NRL Semi Final - Eels v Rabbitohs
SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - OCTOBER 10: Damien Cook of the Rabbitohs celebrates as he runs in to score a try during the NRL Semi Final match between the Parramatta Eels and the South Sydney Rabbitohs at Bankwest Stadium on October 10, 2020 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Mark Kolbe/Getty Images)

New South Wales Blues' Origin hooker doesn't want to hear a bar of Australia pulling out of the 2021 Rugby League World Cup.

The star hooker, who, following New South Wales' commanding series win, should be in the box seat to wear the green and gold number nine jumper in England later this year, wants to play.

While Australia are yet to commit to the tournament on the back of most other nations doing so, organisers are pushing ahead with plans for the tournament, which is due to kick-off in under 100 days despite the global pandemic.

NRL clubs are believed to be strongly against the tournament, realising how far it would shorten their pre-season heading into 2022. While the tournament has been held in England previously, players would be delayed by another two weeks upon their return to Australia due to quarantine requirements from the federal government.

But Cook isn't worried about that, telling the media that he is keen to play.

“Look, it is going to be a long time away from home, but I’m not passing up the opportunity to possibly be a part of the World Cup that is for sure,” Cook said.

“The opportunity to play in a World Cup if I was selected I’d want to be a part of it.

“I understand they have to go through the right things to make sure they protect the players, but if it is a chance to go to the World Cup and I’m picked, I would be wanting to go over there.”

Both the men's and women's World Cups are understood to be in danger of being called off, although tournament organisers have barely acknowledged that as being a remote possibility.

Just last week Welsh coach John Kear called for the tournament to go ahead without Australia and New Zealand, should they refuse to commit, while others have suggested Australia and New Zealand be represented by English Super League lists.

The 2021 Rugby League World Cup is due to kick-off on October 23, just three weeks after the NRL grand final, and run until the end of November.

Australia are drawn in Group B alongside Fiji, Scotland and Italy, while New Zealand are in Group C alongside Lebanon, Ireland and tournament newcomers Jamaica. Group A is made up of England, Samoa, France and Greece, while Group D consists of Tonga, Papua New Guinea, Wales and the Cook Islands.

If the NRL pulled their players out, many of the Pacific Island nations would also struggle to name teams, with many of their players based in Australia's top-flight competition.