Rugby League World Cup

Kiwis to play 'traditional' style: Johnson

Johnson endured a miserable back-end to the 2017 NRL season, injuring his knee and missing six games as his Warriors outfit missed the finals.

But with almost two months separating his last Warriors match and Saturday's clash with Toa Samoa, the star halfback said he felt like a new man.

A host of injuries and squad defections - most prominently Jason Taumalolo - had allowed coach David Kidwell to start afresh with combinations.

With Kieran Foran out injured, Johnson will likely start in the halves alongside in-form Cowboys young gun Te Maire Martin.

Narrow loss to Kangaroos will do: Bennett

Bennett has joined up with his players at their training camp in Perth, where they are preparing for their first group game against the defending champions in Melbourne on Friday, October 27.

England also play Lebanon and France, with three teams going through to the quarter-finals.

Captain O'Loughlin key for England

Betts, a decorated former England captain who joined Wayne Bennett's coaching group last year, says O'Loughlin's consistency and big game temperament is an example for the other squad members to follow.

"He gives you direction," Betts said. 

World Cup match officials announced

RLWC2017 head of officiating Tony Archer today announced a squad of match officials for the World Cup and for the first time each of the 26 is drawn from the NRL or Super League competitions only.

Ireland announce World Cup squad

Mark Aston has kept the core squad together that have been a part of the last few European Championships and the players that qualified for the tournament last Autumn.

The evergreen Liam Finn and Scott Grix lead the side as captain and vice-captain with over 20 years of experience now playing for Ireland.

Pacific nations tipped to impress at Rugby League World Cup

The 38-year-old made his name in the 13-a-side game, winning NRL titles with the Brisbane Broncos and South Sydney Rabbitohs at both ends of his career and starring for Queensland, the Kangaroos and Fiji Bati, either side of an equally impressive stint in rugby union.

The loosening of representative rules means a player with dual eligibility that misses out on selection for Australia, New Zealand or England can still play for a second tier nation at the World Cup.

Tuqiri said that has got to be good news for Pacific nations.

World Cup picture opens up for Pacific league teams

Toa Samoa coach Matt Parish said the squad he named to take on England was probably the strongest he's selected in his four years in charge.

Wing Antonio Winterstein believes they're more than capable of causing an upset.

"When you put that blue jersey on you go in there to do your best and to do your country proud so definitely be going out there to get a result," he said.

"We believe we've got the team to do it so the result is the big picture but, at the end of the day, the boys are going out there and doing their best for their country."

Ivan Cleary appointed Lebanon head coach

The former head coach of the Penrith Panthers and New Zealand Warriors has agreed to take charge of The Cedars at this year’s Rugby League World Cup.

Cleary has a wealth of coaching experience, overseeing the Warriors’ NRL side between 2006 and 2011, before starting a three-year stint with the Panthers in 2012 with a total of 249 games experience under his belt.

Speaking about his appointment, Cleary said the opportunity to guide a developing nation to this year’s Rugby League World Cup was one that he was eager to take up.

Jarryd Hayne puts hand up to play for Fiji Bati

The 28 year old is back in the NRL after stints with the San Francisco 49ers in the NFL and the Fiji sevens team.

He represented Fiji at the 2008 World Cup and lifted the trophy in with the Australian team in 2013.

Bati coach Mick Potter said Jarryd Hayne told him he was very keen to represent at next year's World Cup.

Niue and the Cook Islands to meet in rugby league international

The Rock thrashed South Africa 48-4 during their last hit-out in May and are now ranked 32nd in the world.

The 17th ranked Cook Islands will use the game on October the third as preparation for their Rugby League World Cup qualifying match against Tonga two weeks later.

Niue coach Brendan Perenara says even though the match doesn't have test status or rankings points on offer, going up against the Cook Islands will be the biggest game in their history.