Cook Islands Rugby League has proven that Cook Islanders can compete at the elite level by qualifying at the last Rugby League World Cup, says League president Charles Carlson.
says it was good news seeing more Cook Islanders playing at an elite level.
comes after Xavier Willison was in the starting line-up for the Broncos against
Dolphins match over the weekend.
said: “For us to be competitive at the international level, our players must be
playing at the highest level of competition not in rugby league only but across
most sports have now gone semi or fully professional and if one is not careful
the gap will start to widen between the nations.
think many of us are still stuck in this amateur mentality thinking we can
still compete against the best in the World.
hugely disadvantaged with a tiny population but CIRL has proven that we can
compete at the elite level by qualifying at the last Rugby League World Cup for
both our men and women.”
it is not easy to qualify for any World event but CIRL has done it by simply
picking the best of the best.
unfortunately the best comes from the NRL system.”
Willison made his debut for the Cook Islands last year against Toa Samoa.
“Unfortunately, after sustaining an injury during the season, he missed the
selection for the WC in England last year.”
Carlson said it was good to see him playing along another Cook Islands
international Brendan Piakura.
is good for the Cook Islands as they prepare for the World Cup qualifying game
against the African / Middle East winner for the World Cup 2025.”
added that the Women have already qualified for the World Cup 2025.