Cook Islands national rugby union team

Last updated
Cook Islands
Cook islands rugby logo.png
Union Cook Islands Rugby Union
Head coach Stan Wright
Captain Sam Anderson-Heather
Kit left arm.svg
Kit bodycook islands rugby.png
Kit body.svg
Kit right arm.svg
Kit shorts.svg
Kit socks long.svg
First colours
World Rugby ranking
Current52 (as of 23 November 2020)
First international
Flag of Samoa.svg  Western Samoa 24–18 Flag of the Cook Islands.svg  Cook Islands
(1 September 1971)
Biggest win
Flag of the Cook Islands.svg  Cook Islands 86–0 Flag of French Polynesia.svg  Tahiti
(2 June 2001)
Biggest defeat
Flag of Fiji.svg  Fiji 108–6 Flag of the Cook Islands.svg  Cook Islands
(28 June 2014)

The Cook Islands is a third tier rugby union playing nation. They began playing international rugby in the early 1971. Thus far, the Cook Islands have not made an appearance at any of the World Cups.



In 1924 a scratch team of Rarotongan boys, including the late Sir Albert Henry, played the All Black Invincibles on their way to the United Kingdom. The game was drawn 0–0. [1]

The Cook Islands played their first official international on September 1, 1971 against Western Samoa, losing 24 points to 18. The Cook Islands went on to win against Wallis and Futuna the next day and then lose again to Samoa the day after.

The next time the Cook Islands played was nine years later in 1980, in a close game against a touring Italian side; the Cook Islands won by 15 – 6. Three years later they again played Samoa, again losing. The next match for the Islanders wasn't until 1996, when they played Papua New Guinea. Since then, they play regularly against them and fellow Pacific sides Niue and Tahiti.

While Niue and the Cook Islands are not members of the Pacific Tri-Nations competition, they can supply players for the Pacific Islanders'. The first and still sole player from Cook Islands to have represented the Pacific Islanders was Tu Tamarua, in 2004.

The best Cook Islands rugby players often play in New Zealand where there is a large Cook Island population.

The Cook Islands entered the play-off round 4 against Tonga for a berth at the 2007 Rugby World Cup, but suffered heavy losses by 77–10 at home and 90–0 away, in 2006, being eliminated.

The Cook Islands entered recently Oceania Cup, but were surprisingly eliminated by Niue who beat them 18–7 at Rarotonga.

The 2013 Oceania Cup hosted by Papua New Guinea saw the Cook Islands record wins over Tahiti, Soloman Islands and the final hosts Papua New Guinea. [2] Cook Islands played and lost to Fiji in 2014 for the last spot (Oceania 1) at the 2015 Rugby World Cup. [3]

Overall Record

Overall Records

Below is table of the representative rugby matches played by an Papau New Guinea national XV at test level up until 20 April 2020. [4]

TeamMatWonLostDrawWin%Last playedForAgaDiff
Flag of Fiji.svg  Fiji 2020%20143161–148
Flag of Hong Kong.svg  Hong Kong 2020%2018377–74
Flag of Italy.svg  Italy 1100100%1980156+9
Flags of New Caledonia.svg  New Caledonia 2200100%20038213+69
Flag of New Zealand.svg  Māori All Blacks 1010100%19921729–12
Flag of Niue.svg  Niue 752071.43%200919375+118
Flag of Papua New Guinea.svg  Papua New Guinea 743057.14%2013163153+10
Flag of Samoa.svg  Samoa 3030%31102–71
Flag of the Solomon Islands.svg  Solomon Islands 1100100%20133912+27
Flag of French Polynesia.svg  Tahiti 972077.78%2017419128+291
Flag of Tonga.svg  Tonga 3030%200622235–212
Flag of France.svg  Wallis and Futuna 1100100%19712918+11

World Cup record

YearRoundPositionPlayedWonDrewLostPts ForAgainst
Flag of Australia (converted).svg Flag of New Zealand.svg 1987 Not invited
Flag of the United Kingdom.svg Flag of Ireland.svg Flag of France.svg 1991
Flag of South Africa.svg 1995
Did not enter
Flag of Wales (1959-present).svg 1999
Flag of Japan.svg 2019
Did not qualify

Current squad

Cook Islands squad for the 2019 Rugby World Cup Oceania qualifiers. [5]

Player Position Date of birth (age)CapsClub/province
Sam Anderson-Heather Hooker (1988-02-15)15 February 1988 (aged 31) Flag of New Zealand.svg Otago
Matt Mullany Hooker Flag of New Zealand.svg Johnsonville
Alex Casey Prop (1991-01-03)3 January 1991 (aged 28) Flag of Australia (converted).svg Queensland Country
AJ Campbell Prop (1990-08-09)9 August 1990 (aged 29) Flag of Australia (converted).svg North Brisbane
Alex Matapo Prop (1982-05-26)26 May 1982 (aged 37) Flag of New Zealand.svg Ponsonby
Tuakana Paitai Prop Flag of New Zealand.svg Morrinsville
James Pakoti Prop Flag of New Zealand.svg Wairarapa Bush
Oneal Rongo Lock Flag of New Zealand.svg Northland
Shahn Eru Lock (1989-09-20)20 September 1989 (aged 30) Flag of France.svg Perpignan
Tai Marsters Lock Flag of New Zealand.svg Ardmore Marist
Tyrone Viiga Loose forward (1992-06-09)9 June 1992 (aged 27) Flag of France.svg AS Béziers
Eruu Wano Loose forward (1994-06-27)27 June 1994 (aged 25) Flag of New Zealand.svg Ardmore Marist
Tainui Ford Loose forward (1990-08-28)28 August 1990 (aged 29) Flag of Australia (converted).svg Queensland Country
Teara Henderson Scrum-half Flag of New Zealand.svg Oriental Rongotai
Corry Tearoa Scrum-half Flag of Australia (converted).svg Wanneroo Districts
Walter Koteka Fly-half Flag of Australia (converted).svg Wests Scarborough
Will Raea Fly-half Flag of New Zealand.svg Manurewa
Reece Joyce Fly-half Flag of New Zealand.svg Bombay
Josh Gordon Centre Flag of New Zealand.svg Southern
Gene Te Amo Centre Flag of New Zealand.svg Manurewa
Josh Tinomana Centre Flag of Australia (converted).svg Wests Scarborough
Brynn Uriarau Wing Flag of Australia (converted).svg Taradale
Oisin Clarken Wing Flag of Australia (converted).svg Moorabbin
Justin Masters Fullback Flag of Australia (converted).svg Melbourne Rising
Greg Mullany Fullback Flag of New Zealand.svg OBU

Notable players

See also

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  1. "Albert Royle Henry". Cook Islands Sports and National Olympic Committee. Retrieved 3 August 2020.
  2. IRB.COM (14 February 2014). "One win, one dream for ambitious Cooks". Archived from the original on 17 May 2014. Retrieved 15 May 2014.
  3. IRB.COM (15 July 2013). "Cook Islands to play Fiji for a place at RWC". Archived from the original on 17 May 2014. Retrieved 15 May 2014.
  4. "team records". espnscrum. Retrieved 20 April 2020.
  5. "RWC hopes still have life". Cook Islands News. 14 June 2018.