Rugby league in the Cook Islands

Rugby league in the Cook Islands

Rugby league is a popularFact|date=September 2008 team sport played in the Cook Islands.



The Cook Islands’ were introduced to rugby league in 1988 when the national team played it first fixture against the New Zealand Maori teamFact|date=September 2008. In the mid 1990s Rugby League in the Cook Islands received significant funding through the SuperLeague organisationFact|date=September 2008 however money from this source is no longer availableFact|date=September 2008. Also a fall in the population has made it difficult to muster rugby league playing numbers in the Cook Islands themselves. Much of the rugby league played by Cook Islanders has been in AustraliaFact|date=September 2008 and New Zealand where there are strong Cook Island populationsFact|date=September 2008.

In more recent times Cook Islands rugby league has received a major boost through the involvement of former professional rugby league players Kevin Iro and Matt Rua (both native Cook Islanders){ [fact in the form of selector and defensive coach for the national side. Both players represented New Zealand internationally and played many NRL games.

The National Team

Other Representative Sides

In 2005 the Cook Islands Rugby League Avaiki XIII Tri Series was played between three Cook Island sides (Australian Cook Island Style, NZ Cooks and a Resident XIII). The winners of the series were the Australian Cook Islands Style team. This was used to select the national side that drew a three match series with the New Zealand Māori


NZ Cooks v Resident XIII, November 25, 2005

Australian Cook Island Style 26 NZ Cooks 14

Australian Cook Island Style 24 Residents XIII 18, November 18, 2005 changed


The domestic Cook Islands rugby league competition for 2006 begins on February 3. The following teams are competing: []


*Titikaveka Bulldogs
*Tupapa Panthers
*Avatiu/Nikao Eels
*St George Pitbulls
*Avarua Warriors
*Arorangi Bears
*Aitutaki Sharks


*2006 Avatiu Eels
*2007 Avatiu Eels
*2008 Tupap Panthers 21-6 Avatiu Eels

ee also

*Sport in the Cook Islands


* [ Cook Islands Herald website]

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