RTE Sport has learned that former Irish rugby league players Joe Marler and Joe McKeen will be the featured guests of the Rugby League International Series (RLIS) in Auckland this summer.
Marler, a former England international, is the director of rugby league operations at the New Zealand Rugby League.
He has been working with the RLIS to promote the RLIs brand in the United States and Australia.
McKeen, who played four years in the New South Wales Rugby League, has been playing rugby league professionally since 2005.
He played two seasons in the Australian Super League and a decade in the NRL.
Rugby League International series director Andrew O’Neill said the event was a unique opportunity for the RLI to build on the momentum the international series had built.
“Rugger League Internationals are a huge event for the game and we look forward to seeing the fans at the Auckland event get their first look at our amazing brand of rugby,” he said.
“We also want to showcase the fantastic support we receive from our passionate fan base in the U.S. and Canada.”
The RLIs top-four finish in each of the three regions will be decided by a knockout stage to be held in Melbourne.
The first round will be held at the Brisbane Entertainment Centre on May 17, followed by the second round at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on May 18.
The final two matches are set to be played in Auckland on May 23 and 24.
Reds boss Warren Gatland will be part of the tour as a guest of the RLInternationals.