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Saturday 5 November 2011 | Published in Regional


The Cook Islands Sports Academy (CISA) will unleash a rugby assault on New Zealand this week as it travels south to test itself against some of the countrys top schools.

Eighteen CISA rugby players and five support staff will leave the Cook Islands tonight for New Zealand for their end of year tour.

The academy typically takes its members to one of the outer islands for the tour, but they managed to raise enough money this year to head further afield and visit New Zealand for the second time.

CISA tutor Kevin Iro said a number of New Zealand schools have jumped at the chance to keep their rugby players active over what is usually a quieter time of year for them.

On Tuesday, New Zealand time, the CISA boys will take part in a sevens union tournament organised for their journey.

In that tournament, theyll line up against teams from Mount Albert Grammar, Auckland Grammar, Wesley College, Rosmini High School and the Village Sports Academy.

Later in the week, CISA will play a rugby league match against a combined East Auckland team which has been specially formed for the academys visit.

Iro said through this tour, CISA has the rare chance to test itself against its peers in New Zealand as well as promote itself and its players.

He said the academy would also strengthen its links with New Zealand schools and colleges through the contact, giving its students more opportunity to attract scholarships and build up their profile overseas.

Iro said the Rarotongan had helped a great deal to raise money as did Vonnias and General Transport to sponsor the boys outfits and uniforms. The Red Cross, Zumba with Franky and Jane Wichman were also named among those who helped.