Wellington-born and raised Vodafone Warriors wing Bureta Faraimo is included in the 23-man United States squad for the 2017 Rugby League World Cup.
The 27-year-old – who has signed with Hull FC – joined the Vodafone Warriors midway through the 2017 season, scoring three tries in eight appearances for the club’s Intrust Super Premiership side.
He was on international duty for the United States Hawks against Canada when the Vodafone Warriors lost their ISP preliminary final to Wyong.
Former Parramatta Eel Faraimo played his junior rugby league for St George in Wellington. Of American Samoan descent, he made four appearances for the United States at the 2013 Rugby League World
The Americans, who are coached by Leeds boss Brian McDermott, have named 12 players who have participated in USARL’s club competition.
“Having a large group of actual American players is a massive thing for USA rugby league. It shows how much the game is developing and that will only help attract sponsors, fans and more people who will want to play," said McDermott.
"The American people want to see Americans playing. We expect to show that we are more than competitive against the world’s best rugby league countries.”
The squad also includes a handful of players from USA’s previous World Cup campaign that ‘Shocked the World’ when advancing the pool stage only to lose to Australia in the quarter-finals in 2013.
Included are Faraimo, Eddy Pettybourne, Gabriel Farley, Daniel and Stephen Howard, Kristin Freed and Mark Offerdahl. Joining the American side for his first World Cup is Junior Vaivai.
RLWC 2017 | UNITED STATES HAWKS
Jonathan Taylor Alley (Central Florida Warriors)
Ryan Burroughs (Toronto Wolfpack)
Charles ‘CJ' Cortalano (White Plains Wombats)
Joseph Eichner (Toronto Wolfpack)
Bureta Faraimo (Vodafone Warriors)
Gabriel Farley (Philadelphia Fight)
Kristian Freed (White Plains Wombats)
Daniel Howard (Wentworthville Magpies)
Stephen Howard (Mounties)
Martwain Johnston (Delaware Black Foxes)
Andrew Kneisly (Philadelphia Fight)
Corey Makelim (Mounties)
Fotukava ‘Hiko' Malu (Atlanta Rhinos)
David Marando (Belrose Eagles)
Nicholas Newlin (Atlanta Rhinos)
Mark Offerdahl (London Broncos)
Edward Pettybourne (Tweed Heads Seagulls)
Joshua Rice (New York Knights)
Matthew Shipway (South Newcastle)
Samuel Tochtermann-Talbott (Tweed Heads Seagulls)
David Ulch (Tampa Mayhem)
Taioalo Junior Vaivai (Illawarra Wests Devils)
Matthew Walsh (White Plains Wombats)
USA vs Fiji
6.30pm (local time), Saturday, October 28
USA vs Italy
6.30pm (local time), Sunday, November 5
USA vs Papua New Guinea
3.30pm (local time), Sunday, November 12