The Cook Islands Residents team has two months to prepare for the October series, which will have the national team playing against the Aussie Kukis and a club from Papua New Guinea.
Cook Islands Rugby League Association competitions manager Taua Benioni said there were many obstacles that got in the way of training. He said they needed to overcome them in order to field a formidable side in the series.
“The men started training before the Constitution celebrations with an average of 25 players turning up and we want to maintain those numbers each training night,” said Benioni.
“The ladies’ team have only met one time for a light training run with the handful that showed up, but I’m sure the interest will increase,” he added.
The national women’s team will play against a team which is traveling with the Aussie Kukis.
Coach Ngairi is hoping to step up preparations and is asking all interested players to turn up for training. “CIRLA have always taken in consideration of other sporting code events happening at this time of the year, but as competitors and players themselves, they will make that choice,” Benioni said.
“The standards of playing rugby league here in the Cook Islands advances forward every year and that’s based on preparations in all areas and when having other visiting teams wanting the challenge then we have to be ready.”
Training for both the men’s and women’s teams will be held today at the National stadium, starting at 5pm.
Tupapa Panthers: Teina Savage, Sam Mataora, Thomas Toa, Oki Naea, Rangi Piri, Othniel Joseph, Jamian Iroa, Eddy Nicholas, Nadave Tereapii, Eric Newbigging; Avatiu Eels: Tokerau Raru, Tamanui Nicholas, Louis Mokoroa, Stanley Tuaivi, Junior Kiriau, Puna Hiro, Arii Nicholas, Toru Katuke, Nathan Tisam, Joshua Motu, Ben Murare, Tyson Oa’ariki; Takuvaine Warriors: Ngatamaine Rongo; Ngatangiia Sea Eagles: Christian Hoskin, Ngamata Miriau, Mark Tuaati, Stormel Ruatoe, Daniel Toa, Mike Tou, Willie Kauvai, Alan Toa, Tama Hunter, Domingue Moi; Titikaveka Bulldogs: Teariki Matenga, Pastor Tekaria, Ozwell Tunupoupou, Sai Nagi, Geoff Magele, Clark Ngaau, Jordan Samuel; Arorangi Bears: James Strickland, Spoon Marsters, Rob Heather Junior, Andre Iro, Sam Taoro, Kayel Iro, Tanire Mokoroa; Aitutaki Sharks: Hugh Henry, Ngarima Simiona, Teariki Taua, Mau George, Teremoana Paerau, Tairi Tepaki. For all enquiries you can contact the following by phone: Coach Darren Piri on 54101; Coach Bobby Hansen on 52186, Coach Tai Ngariri on 53525.