Australia will begin their attempt to win a 11th Rugby League World Cup title when the 2017 edition of the tournament gets underway tomorrow.
The 15th edition of the sport's flagship event will be played in 13 cities across Australia, New Zealand and Papua New Guinea.
Competition begins tomorrow with a clash between defending champions Australia and century-old rivals England at the Melbourne Rectangular Stadium.
The two teams, coached by iconic Queensland league figures Mal Meninga and Wayne Bennett respectively, feature in Pool A along with France and Lebanon.
The last time a country other than Australia or New Zealand lifted the trophy was in France in 1972 when Great Britain triumphed.
Since then, Australia have won seven of the last eight tournaments, including four years ago when they beat New Zealand 34-2 in the final in Manchester in England.
Australia have not lost to England in 22 years, but Meninga is wary of the threat their opposition pose.
“They’re one of the major forces in the game of rugby league," he said, according to The Australian.
"They’ll probably think we’re at our most vulnerable tomorrow night.
"Again, we’re prepared for that."
Pool B is made up of New Zealand, Samoa, Scotland and Tonga, while Pool C comprises Ireland, Papua New Guinea and Wales.
Fiji, Italy and the United States will contest Pool D.
As well as Melbourne, matches will also take place in Australia in Brisbane, Sydney, Townsville, Darwin, Cairns, Perth, Canberra.
New Zealand venues include Wellington, Auckland, Hamilton and Christchurch.
The Papua New Guinea Football Stadium in Port Moresby will also stage some matches.
The new international eligibility rules are expected to ensure the 2017 World Cup is the most competitive and most watched edition in history.
Matches will be telecast by the Seven Network in Australia, Sky TV in New Zealand and EMTV in Papua New Guinea.