Tonga name World Cup Squad

Parramatta Eels five-eighth Feleti Mateo will spearhead a host of NRL stars in the 36-man Tongan team announced today for the 2008 Rugby League World Cup.

Lopini and Mickey Paea (Roosters), Antonio Kaufusi (Storm) plus Willie Tonga and John Kite (Bulldogs) join Mateo in a star-studded squad that also includes young gun Eddie Paea (Rabbitohs).

The squad, which will be reduced to 24 on October 8, also features leading English Super League players Louis and Vinnie Anderson (Warrington), Willie Manu (Hull FC) and Tame Tupou (Bradford).

Tonga, who missed the quarter-finals in the last World Cup in 2000, have been drawn in Pool 3 with Samoa and Ireland for the 2008 tournament.

They will open their 2008 campaign against Ireland at Parramatta Stadium on October 27 before tackling Samoa at Penrith