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Local player Matamanea Matapakia is one of the frontrunners for a place in the Cook Islands team for the Rugby World Cup qualifiers against Hong Kong later this month.
In a special Q&A session with Cook Islands Rugby Union, the Atiu player discusses his passion for the game and his chances of making the team.
Hong Kong had double cause to celebrate on Saturday after their 39-5 victory over Korea not only gave them a first-ever Asia Rugby Championship title, but also kept their hopes of qualifying for Rugby World Cup 2019 alive.
Four overseas-based players will compete with a dozen locals for a spot in the Cook Islands rugby squad to play two World Cup play-off matches against Hong Kong.
Sam Anderson-Heather or “Simmo”, son of Henry Heather and Hayley Anderson and grandson of Heather Heather, is an exciting prospect for the Cook Islands Rugby World Cup qualifier squad.
Two Cook Islanders are part of the history-making New Zealand female rugby players who have become the first-ever 15s players to be offered Black Ferns contracts.
Former Tauae Bulls player Jordan Taufua is one of three new players named in the 33-man All Blacks squad for the three-test series to be played against France in New Zealand next month.
Former national player Stan Wright has been reinstated as the national head coach of the Cook Islands rugby team ahead of the Rugby World Cup 2019 qualifying series, which starts at the end of next month.