Rugby league steps out from the shadow of its bigger, more popular rugby union brother for the next five weeks when 14 countries compete in a World Cup that has new teams, a new format but in all likelihood the same old script.
Five years after New Zealand upset Australia in its own backyard to win the sport's biggest prize for the first time, the two southern hemisphere heavyweights have arrived in Europe ready to dominate the tournament once again.
Only England, the host nation boasting its strongest squad for some time, threatens to prevent Australia and New Zealand colliding in the Nov. 30 final at Old Trafford, the home of Manchester United.
Nine-time champion Australia starts out as the favorite, but the late inclusion of Sonny Bill Williams in New Zealand's squad has boosted the holder's chances.
England plays Australia in the tournament's opening match on Saturday.