Town will march as the favourites in the preseason Rarotonga Club 15s competition at Raemaru Park in Arorangi today.
The team will battle Country in Senior A and other divisions including age groups, women and oldies (45 years and over).
Players from Tupapa, Takuvaine and Avatiu will make up the Town team while Country will comprise players from Arorangi, Titikaveka and Ngatangiia.
Ben Koteka, Cook Islands Rugby Union development manager, said the match between the two teams in a regional competition format will be the pre-season opportunity to gather the rugby families before the club segment kicks off in two weeks’ time.
Koteka said they expect some tough matches in both the age group and senior level.
“With the Town consisting of Panthers-Eels-Reds theyn should start favourites in most matches against the Country (Cowboys-Bulls-Sea Eagles) team,” Koteka said.
“This will be a sneak-peek to see where some of the elite players (in all grades)will play this year before the club competition starts and also an opportunity to talent identification of some of the new and fresh talent playing at regional level amongst their peers.”
While the focus will be on the Senior A clash which kicks off at 4pm, fans are looking forward to the Golden Oldies match which will feature rugby legends of yesteryear.
Cook Islands rugby legend General George is the ambassador of the Golden Oldies.
George, who will be leading his Town team, is using the Golden Oldies competition to push for men’s health. He is also the president of the organisation raising awareness on men’s health in the country.
“I guess I’m just passionate about men’s health in general. I’m actually concerned and worried when I see menfolk doing quite bad when compared to women who seem to be living a better life health wise in their latter years,” he said.
“Men may be living longer years but what’s the use when they spend most of their latter years in wheelchair and bedridden. Quality of life matters and that’s what I want to drive here.
“Menfolk need to come out and seek help when they don’t feel ok. They need to keep themselves involved in physical activity when they no longer take part in competitive matches. It’s important to keep our muscles working and active.”
George hopes the inclusion of Golden Oldies in the 2020 Rarotonga Club 15s competition will provide men over 45 years the opportunity to keep themselves active and involved in the sport they hold close to their hearts.
Town versus Country at Arorangi Field – 10.15am: Opening prayer by the hosts; 10.30am: Juniors Under 9s – Quick Rip, half field, 11am: Juniors U13 & U11s – Quick Rip, half field (Refs: Club Officials); 12noon: U16 Rugby 15s (2x 20mins) (Refs: Ben Koteka Assist. Ref: Club Officials); 12.50pm: U19 (2x 30) (Refs: William Taripo, Assist. Simi Teiotu/Dawn Crummer); 1.50pm: Oldies 45+ (2x 15) (Refs: Simiona Teiotu, Assist. Ref: Club Officials);
2.30pm: Senior B (2x 20) (Refs: Peter Godfrey, Assist. Ref: Paul Peyroux/William Tario); 3.30pm: Women’s – Quick Rip (College/Senior Opens) (Refs: Dawn Crummer, Assist. Ref: Club Officials); 4pm: Senior A (2x 35 mins) (Refs: Tua Ngaputa, Assist. Ref: Dawn Crummer/Kora Kora. Sub Bench: Peter Godfrey/Simiona Teiotu).