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NZRL to consider Kuki proposal

Thursday 3 November 2011 | Published in Regional


New Zealand Rugby League will this month examine a Cook Islands proposal requesting a new test match be held between the Kiwis and Kukis teams.

The Cook Islands Rugby League last week submitted a request for compensation to the NZRL following the cancellation of the one-off Kiwi-Kuki test match that was scheduled to be played in Rarotonga on October 6.

The Kiwi team pulled out of the game about a week before it was scheduled to be played, unable to bring together a team due to player injuries and grand final commitments in the NRL, Toyota Cup and NSW Cup.

CIRL has estimated the Kiwi withdrawal from the test cost the Cook Islands about $160,000, through lost investments and lost revenue.

CIRL international director Kevin Iro said that while it would never be known exactly what the Cook Islands could have gained through hosting the match, the organisation was now focused on trying to bring the Kiwis to Rarotonga for a test match.

Were hoping for a similar fixture to what we had scheduled... I think we deserve it.

Iro said it would be a difficult task to get the Kiwis team to play at Rarotonga and it was more likely a different side playing under a banner like the Prime Ministers XIII would make the journey.

Nonetheless, he said CIRL had requested the full Kiwi team play a test match in Rarotonga at the end of the 2012 NRL season in compensation for missing this years match.

The NZRL board will next sit on November 23, following the end of the Four Nations series that is currently being played in the United Kingdom and after a Rugby League International Federation meeting.

NZRL chairman Scott Carter yesterday confirmed the board had received a letter from CIRL with suggestions for future matches.

He said the board would need to consider the matter before NZRL could make any decision on the possibility of a rescheduled match or any further form of compensation.

We will also be considering the reports being prepared by NZRL operational staff on the work they completed in the Cook Islands, as these may be relevant in determining the way forward, Carter said.

...Until the board has discussed the information provided by Kevin Iro there is nothing further to add to the information already provided to you at the time of my visit.

Carter said the NZRL was committed to expanding rugby league in the Pacific, the Cook Islands inclusive, and it would continue to promote the codes development in the region.

The NZRL chooses to support the Pacific nations and has a demonstrable track record in this regard, he said.

It is deeply regrettable that the planned KiwisKukis match could not take place, and we remain committed to assisting CIRL where possible.