|Union||Cook Islands Rugby Union|
|Head coach||Stan Wright|
|World Rugby ranking|
|Current||52 (as of 23 November 2020)|
(1 September 1971)
(2 June 2001)
(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.
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.Cook Islands played and lost to Fiji in 2014 for the last spot (Oceania 1) at the 2015 Rugby World Cup.
Below is table of the representative rugby matches played by an Papau New Guinea national XV at test level up until 20 April 2020.
|Did not enter|
|Did not qualify|
Cook Islands squad for the 2019 Rugby World Cup Oceania qualifiers.
|Player||Position||Date of birth (age)||Caps||Club/province|
|Sam Anderson-Heather||Hooker||15 February 1988 (aged 31)|
|Alex Casey||Prop||3 January 1991 (aged 28)|
|AJ Campbell||Prop||9 August 1990 (aged 29)|
|Alex Matapo||Prop||26 May 1982 (aged 37)|
|Shahn Eru||Lock||20 September 1989 (aged 30)|
|Tyrone Viiga||Loose forward||9 June 1992 (aged 27)|
|Eruu Wano||Loose forward||27 June 1994 (aged 25)|
|Tainui Ford||Loose forward||28 August 1990 (aged 29)|
|Gene Te Amo||Centre|
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