This game will be used as final trial before Cook Islands name their squad for the Women’s Rugby League World Cup 2017 in November.
Twenty-five women from all over Australia and New Zealand including a couple from the Cook Islands will assemble for the game, with the squad to be named for the test match after training on Friday.
“It is always a challenge assembling the girls because of the cost of bringing them together,” Rugby League president Charles Carlson said.
“New Zealand held a separate trial which include a couple of local girls, while Australia also held their own trials in Sydney. From these two trials we then selected a squad for this game.
“We managed to achieve this because of all associations working together (Cook Islands, Australia and New Zealand) otherwise we couldn’t do it.
“We also certainly like to acknowledge both Associations Ozzie Cooks and the NZ Cooks for helping out in the preparation of the team.”
Leading the team is coach Ian Bourke, coach of the Wyong Roos NSW Cup competition with managers Terence Tangatapoto and Maherau Arona.
Lying ahead for those that qualify is an incredibly talented pool of Australia, New Zealand and England.
However, the team is embracing their underdog status.
“This is an awesome challenge for the smallest island in the comp taking on the top three nations in the world. Anything can happen on the day!” Carlson added.
He also emphasised the importance of November’s tournament.
“There is a big push by the Rugby League International Federation to promote and grow women’s league, hence the reason for including them alongside the men’s Rugby League World Cup 2017.
“The Women’s World Final will also be the curtainraiser to the men’s World Cup Finals, so this is certainly good for women’s league.
“To qualify for the Women’s Rugby League World Cup is an achievement in itself for our women so we should all be proud of this and support them all the way.
“We’d also like to acknowledge our sponsors RHODES, BCI, and especially the Wenty League Club and Wyong Rugby League Club in Sydney for their support.”
- CIRL/ Conor Leathley
1. Chantelle Schofield (CI), 2. Benjamina Koiatu (NZ), 3. Tenielle Peuroux (Sydney), 4. Jayne Kareroa (VIC), 5. Courtney Robinson (QLD/ Ina Maraeara), 6. Cecilia Strickland (WA), 7. Manea Poa (NZ), 8. Josina Singapu (QLD), 9. Manu Mehau (Sydney), 10. Karol Tanevesi (Sydney), 11. Marina Howard Hagai (NZ), 12. Kersal Johnson (Sydney), 13. Danielle Apaina (NZ), 14. Julianna Poona (NZ), 15. Katey Arona (NZ), 16. Steph Wilson (Sydney), 17. Rachael Pounga (QLD), 18. Eliza Wilson (NZ), 19. Natalee Tagavaitau (NZ), 20. Loretta Fraser (NZ), 21. Urshla Kere (Sydney), 22. Evelyn Titiare (CI), 23. Kaylen Ikitule (NZ), 24.Seline Teremate (QLD), 25. Sam Taia (Sydney).