Up to 10 countries are set to announce their squad for the Rugby League World Cup next week, including host nations Australia, New Zealand and Papua New Guinea.
USA coach Brian McDermott has already named a 23-man squad for the five-week tournament beginning in Melbourne on 27 October and France has scheduled an announcement by les Chanticleers mentor Aurélien Cologni at Barcarès on Monday, 2 October.
Australian coach Mal Meninga will announce the 24-man Kangaroos squad at a press conference in Sydney on Tuesday, 3 October.
The Papua New Guinea squad, which will coached by PNG Hunters mentor Michael Marum and feature many of the players from the Queensland Cup winning team playing NSW Cup champions Penrith in the curtain-raiser to Sunday’s NRL Grand Final, is due to be named on Wednesday, 4 October.
The Kiwis squad will be announced by David Kidwell on Thursday, October 5 – paving the way for Tonga coach Kristian Woolf, Samoa’s Matt Parrish, Italy’s Cameron Ciraldo and Lebanon’s Brad Fittler to name their squads as some players have dual eligibility for Australia, New Zealand or England.
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 one of the three tier-one nations.
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.
Fiji coach Mick Potter will choose his squad after the Battle of the Bati in Suva on 7 October between Fiji Residents and an Overseas Fiji Bati team to be coached by former World Cup representatives Wes Naiqama and Daryl Millard. Another former Fiji international Joe Dakuitoga is coach of the Residents team.
Wayne Bennett’s England squad will be announced on Monday week, 9 October, following the Super League Grand Final.
Wales coach John Kear and Scotland’s Steve McCormack are set to name their squads on Tuesday, 10 October.
No changes will be permitted after 13 October, when the final squads for the tournament are due to be officially announced by RLWC2017.
The 15th instalment of the Rugby League World Cup will kick off in Melbourne on 27 October with Australia playing England.
New Zealand meet Samoa in Auckland on 28 October and the Kumuls will host Wales on 29 October in the first of three pool matches played at Oil Search National Football Stadium in Port Moresby.
In total, the World Cup will feature 28 matches in 13 cities across Australia, New Zealand and Papua New Guinea, including the final in Brisbane on 2 December.
The Women’s World Cup will be a stand-alone event for the first time, with pool matches and the semi-finals to be played at Cronulla and the final to be a double-header with the men’s final in Brisbane.
Australia, Canada, Cook Islands, England, New Zealand and Papua New Guinea will contest the Women’s World Cup.