League names men’s training squad for PacGames

Saturday January 26, 2019 Written by Published in League

Cook Islands Rugby League has named a 44-member national men’s training squad for the Pacific Games to be held in July in Samoa.


The players who are locally based were selected based on their performances at the Tri Series last year and the Nines competition earlier this month.

The team coached by Bobby Hansen will be trimmed to 25 and eventually to a final 15.

Cook Islands Rugby League official Tai Nelio said coach Hansen was very happy with the keen interest of many local players who have put their hands up to represent the Cook Islands at the Pacific Games.

Nelio said many Cook Islands overseas players have also asked to join but they could not because they do not meet the games criteria.

The Pacific Games criteria include players have to be born in the Cook Islands, or have resided here for five years, be a Cook Islands resident and have a New Zealand passport.

The training squad comprised some experienced players who are leading their respective teams in the domestic competition.

“Experienced players like Eric Newbigging, Ozwel Tunupopo, Aiden Anunga and Sato Wale will inject depth in the team. As well as the inclusion of the Iro brothers Kayal and Andre and Chedyn Mani who will add speed and balance in the team,” Nelio said.

“Players will be picked on form not reputation.”


Cook Islands training squad – Aljamaine Epati, Thomas Toa, Eddie Nicholas, Ngatamaine Rongo, Eric Newbigging, Teina Savage, Rangi Piri, Turori Matutu, Andre Iro, Kayal Iro, James Strickland, Spoon Marsters, Robert Heather, Tanire Mokoroa, Spoon Marsters, Basil Matapo, Geoff Taripo, Temata Rangi, Aiden Anguna, Tama Nicholas, John Nicholas, Tokerau Raru, Arii Nicholas, Hosea Taripo, Tutu David,  Mau George, David Paulo, Leonard Roa,  Raymond Mitchell, Teremoana Paerau, Leonard Vakatini, Taunga Arama, Ozwel Tunupopo, Tearki Matenga, Tamatoa Hunter, Chedyn Mani, William Rani, Thomas Daniel, Mark Tuaati, Christian Hosking, Willie Kauvai, Peter Marsters, Sato Wale, Reboama Morris Ponga, Giovani Pepe.

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