The Cook Islands will use this weekend's inaugural Downer Rugby League World Cup 9s event in Western Sydney as preparation for their upcoming Rugby League World Cup 2021 qualifier.
The islanders face the United States in Jacksonville on November 16 and the 9s tournament offers coach Tony Iro an ideal warm-up.
Action gets underway across three pools tomorrow as 12 teams do battle at Bankwest Stadium in New South Wales.
Alex Glenn, Brad Takairangi, Tepai Moeroa, Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad and Steven Marsters all feature in the Cook Islands squad for their Pool C opener against Tonga Invitational.
Also in their pool are Fiji and Samoa.
Arch-rivals Australia play New Zealand in their first Pool A match, as Papua New Guinea and the United States also meet.
Pool B will get the tournament started with France taking on Lebanon, before England and Wales clash later in the day.
In a quirky first for the tournament, the goalposts will light up every time a score is recorded.
The top two teams in Pool A and the winners of pools B and C will contest the semi-finals and final on Saturday (October 19).
The women's tournament pits hosts Australia against New Zealand, England and Papua New Guinea.
The top two in the women's pool will go forward to the World Cup final on Saturday.