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Quick look at the World Cup Nines

A quick look at the 12 nations contesting this weekend's World Cup Nines in Parramatta.

* AUSTRALIA

Speedsters Ryan Papenhuyzen and AJ Brimson will get their chance in green and gold after impressive club seasons for Melbourne and the Gold Coast respectively, while crowds will flock to see what Kalyn Ponga can do in the open spaces.

One to watch: Athletic Brisbane forward David Fifita could upstage them all thanks to his exciting balance of power and pace.

* COOK ISLANDS

In a pool with Pacific rivals Samoa, Tonga and Fiji, the Cook Islands will be keen to prove their 13-a-side World Cup credentials this weekend. NRL favourites Alex Glenn and Brad Takairangi add substance to Tony Iro's squad while Esan Marster's cousin Steven gets his chance to establish his own reputation.

One to watch: Warrington centre Anthony Gelling could do some damage as he introduces himself to Australian audiences.

* ENGLAND

There is plenty to like about England's squad, with Blake Austin and Gareth Widdop sure to cause headaches alongside the uncompromising James Graham and former New Zealand Warriors fullback Sam Tomkins will relish the extra space.

One to watch: Outside back Ash Handley scored 22 tries in just 29 games for Leeds last season.

* FIJI

The sight of Maika Sivo, Waqa Blake and Suliasi Vunivalu in Fiji colours will instil plenty of fear while proud captain in Kevin Naiqama will lead them around.

One to watch: It's hard to go past Panthers' wrecking ball Viliame Kikau, who has few weaknesses when it comes to the nine-a-side format.

* FRANCE

Only keen observers of European rugby league will recognise names like Paul Marcon and hooker Alrix De Costa, but the French boast plenty of Test experience and continuity that comes with that.

One to watch: Hakim Miloudi is undoubtedly the side's X-factor, capable of producing anything on his day if his former for Toronto is anything to go by.

* LEBANON

Twins Reece and Travis Robinson will head a squad that is devoid of NRL talent as tension between the board and its players continue.

One to watch: Jalal Bazzaz is a former Australian schoolboys talent cutting his teeth on senior football in his sporadic appearances for the Cedars.

* NEW ZEALAND

The late addition of Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad only adds to their list of genuine game-breakers, who will have a narrowed focus thanks to the looming end-of-season Tests.

One to watch: They are a dime a dozen in this side, but Brisbane back Jamayne Isaako is as likely a star as any considering his ability to break lines from a standing start at NRL level.

* PAPUA NEW GUINEA

The Kumuls, led by Rhyse Martin, face a steep assignment with Australia and New Zealand in their pool and only two teams progressing.

One to watch: Justin Olam had a breakout season for Melbourne and will subsequently enter the international area with a target on his back.

* SAMOA

Joey and Luciano Leilua and Michael Chee Kam add pedigree to a squad that also includes David Nofoaluma, Jarome Luai, Brian To'o and Jorge Taufua.

One to watch: Storm prop Tino Fa'asuamaleaui's NRL start was so bright he found himself in Australia's PM's XIII side.

* TONGA

The hype has followed this Tongan side into the weekend, where the stars have arrived despite an ongoing feud with the nation's rugby league administration.

One to watch: The versatile John Asiata is an entertainer who will keep bums on seats as he provides for the superstars around him.

* USA

The Americans will bring an honest squad to Parramatta to face both Australia and New Zealand in their pool, with former NRL players like Eddy Pettybourne and Junior Vaivai the known factors.

One to watch: Cronulla flyer Ronaldo Mulitalo took great leaps for the Sharks this season and will need to provide the magic for the USA to ruffle any feathers.

* WALES

Veteran Bradford centre Rhys Evans, his twin brother Ben, captain Elliot Kear and flying London winger Rhys Williams provide the backbone of this team that will need to upset England to go beyond the pool stages.

One to watch: Fresh off a title with St Helens, pacy outside back Regan Grace will hope for more four-pointers when he touches down in New South Wales this weekend.

© AAP 2019