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Friday 22 October 2010 | Published in Regional


Excitement is brewing in the women’s rugby camp as the first ever Cook Islands women’s rugby sevens squad prepares to jet off this weekend to the Asia Pacific tournament in Borneo.

The tournament will be played between October 29 and 31 and will include the best women’s teams from across the Pacific and Asia.

The Cook Islands women’s team was selected this week after months of fitness and skills training and the local based players have one last hit out this Saturday before departing on their tour.

The local ladies have been the talk of the local rugby sevens circle over the past two weeks as skills and fitness seen on the field have impressed even the hardest of critics.

This is testimony to the commitment of the players, trainers, coach and managers who’ve worked hard to get the local girls into tip top rugby sevens form.

The team’s fitness training has been run by renowned Kiwi trainer Keith Roberts while Nooroa Maui has lifted the skills and rugby playing nous of the players.

The team will be managed in Borneo by president of the Cook Islands Rugby Union John Wichman.

The team is made up of local, New Zealand and one Australian player and will be led by local captain Julieanne Westrupp and local vice-captain Edith Nicholas.

The remaining squad members are Akaiti Purea, Apii Nicholls (NZ), Elianna Walton (Aust), Marae Mataroa, Margaret Nena (NZ), Mary Adams (NZ), Patricia Taea, Tai Wichman, Tarome Urirau, Teariivahine (Mama) Henry.

Non-travelling reserves are Jamie Gotty, Awhitia Pepe, Mareta Angene, Toru Mateariki and Maria Tare.

The team departs this Sunday and messages of support can be sent through to while the team is in Borneo.