Tournament CEO Andrew Hill, chairman Dr George Peponis, OAM, and Queensland Minister for Education and Minister for Tourism, Major Events and the Commonwealth Games, Kate Jones, were on hand to launch the 28-game series that culminates with the final in Brisbane on Saturday, December 2.
The 15th Rugby League World Cup, which was first played in France in 1954, will kick-off in Melbourne on Friday night with the clash of century-old rivals, England and Australia, coached by iconic Queensland league figures Wayne Bennett and Mal Meninga.
It was always going to be a tough match for the Combined Affiliated States a mix bag of states outside of NSW and QLD .
In a match split into Quaters due to the evening temperature @ 24oC here are some highlights.
ENGLAND TRY 2 mins Luke Gale picks up a knock on and goes in for the try.
ENGLAND TRY 5 mins Elliot Kier comes off a great pass from Gareth Widdop and score under the sticks.
ENGLAND TRY 8mins Ryan Hall goes in at the corner
NO TRY 10 mins John Bateman Knock on over the line.
ENGLAND TRY 18 mins Germaine McGilvary.
Today, not just the badge on the shirt changes but the whole ethos of what this famous old club is about.
Steeped in tradition and revered in history, the Red Devils has become one of the most talked about teams in the game and going forward from today the Club will embrace the ethic and attitude of this magnificent city of Salford.
Wales Dragonhearts – made up of players from their domestic competition - and Germany have named their squads for the international this Saturday at Glamorgan Wanderers, Cardiff (kick-off 3pm).
The sides met in Germany last year, with the Welsh getting home 40-32 in a superb contest.
“It has been a very difficult selection process with everyone putting their hand up,” said Dragonhearts head coach Andrew Thorne. “We had a final session last weekend at Parc Y Scarlets and the effort from all the boys was outstanding.”
WALES' 24-MAN SQUAD FOR RLWC2017: Courtney Davies, Steve Parry (both Gloucestershire All Golds), Chester Butler (Halifax), Danny Ansell (Hunslet), Sam Hopkins (Leigh Centurions), Michael Channing, Ben Evans, Dalton Grant, Elliot Kear, Rhys Williams (all London Broncos), Matty Barron (Newcastle Thunder), Joe Burke (Oldham), Gavin Bennion (Rochdale Hornets), Craig Kopczak (Salford Red Devils), Matty Fozard (Sheffield Eagles), Andrew Gay, Christiaan Roets (both South Wales Ironmen), Regan Grace, Morgan Knowles, Ben Morris (all St Helens), Rhodri Lloyd (Swinton Lions), Josh Ralph (Tweed Head Seagulls), Phil Joseph (Workington Town), Matty Seamark (Wynnum Manly Seagulls)
The England squad to travel to Australia, New Zealand and Papua New Guineap for the 2017 Rugby League World Cup was named at lunchtime today and came hot on the heels of the news that one of its bright stars, Castelford’s Zak Hardaker, was definitely out of the World Cup and facing an uncertain future after failing a drugs test.
England’s World Cup campaign kicks off with a game against the hosts Australia at 20:05 (UK) on Friday the 27th October at AAMI Park in Melbourne, followed by group games against Lebanon and France.
A Rugby Football League Spokesperson, said: "The Rugby Football League can confirm that Zak Hardaker is provisionally suspended from all competition after it received notification from UK Anti-Doping that he had tested positive for a banned substance following a Super 8s game between Castleford Tigers and Leeds Rhinos on September 8, 2017.
"He will therefore not be considered for the England Rugby League World Cup squad due to be announced today (Monday) at 12pm.
"The Rugby Football League will be making no further comment until the outcome of the case has been determined."