Cook Islands national rugby union team

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Cook Islands
Cook islands rugby logo.png
Union Cook Islands Rugby Union
Nickname(s) Cookies
Coach(es) Barry George
Captain(s) Stan Wright
Team kit
First international
Western Samoa  24 - 18  Cook Islands
(1 September 1971)
Largest win
Cook Islands  77 - 0  Tahiti
(2 June 2001)
Largest defeat
Fiji  108-6  Cook Islands
(28 June 2014)

The Cook Islands is a third tier rugby union playing nation. They began playing international rugby in the early 1971. Thus far, the Cook Islands have not made an appearance at any of the World Cups.

History[edit]

A scratch team of Rarontongan boys including the late Sir Albert Henry played the 1924 All Blacks Invincibles on their way to the United Kingdom and drew 0-0 although this could never be considered an official international.

The Cook Islands played their first official international on September 1, 1971 against Western Samoa, losing 24 points to 18. The Cook Islands went on to win against Wallis and Futuna the next day and then lose again to Samoa the day after.

The next time the Cook Islands played was nine years later in 1980, in a close game against a touring Italian side; the Cook Islands won by 15 - 6. Three years later they again played Samoa, again losing. The next match for the Islanders wasn't until 1996, when they played Papua New Guinea. Since then, they play regularly against them and fellow Pacific sides Niue and Tahiti.

While Niue and the Cook Islands are not members of the Pacific Tri-Nations competition, they can supply players for the Pacific Islanders'. The first and still sole player from Cook Islands to have represented the Pacific Islanders was Tu Tamarua, in 2004.

The best Cook Islands rugby players often play in New Zealand where there is a large Cook Island population.

The Cook Islands entered the play-off round 4 against Tonga for a berth at the 2007 Rugby World Cup, but suffered heavy losses by 77-10 at home and 90-0 away, in 2006, being eliminated.

The Cook Islands entered recently Oceania Cup, but were surprisingly eliminated by Niue who beat them 18-7 at Rarotonga.

The 2013 Oceania Cup hosted by Papa New Guinea saw the Cook Islands record wins over Tahiti, Soloman Islands and the final hosts Papa New Guinea.[1] This will make Cook Islands playing Fiji in 2014 for the last spot (Oceania 1) at the 2015 Rugby World Cup in England.[2]

World Cup record[edit]

  • 1987 – Not invited
  • 1991–1995 – Did not enter
  • 1999–2015 – Did not qualify

Current Squad[edit]

Cook Islands 24-man squad for the 2015 Rugby World Cup Oceania qualifier against Fiji on 28 June 2014. Plus the two warm-up matches against Thames Valley and Blues Development.[3]

  • Head Coach: New Zealand Barry George

Notable players[edit]

Japan National Rugby Union Team (The Brave Blossoms)[edit]

New Zealand National Rugby Union Team (All Blacks)[edit]

Samoa National Rugby Union Team (Manu Samoa)[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ IRB.COM (14 February 2014). "One win, one dream for ambitious Cooks". Retrieved 15 May 2014. 
  2. ^ IRB.COM (15 July 2013). "Cook Islands to play Fiji for a place at RWC". Retrieved 15 May 2014. 
  3. ^ Cook Islands name squad for Rugby World Cup Qualifier

External links[edit]