Kukis face Kumuls in Pacific Test

Thursday March 16, 2017 Written by Published in League

Cook Islands national rugby league side will play the Papua New Guinea Kumuls in the revamped Pacific Test on May 6 at Campbelltown Sports Stadium in Sydney, Australia.

 

The triple-header will also see the Fiji Bati taking on the Mate Ma’a Tonga and Pacific powerhouse Samoa playing the England side.

Cook Islands Rugby League Association president Charles Carlson said they were pleased with the opportunity to be part of the Pacific Test again after the lapse of three years.

He said they would prepare and play well to ensure they maintain their spot in the competition. 

“It’s been disappointing having the Cooks excluded from this Pacific Test for the past three years,” Carlson said.

“We have been lobbying hard with the organisers to have the Cooks included and now the opportunity has presented itself so we want to make sure we stay there!”

Carlson said since this was an NRL test, the players in the squad will include those playing in the top competitions such as the NRL, Super League and NSW/Queensland Cup.

He said the local based players would not be considered for this upcoming match.

“This is the best you can get and we want to pick the best of the best, we have always stated that to all players including New Zealand and Australia-based players. To make the national squad, you must be playing at that level,” Carlson said.

“We are playing against professional sides where rugby league is their full time job. So you got to pick a team that is equally professional to play these teams.

“There is no such thing as a special quota for locals, if you want to make the national side then work your way up to the top like everyone else.”

The Kukis last played the Kumuls in an international match in the 2009 Pacific Cup final in Port Moresby. The national side lost 42-14.

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