Rugby League World Cup: The squads

All the up-to-date details on each nation's squad for the 2017 Rugby League World Cup.

The 2017 iteration of the Rugby League World Cup is on the immediate horizon and each of the 14 nations competing for the top international prize in the game has either named their squad or will be doing in the coming days.

Each squad is listed below and those not yet named will be updated as the details come to hand.

  1. 1 Australia

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

    Australia has named a strong squad for the defence of their World Cup title, with Melbourne Storm trio Billy Slater, Cameron Smith and Cooper Cronk expected to play key roles for Mal Meninga's side.

    Josh Dugan, who will switch from the Dragons to the Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks over this off-season, makes for an interesting inclusion based on his form, as does Wests Tigers prop Aaron Woods. With the weakening of the Kiwi side, the Aussies will enter as heavy favourites to win the title.

    Andrew Fifita's defection to play for Tonga after the naming of the squad made for some interesting headlines and some strong words from former Kangaroos teammates but it opens the door for young Panthers' prop Reagan Campbell-Gillard.

  2. 2 New Zealand

    Squad: Nelson Asofa-Solomona (Melbourne Storm), Gerard Beale (Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks), Adam Blair (Brisbane Broncos), Kenny 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-Warringah 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).

    The big story for the Kiwis in the lead up to the tournament has been the defection of Jason Taumalolo to play for Tonga, with many suggesting this is a direct result of previous discipline decisions revolving around Kevin Proctor and Jesse Bromwich.

    Captain Adam Blair suggested Taumalolo should have manned up and owned his decision much earlier, communicating it to the powers that be at the New Zealand Rugby League. But that will need to be put in the rearview mirror for the deflated Kiwis if they are to match the might of Australia as the World Cup progresses.

    In terms of players who have been selected, Shaun Johnson could still be rusty after missing much of 2017 due to a serious injury, while plenty of attention will be paid to young stars like Te Maire Martin of the North Queensland Cowboys. Dallin Watene-Zelezniak who could hold the key to unlocking the Kiwis attack.

  3. 3 England

    Squad: 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-Bankstown 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 (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).

    While they don't have the enigmatic talent of Zak Hardaker to call on, the English and coach Wayne Bennett have named a strong squad for their tilt at a 2017 Rugby League World Cup title.

    NRL stars like Sam Burgess, James Graham and Michael Hodgson in the squad are complimented by Super League talents like James Roby and Luke Gale. The squad looks strong and in a good position to capitalise on a weakened Kiwi's side.

    Gareth Widdop, who put together a strong season at the Dragons in the NRL, looms as a key difference maker in the halves. Overlooking Sam Tomkins and George Burgess makes for plenty of pre-tournament interest and could come into serious scrutiny if England fail this time around.

  4. 4 Fiji

    Squad: Kane Evans (Sydney Roosters), Salesi Faingaa (Parramatta Eels), Jarryd Hayne (Gold Coast Titans), Tui Kamikamica (Melbourne Storm), Viliame Kikau (Penrith Panthers), Apisai Koroisau (Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles), Joe Lovodua (St George Illawarra Dragons), Henry Raiwalui (Mounties RLFC), Taane Milne (St George Illawarra Dragons), Sitiveni Moceidreke (South Sydney Rabbitohs), Marcelo Montoya (Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs), Kevin Naiqama (Wests Tigers), Ben Nakubuwai (Gold Coast Titans), 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-Warringah Sea Eagles), Eloni Vunakece (Sydney Roosters), Suliasi Vunivalu (Melbourne Storm), Brayden Wiliame (Catalans Dragons).

    There is plenty of NRL experience and quality talent in the Fiji Bati squad for the 2017 Rugby League World Cup, highlighted by the inclusion of Kane Evans from the Sydney Roosters, captain Kevin Naiqama from the Wests Tigers and controversial Gold Coast Titans superstar Jarryd Hayne.

    Hayne had a poor 2017 season overall, and he will be keen on proving a few doubters wrong with some strong performances alongside his Fijian teammates.

    Api Koroisau represents a distinctly improved hooker option for Fiji after his impressive season at the Sea Eagles  while Storm superstar Suliasi Vunivalu has been unstoppable on the flank for the Premiers.

  5. 5 France

    Squad: Lucas Albert (Catalans Dragons), Jason Baitieri (Catalans Dragons), Julian Bousquet (Catalans Dragons), Nabil Djalout (Catalans Dragons), Benjamin Garcia (Catalans Dragons), Thibaut Margalet (Catalans Dragons), Fouad Yaha (Catalans Dragons), Bastien Ader (Tolouse Olympique), Clement Boyer (Tolouse Olympique), Mark Kheirallah (Tolouse Olympique), Maxime Herold (Limoux Grizzlies), Mickael Rouch (Limoux Grizzlies) Guillaume Bonnet (FC Lezignan), Damien Cardace (FC Lezignan), Olivier Arnaud (SO Avignon), William Barthau (London Broncos), John Boudebza (London Broncos), Antoni Maria (Leigh Centurions), Eloi Pelissier (Leigh Centurions), Hakim Miloudi (Hull F.C), Gadwin Springer (Castleford Tigers), Theo Fages (St Helens), Benjamin Jullien (Warrington Wolves), Romain Navarrete (Wigan Warriors).

    There isn't much in the way of NRL experience in the French squad ahead of the 2017 Rugby League World Cup, with only Ben Garcia, who spent a short time with the Penrith Panthers and Jason Baitieri, who played one game for the Sydney Roosters back in 2010 recognisable names for most in Australia. The French will be expecting plenty out of the Super League-based stars like half-back Lucas Albert and prop forward Lambert Belmas of Catalans Dragons.

    There aren't high expectations for the French, who have been lumped in Pool A alongside Australia, England & Lebanon.A win against the Lebanese will be a big focus heading in to the tournament.

    The French will also back themselves to provide stiff competition for the Kangaroos and the English.

  6. 6 Ireland

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

    The Irish have named a strong squad for the 2017 Rugby League World Cup, with NRL experience in the shape of Shannon McDonnell, who racked up 133 appearances across the NRL and UK Super League. Api Pewhairangi spent time with the Parramatta Eels before linking up with the London Broncos.

    There is plenty of Super League experience across the squad, with captain Liam Finn and Scott Grix, who both play for Wakefield Trinity, assisted by James Hasson, the forward who played 39 games for the Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles down under before linking up with the Salford Red Devils. Prop Anthony Mullally is coming off a Grand Final win with the Leeds Rhinos and will be expected to charge out the tough metres through the middle of the ruck alongside Hasson.

  7. 7 Italy

    Squad: Daniel Alvaro (Parramatta Eels), Mirco Bergamasco (Leoni Veneti), Nathan Brown (Parramatta Eels), Christophe Calegari (Palau XIII Broncos), Jack Campagnolo (Northern Pride), Terry Campese (Queanbeyan Blues), Justin Castellaro (Northern Pride), Gioele Celerino (Saluzzo NWR/Tully Tigers), Chris Centrone (Wyong Roos), Mason Cerruto (Penrith Panthers/St Marys), Ryan Ghietti (Northern Pride), Oliver Gildart (Wigan Warriors), Jaume Giorgis (Saluzzo NWR), Gavin Hiscox (Central Queensland Capras), Jack Johns (Newcastle Knights), Richard Lepori (Oldham), Josh Mantellato (Wyong Roos), Mark Minichiello (Hull FC), Nathan Milone (Wests Tigers), Giuseppe Pagani (Lions Brescia), Ricardo Parata (Burleigh Bears), Dean Parata (Blacktown Workers), Emanuele Passera (XIII of the Ducato), Edoardo Pezzano (Spartans Catania/Tully Tigers), Kieren Quabba (Townsville Districts Blackhawks), Joel Riethmuller (Northern Pride), Brenden Santi (Sydney Roosters/Wyong Roos), James Tedesco (Wests Tigers), Joe Tramontana (Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs), Paul Vaughan (St George Illawarra Dragons), Jayden Walker (Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks), Colin Wilkie (Northern Pride), Shannon Wakeman (Huddersfield Giants).

    The Italians have named a huge squad for the tournament and will be expecting strong performances from Parramatta Eels' stars Daniel Alvaro and Nathan Brown, as well as long-time first grade half Terry Campese and Mark Minichiello, who has been an inspirational leader for Italy in the past.

    Paul Vaughan is coming off the back of his strongest season ever with the St George Illawarra Dragons and could prove a strong presence in the middle of the ruck while James Tedesco will have a point to prove after his snubbing by Mal Meninga and the Australian selectors. 

    Mason Cerruto is coming off a good performance for the Penrith Panthers' InTrust Super Premiership side, winning the NSW Cup and could prove an interesting point of difference for Italy. The squad will need to be cut down before the tournament commences.

  8. 8 Lebanon

    Squad: Mark Daoud (Asquith), Jamie Clark (Auburn Warriors), Ahmad Ellaz (Auburn Warriors), Abraham el Zakhem (Auburn Warriors), Elie el Zakhem (Auburn Warriors), Adnan el Zbaidieh (Auburn Warriors), Mario Boustani (Blacktown Workers), Chris Saab (Blacktown Workers), Nick Kassis (Blacktown Workers), Kayne Kalache (Canterbury Bankstown), Michael Lichaa (Canterbury Bankstown), Raymond Moujalli (Canterbury Bankstown), Imad Chidiac (Jounieh RLFC), Ben Chahoud (Hills Bulls), Wael Harb (Lycans FC), Raymond Sabat (Lycans FC), Bilal Maarbani (Manly Sea Eagles), Abbas Miski (North Sydney), Anthony Layoun (Parramatta Eels), Tim Mannah (Parramatta Eels), Mitchell Moses (Parramatta Eels), Adam Doueihi (South Sydney Rabbitohs, Robbie Farah (South Sydney), Ali Abou Arabi (Tripoli RLFC), Danny Barakat (Wentworthville Magpies), Mitchell Mammary (Wentworthville Magpies), Tarek el Masri (Wentworthville Magpies), Elias Sukkar (Wentworthville Magpies), Alex Twal (Wests Tigers), Bernard Kairouz (Wests Tigers, Jaleel Seve-Derbas (Wests Tigers), Christian Yassmin (Wests Tigers), James Elias (West Newcastle), Toufic el Hage (Wolves RLFC).

    The Lebanese perhaps don't have the complete strength they have had to call on in the past, but the inclusion of Mitchell Moses and Tim Mannah from the Parramatta Eels, Robbie Farah from the South Sydney Rabbitohs and Alex Twal from the Wests Tigers mean Lebanon will be targeting a successful World Cup.

    Lumped in with Australia, England and France in their pool, progressing will be challenge in its own right. A win against France will be the target, while stronger showings against the Aussies and English will help cement the progress that has been made by Lebanon. 

    Key man Robbie Farah will want to put a poor 2017 campaign with the Rabbitohs behind him with some strong performances for Lebanon.

    We are currently waiting on Brad Fittler to trim down the train-on squad, but it has been confirmed that one domestic Lebanese player will make the cut.

  9. 9 Papua New Guinea

    Squad: Ase Boas (PNG Hunters) David Mead (Brisbane Broncos) Enock Maki (PNG Hunters) Garry Lo (Sheffield Eagles) James Segeyaro (Cronulla Sharks) Justin Olam (Melbourne Storm) 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 (Catalans Dragons) Rhys 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).

    There are few more passionate rugby league nations than Papua New Guinea and the vibes coming out of the squad are at an all-time high after the PNG Hunters won the Queensland Cup this season.

    Locals like Stanton and Wellington Albert have been joined by David Mead from the Brisbane Broncos, Nene MacDonald of the Dragons and Super League hooker Paul Aiton, who has plenty of experience down under.

    The feel-good factor can only push the Papua New Guinea side so far, but there is plenty of exciting young talent on hand. They have been matched up with Ireland and Wales in their pool, two sides they will expect to beat.

  10. 10 Samoa

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

    Samoa have flown under the radar in comparison to the star-studded and high-profile Tonga side. But they have plenty of stars of their own and will be anticipating a strong showing at the 2017 iteration of the World Cup.

    Frank Pritchard leads the squad while they can call on the likes of damaging centre Joseph Leilua of the Canberra Raiders, Cronulla's Ricky Leutele and Melbourne's Young Tonumaipea for firepower on the flanks.

    Ben Roberts makes for an interesting inclusion from the Castleford Tigers while Josh Papalii will be keen to press his case as one of the best forwards in world football after an average 2017.

  11. 11 Scotland

    Scotland are expected to name their squad tomorrow, though they will be without Penrith Panthers' hooker Peter Wallace after he succumbed to three broken ribs and a broken hand at the end of the NRL season.

  12. 12 Tonga

    Squad: Andrew Fifita (Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks), Mahe Fonua (Hull FC), David Fusitu’a (New Zealand Warriors), Siliva Havilli (St George Illawarra Dragons), Ata Hingano (New Zealand Warriors), Will Hopoate (Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs), Konrad Hurrell (Gold Coast Titans), Michael Jennings (Parramatta Eels), Solomone Kata (New Zealand 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 Junior (Brisbane Broncos), Ukuma Ta’ai (Huddersfield Giants), Sio Siua Taukeiaho (Sydney Roosters), Jason Taumalolo (North Queensland Cowboys), Peni Terepo (Parramatta Eels), Daniel Tupou (Sydney Roosters), Manu Vatuvei (Salford Red Devils).

    Tonga have been the big movers and shakers pre-tournament, welcoming Fifita and Taumalolo into the fold from Australia and New Zealand respectively.

    Grouped with New Zealand, Samoa and Scotland, the Tongans will be expecting at least two wins in the pool stage while they could well upset the Kiwis too.

    Taumalolo spent the back end of 2017 proving he's probably one of the best forwards in the game and will obviously be a key player for Tonga. The likes of Mahe Fonua, Will Hopoate, Konrad Hurrell, Michael Jennings, Sika Manu and Tui Lolohea should set Tonga up for an incredible World Cup experience.

  13. 13 Wales

    Squad: Larne Patrick (Castleford Tigers), Zak Williams (Coventry Bears), Courtney Davies, Steve Parry, Lewis Reece (all Gloucestershire All Golds), Danny Ansell (Hunslet), Sam Hopkins (Leigh Centurions), Michael Channing, Ben Evans, Dalton Grant, Elliot Kear, Rhys Williams (all London Broncos), Josh Ralph (Newcastle Knights), Matt Barron (Newcastle Thunder), Joe Burke (Oldham), Caleb Aekins, Daniel Brown (both Penrith Panthers), Ant Walker (Rochdale Hornets), Craig Kopczak (Salford Red Devils), Matty Fozard (Sheffield Eagles), Morgan Evans, Connor Farrer, Andrew Gay, Christiaan Roets (all South Wales Ironmen), Regan Grace, Elliot Jenkins, Morgan Knowles, Ben Morris, Calvin Wellington (all St Helens), Rhodri Lloyd (Swinton Lions), Jake Emmitt, Dan Fleming (both Toronto Wolfpack), Rhys Evans (Warrington Wolves), Gil Dudson, Lloyd White (both Widnes Vikings), Phil Joseph (Workington Town), Matt Seamark (Wynnum Manly Seagulls).

    Wales are expected to trim their squad down to 23 players tomorrow, but casting an eye over their squad shows some interesting young developmental players like Caleb Aekins, Daniel Brown and Matty Fozard. They have experience through players like captain Craig Kopczak and Matt Seamark, who has been a fixture of the Queensland Cup for a number of years.

  14. 14 United States of America

    Squad: 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 (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).

    The United States come into the 2017 Rugby League World Cup with an interesting mix of lower league players based in the southern hemisphere, players from the local league, ex-NRL level talent in players like Junior Vaivai and Ed Pettybourne alongside stars from Toronto Wolfpack.

    There's not a great deal of tape out there on much of the local products, but there are a few good judges who are tipping the likes of Jonathan Taylor Alley, Gabriel Farley and David Ulch to impress while London's Mark Offerdahl provides some experience and control.

    Junior Vaivai spent time with the Rabbitohs and Panthers, making 12 NRL appearances, and has played a handful of times for the Hawks of America.

    Who do you think will win the 2017 Rugby League World Cup? Let us know in the comments and poll below.

  1. Poll: Who do you think will win the 2017 Rugby League World Cup?

    1. Australia
    2. New Zealand
    3. England
    4. Fiji
    5. Tonga
    6. Samoa
    7. Scotland
    8. Italy
    9. Ireland
    10. Wales
    11. United States
    12. Lebanon
    13. Papua New Guinea
    14. France
    98 votes
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