Former Australia captain Darren Lockyer says the early signs point to a successful 2013 World Cup in the northern hemisphere.
The former Brisbane, Queensland and Kangaroos skipper is in the middle of a 10-day whistle-stop tour of the UK to raise awareness of next year's 14-team tournament, and has been encouraged by his experiences so far. The World Cup will be staged primarily in England and Wales, with games also being played in France and Ireland.
"As an ambassador for the NRL, and part of the international game, I'm trying to add a bit of value to the World Cup and it's been very positive," Lockyer told Press Association Sport. "Ticket sales are going well and I've got to say the RFL are doing a great job in the organisation. They're leaving no stone left unturned."
He added: "It was a big success down under in '08 and I guess the challenge is to make this one bigger and better.
"The planning and preparation for it is very professional. From my playing days, I believe the better you prepare, the more success you're going to get and I think the World Cup is going to be a big success."
Around 50,000 tickets were snapped up within a week of going on sale and the Rugby Football League hopes to reach half a million sales for the 28-match competition, which runs from October 26 to November 30.
The tournament is expected to be dominated by the big three of England, Australia and holders New Zealand, but Lockyer believes at least one of the smaller nations could spring a surprise.
"The international game is improving," he said. "You've got the big three and then the developing nations.
"You have to keep investing in those countries so they can improve and eventually be considered serious contenders. I'm sure there's going to be couple of surprises.
"There is a lot of untapped talent in the NRL, particularly for the Pacific nations."