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World Cup preview: Group D

7464293Squads

COOK ISLANDS: Tinirau Arona (Syndey Roosters), Sam Brunton (Mounties Bundy), Daniel Fepuleai (North Sydney Bears), Jonathon Ford (Toulouse Olympique XIII), Anthony Gelling (Wigan Warriors), Isaac John (Penrith Panthers), Drury Low (Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs), Keith Lulia (Bradford Bulls), Lulia Lulia (Shell Harbour), Hikule’o Malu (New Zealand Warriors), Sam Mataora (Canberra Raiders), Joseph Matapuku (North Sydney Bears), Dylan Napa (Sydney Roosters), Dominique Peyroux (New Zealand Warriors), Rea Pittman (Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks), Jordan Rapana (Canberra Raiders), Tupou Sopoaga (Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks), Zeb Taia (Catalan Dragons), Brad Takairangi (Gold Coast Titans), Adam Tangata (Mounties Bundy), Chris Taripo (Sydney Roosters), Zane Tetavano (Newcastle Knights), Tyrone Viiga (Parramatta Eels)

Head coach: David Fairleigh

USA: Mark Cantoni (Dalby), Andrew Durutalo (USA Eagles), Bureta Faramio (Mackay Cutters), Gabriel Farley (Southampton Dragons), Kristian Freed (Racing Club Lescure), Michael Garvey (Pennsylvania Bulls), Roman Hifo (Papakura Sea Eagles), Daniel Howard (Wentworthville Magpies), Stephen Howard (Tuggerong Bushrangers), Judah Lavulo (Cabramatta), Haveatama Luani (Wests Tigers), David Marando (Belrose Eagles), Ryan McGoldrick (Salford Red Devils), Clint Newton (Penrith Panthers), Mark Offerdahl (AS Carcassone XIII), Joseph Paulo (Parramatta Eels), Junior Paulo (Windsor Wolves), Matthew Petersen (Cudgen Hornets), Craig Priestly (Southampton Dragons), Tuisegasega Samoa (Redcliffe Dolphins), Matthew Shipway (South Newcastle), Les Soloai (Featherstone Rovers), Lelauloto Tagaloa (Hawaii Chiefs), Taylor Welch (Chicago Griffins)

Head coach: Terry Matterson

WALES: Neil Budworth (unattached), Ross Divorty (Halifax), Gil Dudson (Wigan Warriors), Jacob Emmitt (Salford Red Devils), Ben Evans (Bradford Bulls), Rhys Evans (Warrington Wolves), Daniel Fleming (Castleford Tigers), Ben Flower (Wigan Warriors), Tyson Frizzel (St George Illawarra Dragons), James Gurtjens (North Devils), Jordan James (Salford Red Devils), Danny Jones (Keighley Cougars), Elliot Kear (Bradford Bulls), Craig Kopczak (Huddersfield Giants), Rhodri Lloyd (Wigan Warriors), Peter Lupton (Workington Town), Rob Massam (North Wales Crusaders), Larne Patrick (Huddersfield Giants), Christiaan Roets (North Wales Crusaders), Matt Seamark (Wynnum Manly Seagulls), Anthony Walker (St Helens), Ian Webster (Central Queensland Capras), Lloyd White (Widnes Vikings), Rhys Williams (Warrington Wolves)

Head coach: Iestyn Harris

Fixtures

30.10.13 USA v Cook Islands (Wrexham)
03.11.13 Wales v USA (Wrexham)
10.11.13 Wales v Cook Islands (Neath)

Key Players

Isaac John (Cook Islands)

Isaac John is the key player for the Cook Islands to have some chance of making the Quarter Finals.  John’s NRL career was re-born at Penrith where he put in some solid performances at five-eighth including a three try effort against New Zealand Warriors.  Also keep an eye out for Dylan Napa who was part of the Sydney Roosters 2013 premiership campaign.  This guy can play!

Clint Newton (United States)

By far the most experienced of the United States team you would expect Clint Newton to play a full eighty minutes which is quite an achievement for the 264-game veteran.  Newton will be a good influence on this side which includes Joseph and Junior Paulo, Ryan McGoldrick and Matthew Petersen who will represent the United States from country rugby league in New South Wales after retiring from Super League and NRL football in 2009.

Ben Flower (Wales)

In a Wales squad which lacks a stand out name, Wigan Warriors forward Ben Flower looks set to lead from the front. The 25-year-old has established himself in the double-winning Warriors team this term, making 24 appearances and grabbing five tries, while featuring heavily in both successful finals. Ahead of the competition, Flower said, “I think we’ve a great squad that can definitely do some damage in the World Cup.” Meanwhile, 20-year-old Rhodri Lloyd, also of Wigan, is an exciting youngster to look out for.

Preview

Wales are the team to watch in this group with the injection of quality NRL and Super League players.  Then it will become a battle for the second between Cook Island and United States.  One tends to think the Cook Islands just might be a little too good for the Tomahawks.  Cook Island’s match with Tonga from Group C on November 5 will be a highlight of both Group C and Group D.

Prediction

30.10.13 USA v Cook Islands (Wrexham) weloveleague predicts Cook Islands to win
03.11.13 Wales v USA (Wrexham) weloveleague predicts Wales to win
10.11.13 Wales v Cook Islands (Neath) weloveleague predicts a Wales victory

Group C/D combined matches

26.10.13 Wales v Italy (Cardiff) weloveleague predicts Wales to win
05.11.13 Tonga v Cook Islands (Leigh) weloveleague predicts Tonga to win
07.11.13 Scotland v USA (Salford) weloveleague predicts Scotland to win

Editor of nothingbutleague since site inception in 2013. Massive Penrith Panthers fan (Member 13120). Email: mattpnbl@outlook.com

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