The USA is the first nation to announce their squad for the Rugby League World Cup, with players based in Auckland, London, Toronto, Sydney, Newcastle, Gold Coast and Wollongong among the 23 named today by coach Brian McDermott.
With just over a month until Australia meet England in the opening match of Rugby League World Cup 2017 at the Melbourne Rectangular Stadium on 27 October, the 14 countries are set to announce their squads in coming weeks.
The Kangaroos will name a 24-man squad on Tuesday week (3 October) after the NRL Grand Final next Sunday (1 October) and the England squad will be announced after the Super League Grand Final (7 October).
Some nations have indicated they will announce their squads as early as next week.
No changes will be permitted after 13 October, when the final squads for the tournament are due to be submitted to RLWC2017 before being officially announced.
Under international Rugby League eligibility rules, players who qualify for more than one country can play for a tier two nation if they are not chosen by Australia, England or New Zealand.
To be eligible, a player must have been born in the nation he represents or qualifies if he had parents or grandparents born there, or has been a resident of that country for 60 months.
The eligibility rules will ensure one of the best and most competitive Rugby League World Cups since the concept began in 1954.
The USA has named 12 players from the domestic US competition, who will be joined by the likes of Mark Offerdahl (London Broncos), Ryan Burroughs (Toronto Wolfpack), Junior Vaivai (Wests Illawarra), Bureta Faraimo (NZ Warriors) and Eddy Petttybourne (Tweed Heads Seagulls).
The 14 nations competing for the Paul Barierre Trophy are Australia, England, Fiji, France, Ireland, Italy, Lebanon, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Scotland, Tonga, USA and Wales.
In total, the World Cup will feature 28 matches in 13 cities across Australia, New Zealand and Papua New Guinea, which will host the Kumuls three pool matches.
The winner of the 15th installment of the World Cup will be crowed in Brisbane on 2 December at a double-header featuring the final of the Women’s tournament, which will be staged as a standalone event for the first time.