Cook Islands U18 team in Auckland, New Zealand. CIRU/22101001
A squad of 15 under-18 girls and three game changers who represented the Cook Islands in a world-class rugby development camp in Auckland from October 5 to 9, are back home.
team led by coach Harriet Tuara was part of a collaborative pilot programme for
the women’s pathway at national U18 level in partnership with New Zealand Rugby
and its Oceania Rugby union federations.
national players and officials attended a four-day camp alongside Samoa, Tonga,
Fiji, and Papua New Guinea. They also had the opportunity to witness the
opening match of the Women’s Rugby World Cup in Auckland, New Zealand.
team arrived home on Sunday.
a post on the Cook Islands Rugby Union Facebook page, the management team said:
“An enormous part of the U18s Women’s Rugby development camp was the connection
and lifelong friendships made through the game of rugby. The camp presented our
girls not only the opportunity to play rugby 15s for the first time but it also
paved the way to meet and develop friendships with their Pacific sisters from
Fiji, Samoa and Tonga.”
hope and dream is that these young women will become game drivers in future and
come together again where they can share their colourful experiences of where
the vaka of rugby has journeyed for them.”
essence of the development camp was to give these girls an opportunity to play
rugby 15s and inspire them to pursue further opportunities in the code and/or
grow the game back home, the management team said.
team were fortunate to get three days of game time in a development setting.
This looked like 20-minute-long games against other teams, where the focus was
about learning and putting into practice what they’ve trained long and hard
experience was thoroughly enjoyed by the girls and hopefully we will see more
of game time made possible for them in future Cook Islands Rugby Union seasons.”
team thanked all family members and supporters who watched on from the
sidelines and cheered the girls on during their matches.
players and management were outfitted by the kind and generous sponsorship of
Vodafone Cook Islands.