Leeds Rhinos forward Rhyse Martin says he expects a new name to be on the Rugby League World Cup trophy this winter as he prepares to represent Papua New Guinea.
The 16th Rugby League World Cup will take place in England and a record 16 teams will compete from October 15 to November 19 over 31 matches.
This year’s event promises to be the biggest yet, with all matches televised as the 15 other nations try to end Australia’s dominance (Australia 4/9 to win the World Cup – outright).
The Aussies won the last event in 2017 and are looking to win their 12th title in England.
While England (8/1 to win the World Cup – outright) and New Zealand (4/1 to win the World Cup – outright) are usually the Aussies’ main rivals, Tonga (11/1 to win the World Cup – outright) and Samoa have strengthened their squads with some of the best players in the NRL.
They have chosen to play for both teams over Australia and Martin believes the improvement of those nations means a shock result could be on the cards this autumn.
He told the Yorkshire Evening Post: “I am really excited; I think this World Cup is going to be something spectacular and really enjoyable for everyone.
“I think it is going to be a bit different to what we’ve seen in the last few years, and we might see a different winner.
“Some of the nations are looking quite strong this year, so who knows who will win?”
England’s clash against Samoa will open the tournament on October 15 (Match Result – England 5/6, Draw, 20/1, Samoa Evens) and they will hope to reach the final, which takes place on November 19.