (St George lIlawarra Dragons), Sitiveni Moceidreke (South Sydney Rabbitohs/North Sydney Bears), Marcelo Montoya (Canterbury Bulldogs), Kevin Naiqama (Captain, Wests Tigers), Ben Nakubuwai (Gold Coast Titans/Tweed Heads Seagulls), Mikaele Ravalawa (Canberra Raiders), Junior Roqica (London Broncos), Jacob Saifiti (Newcastle Knights), Ashton Sims (Warrington Wolves), Korbin Sims (Brisbane Broncos), Pio Seci (Nabua Broncos), James Storer (Port Kembla Blacks), Akuila Uate (Manly-Sea Eagles), Eloni Vunakece (Sydney Roosters/ Wyong Roos), Suliasi Vunivalu (Melbourne Storm), Brayden Wiliame (Catalans Dragons).

ONE TO WATCH.

Akuila Uate - Akuila the Thriller is living up to his nickname again. A move to Manly, after languishing in the reserves at Newcastle Nights, has reignited the 30-year-old flying winger as he heads into his third World Cup for Fiji. Uate is a try machine, with 124 to his name from 185 NRL matches since his debut in the top flight in 2008. Over his career he has collected the Dally M Winger of the Year prize three times, and represented Australia, the Prime Minister's XIII, NRL All Stars, Country NSW and New South Wales as well as the country of his birth, Fiji, where he lived until the age of 15.

This Is Lancashire:

Picture by SWpix

ITALY.

Daniel Alvaro (Parramatta Eels), Mirco Bergamasco (Saluzzo Roosters), Nathan Brown (Parramatta Eels), Christophe Calegari (Palau XIII Broncos), Terry Campese (Queanbeyan Blues), Justin Castellaro (Northern Pride), Chris Centrone (Wyong Roos), Geole Cellurino (Saluzzo Roosters/Tully Tigers), Mason Cerruto (Penrith Panthers), Ryan Ghietti (Northern Pride), Gavin Hiscox (Central Qld Capras), Jack Johns (Newcastle Knights), Richard Lepori (Oldham Roughyeds), Josh Mantellato (Wyong Roos), Mark Minichiello (Captain, Hull FC), Nathan Milone (Wests Tigers), Joel Riethmuller (Northern Pride), Brendan Santi (Sydney Roosters/Wyong Roos), James Tedesco (Vice-captain, Wests Tigers), 20 Joel Tramontana (Canterbury Bulldogs), 21 Paul Vaughan (St George Illawarra Dragons), 22 Jayden Walker (Cronulla Sharks), 23 Colin Wilkie (Northern Pride), 24 Shannon Wakeman (Huddersfield Giants).

ONE TO WATCH.

James Tedesco - Point to prove after being overlooked by Australia coach Mal Meninga. This 24-year-old elusive runner, named at full-back in the Dally M team of the year in 2016, is on his way out of Wests Tigers after putting pen to paper on a four-year contract with Sydney Roosters from 2018 season. He featured at full-back in all three matches for New South Wales in this year's State of Origin series Down Under, crossing for a try in the opening 28-4 win at Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane. A former Australian Schoolboys international who has also represented the Australian Prime Minister's XIII.

This Is Lancashire:

USA.

Jonathan Taylor Alley (Central Florida Warriors), Ryan Burroughs (Toronto Wolfpack), Charles ‘CJ' Cortalano (White Plains Wombats), Joseph Eichner (Toronto Wolfpack), Bureta Faraimo (NZ Warriors), Gabriel Farley (Philadelphia Fight), Kristian Freed (White Plains Wombats), Daniel Howard (Wentworthville Magpies), Stephen Howard (Mounties), Martwain Johnston (Delaware Black Foxes), Andrew Kneisly (Philadelphia Fight), Corey Makelim (Mounties), Fotukava ‘Hiko' Malu (Atlanta Rhinos), David Marando (Belrose Eagles), Nicholas Newlin (Atlanta Rhinos), Mark Offerdahl (Captain, London Broncos), Edward Pettybourne (Tweed Heads Seagulls), Joshua Rice (New York Knights), Matthew Shipway (South Newcastle), Samuel Tochtermann-Talbott (Tweed Heads Seagulls), David Ulch (Tampa Mayhem), Taioalo Junior Vaivai (Illawarra Wests Devils), Matthew Walsh (White Plains Wombats).

ONE TO WATCH.

Bureta Faraimo - Dynamic Hull FC-bound winger, 27, who signed for Parramatta Eels after catching the eye for USA in the 2013 tournament. Been with New Zealand Warriors since being released by Eels in July and heads to Humberside for 2018 as Mahe Fonua's replacement. Named as a winger in the 2014 New South Wales Cup Team of the Year and represented New South Wales Residents against the Queensland Residents for the past two seasons. Almost unstoppable from close to the line.

This Is Lancashire:

Picture by SWpix

HOST CITIES.

AUCKLAND.

Mount Smart Stadium.

Capacity: 30,000.

Regular tenants: New Zealand Warriors (NRL)

Fixtures: New Zealand v Samoa, Pool B, Saturday, October 28.

Semi final 2, Saturday, November 25.

This Is Lancashire:

Mt Smart Stadium, Auckland. Picture: NRLphotos

BRISBANE.

Suncorp Stadium.

Capacity: 52,500.

Regular tenants: Brisbane Broncos (NRL), Queensland Maroons (State of Origin), Queensland Reds (rugby union), Brisbane Roar (football) Fixtures: Semi final 1, Friday, November 24.

Final, Saturday, December 2.

CAIRNS.

Barlow Park.

Capacity: 18,000.

Regular tenants: Northern Pride RLFC, Far North Queensland FC Heat (football) Fixtures: Ireland v Italy, Pool C/D, Sunday, October 29.

Scotland v Tonga, Pool B, Sunday, October 29.

Samoa v Scotland, Pool B, Saturday, November 11.

This Is Lancashire:

Barlow Park, Cairns. Picture:NRLPhotos

CANBERRA.

GIO Stadium.

Capacity: 25,011.

Regular tenants: Canberra Raiders (NRL), ACT Brumbies (rugby union).

Fixtures: France v Lebanon, Pool A, Saturday, October 28.

Australia v France, Pool A, Friday, November 3.

Fiji v Italy, Pool C/D, Friday, November 10.

This Is Lancashire:

GIO Stadium, Canberra. Picture: NRLPhotos

CHRISTCHURCH.

AMI Stadium.

Capacity: 18,000.

Regular tenants: Canterbury (rugby union).

Fixtures: New Zealand v Scotland, Pool B, Saturday, November 4.

Quarter final 2, Saturday, November 18.

DARWIN.

TIO Stadium.

Capacity: 12,500.

Regular tenants: NT Thunder (Australian rules football).

Fixtures: Quarter final 1, Friday, November 17.

HAMILTON.

FMG Stadium Waikato.

Capacity: 25,800.

Regular tenants: Waikato (NZ provincial rugby union), Chiefs (rugby union).

Fixtures: Samoa v Tonga, Pool B, Saturday, November 4.

New Zealand v Tonga, Pool B, Saturday, November 11.

MELBOURNE.

AAMI Park.

Capacity: 29,500.

Regular tenants: Melbourne Storm (NRL), Melbourne Rebels (rugby union), Melbourne City FC (football), Melbourne Victory FC (football).

Fixtures: Australia v England, Pool A, Friday, October 27.

Quarter final 4, Sunday, November 19.

This Is Lancashire:

AAMI Park, Melbourne. Picture:NRLPhotos

PERTH.

nib Stadium.

Capacity: 20,500.

Regular tenants: Western Force (rugby union), Perth Glory FC (football).

Fixtures: Wales v Ireland, Pool C/D, Sunday, November 12.

England v France, Pool A, Sunday, November 12.

PORT MORESBY.

National Football Stadium.

Capacity: 25,000.

Regular tenants: Papua New Guinea national team.

Fixtures: Papua New Guinea v Wales, Pool C/D, Saturday, October 28.

Papua New Guinea v Ireland, Pool C/D, Sunday, November 5.

Papua New Guinea v USA, Pool C/D, Sunday, November 12.

SYDNEY.

Allianz Stadium, Sydney Football Ground.

Capacity: 45,500.

Regular tenants: Sydney Roosters (NRL), NSW Waratahs (rugby union), Sydney FC (football).

Fixtures: England v Lebanon, Pool A, Saturday, November 4.

Australia v Lebanon, Pool A, Saturday, November 11.

TOWNSVILLE.

1300Smiles Stadium.

Capacity: 26,500.

Regular tenants: North Queensland Cowboys (NRL).

Fixtures: Fiji v USA, Pool C/D, Saturday, October 28.

Italy v USA, Pool C/D, Sunday, November 5.

Fiji v Wales, Pool C/D, Sunday, November 5.

WELLINGTON.

Westpac Stadium.

Capacity: 34,500.

Regular tenants: Hurricanes (rugby union), Wellington Lions (NZ provincial rugby union), Wellington Phoenix (football).

Fixtures: Quarter final 3, Saturday, November 18.

LEAGUE OF GIANTS - A WORLD CUP FIRST FOR 2017.

The League of Giants is an installation of 14 larger than life giant rugby league players representing each of the participating nations of the 2017 Rugby League World Cup tournament.

The statues are being exhibited in four host cities from 16 October to 2 December 2017.

Each player statue stands 3 metres tall, is internally lit to give both a day and night- time presence and will represent each of the 14 participating RLWC2017 nations.

The exhibition tour will see the installation travel as a complete set to a selection of outdoor public spaces in Melbourne, Canberra, Sydney and Brisbane.

Specifications of each statue: • Height: 3mtrs.

• Base dimensions: 1200cm wide x 600cm wide (oval footprint).

• Weight: Approximately 400kg each with concrete set into base as one whole unit.

• Materials of each unit include concrete ballast, steal armature, lycra player kits and polymer 3D printed body.

• Internal LED lighting powered using single phase power source.

This Is Lancashire:

The England squad in front of the Australia and England 'League of Giants' statues in Melbourne ahead of the opening game of RLWC2017. Picture: NRLPhotos

This Is Lancashire:

The League of Giants outside AAMI Stadium, Melbourne, in readiness for the opening game of the tournament between Australia and England. Picture: NRLPhotos

PAST WINNERS.

1954: Great Britain 16 France 12 in Paris.

1957: Australia won on league table basis.

1960: Great Britain won on league table basis.

1968: Australia 20 France 2 in Sydney.

1970: Australia 12 Great Britain 7 in Leeds.

1972: Great Britain 10 Australia 10 after extra time in Lyon; GB awarded cup having topped the table.

1975: Australia won on league table basis.

1977: Australia 13 Great Britain 12 in Sydney.

1985-88: Australia 25 New Zealand 12 in Auckland.

1989-92: Australia 10 Great Britain 6 at Wembley.

1995: Australia 16 England 8 at Wembley.

Watch some great World Cup moments in history and highlights of 1995 tournament matches.

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2000: Australia 40 New Zealand 12 at Old Trafford.

2008: New Zealand 34 Australia 20 in Brisbane.

2013: Australia 34 New Zealand 2 at Old Trafford.

This Is Lancashire:

Here's how it was during the 2013 tournament.

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HISTORY.

The oldest established global competition for rugby of either code, the Rugby League World Cup, is here for the 15th edition.

A proposal to create the Rugby League World Cup was made by the French RL president, M Paul Barriere, in 1953 – a time when football’s World Cup had only just been reluctantly embraced by the English FA and the national team had lost to the USA part-timers in South America.

Rugby expansionists felt it would promote ‘the greatest game’ around the globe – and the first tournament staged in France the following year was a massive success.

But it would take many years before the global dream would be realised. Today the game is played in more than 40 countries.

Great Britain won that first series – yet they had been given no chance. The international side had just returned from a tour of the Antipodes and so an almost ‘reserve’ side was selected.

Captained by a Scot, Dave Valentine, they reached the final and – in front of 30,000 Parisians at the Parc des Princes stadium and an international audience, courtesy of the newly introduced Eurovision – Britain won 16-12.

Few people had TVs then, and Saturday afternoon shoppers gathered around store windows to watch the action.

Formats over 13 competitions since have included deciding the winners with a league table and two tournaments played across the world over three years.

Today there are qualifying tournaments ahead of the main event, which has a pool system culminating in the excitement that only a final can generate.

Australia have won the tournament 10 times, but they lost the original cup itself when it was stolen from the team’s hotel during the 1970 series.

It was found on a Bradford tip 20 years later.

Two sponsors’ trophies were superseded in 1995 by a £10,000 cup made by Tiffanys to celebrate the centenary of the game, and the equally magnificent original was restored for 2000.



 

GREAT WORLD CUP GAMES.

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THE HAKA.

Has it ever been better than this?

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