Moses, Ponga, Papenhuyzen in mix for Australian Nines selection

Parramatta halves Mitchell Moses and Dylan Brown could be on opposite teams when Australia and New Zealand meet in the opening round of the World Cup 9s at Bankwest Stadium on October 18.

Moses, who was named in the Prime Minister's XIII to play Fiji the weekend before the tournament, is being strongly considered for a playmaking role in the Australian Nines team, while Brown could partner Shaun Johnson in the Kiwis halves.

Each of the 12 nations in the inaugural World Cup 9s are due to announce their squads next Wednesday. Australia, New Zealand, England and PNG will also name squad for the women's World Cup 9s to be played side by side with the men's tournament. 

Besides Moses, the likes of Parramatta captain Clint Gutherson, Newcastle's Kalyn Ponga, Melbourne's Ryan Papenhuyzen and Canberra's Nick Cotric are also very much in the mix for Australian selection.

Gold Coast lock Jai Arrow and Brisbane prop Payne Haas are among the leading contenders for middle forward roles, while Titans utility AJ Brimson is also in contention for a spot in the Australian squad.

Moses played for Lebanon at the 2017 World Cup but his only other representative experience was with the NSW Under 20s team in 2014.

He scored the first try at Bankwest Stadium when the Eels opened the venue with a 51-6 thumping of Wests Tigers on Easter Monday and was rewarded for an outstanding season by being awarded the Ken Thornett Medal as Parramatta's player of the year.

Moses and Brown helped take the Eels from last place in 2018 to fifth this year and the 19-year-old five-eighth is considered a future Test star for New Zealand.

Brown is expected to receive his first taste of international football at the World Cup 9s in what could be a star studded Kiwis backline.

Besides Johnson, New Zealand coach Michael Maguire could have the likes of Warriors fullback Roger Tuivasa-Sheck and Warriors playmaker Kodi Nikorima to choose from.

Nikorima could play hooker, with Melbourne's Brandon Smith able to play a middle forward role if not needed at dummy half.

The Kiwis play the Kangaroos in the opening round on October 18, with both nations playing two more pool matches and finals on October 19.  

England players began their preparations at a training camp in Manchester last weekend and Wayne Bennett is due to announce a 16-man squad for the World Cup 9s next week, with former Canberra, Penrith and Wests Tigers five-eighth Blake Austin expected to gain selection.

Former Warriors fullback Sam Tomkins, who now plays for Catalans, is also tipped to feature in the England squad.

However, it is understood that South Sydney captain Sam Burgess will not be in England's squad for the World Cup 9s.

For ticket and travel packages for the Downer Rugby League World Cup 9s Sydney 2019, head to nrl.com/tickets.