“The majority of the boys are from the Hunters. They had a huge year, a very successful year. They’re a lot more professional now. They know how to look after their bodies really well. They’re also mentally a lot tougher.
“In my opinion, this is one of the best squads we’ve ever had.
“It’s just a matter of preparing well at training, taking that over to Fiji and building from there to get ready for the World Cup
“I think we’ve got a really good group of players, and I look forward to getting this game out of the way in Fiji and then to our first game here at the National Football Stadium.
Mead, who will be playing in this third Rugby League World Cup said it will be an honour to lead the team out to battle.
“The time has gone by so fast since I made my debut back in 2008.
“I never thought I’d get the honors of playing in three Rugby League World Cups, let alone being captain of the country.
“I look forward to captaining the team in this year’s World Cup. In saying that, I’ve got some great guys around me who I can lean on for support and ask for advice-guys like Paul Aiton, Rod Griffin, Ase Boas and James Segeyaro.
“We’ve got a good side and guys who can do the job. We’ve got faith and trust in each other.
“I’m ready to lead,” said Mead.