Cooks rugby chief resigns

Wednesday August 07, 2019 Written by Published in Rugby Union
Simiona Teiotu (officiating in yellow) is the interim president of the Cook Islands Rugby Union. 19080624 Simiona Teiotu (officiating in yellow) is the interim president of the Cook Islands Rugby Union. 19080624

Cook Islands Rugby Union has appointed Simiona Teiotu as the interim president following the resignation of Sean Smith.


Local lawyer Smith, who took over the reins of the national rugby union body in April last year, stepped down citing personal reasons.

The interim position was first offered to vice-president Charlie Hosking and treasurer Anthony Turua. They both declined the offer citing work commitments.

Teiotu, who was the secretary, then stepped up to the challenge to take the leading role as the interim president.

Teiotu said the former president in his resignation letter dated July 14 said he was unable to fully commit to his rugby role due to personal reasons.

He said while they were disappointed to learn about Smith’s resignation, they are grateful for the contribution he made in the development of rugby in the country.

“When he was the president, he did a lot of work to improve the profile of the game. We thank him for this contribution to Cook Islands Rugby Union and rugby in general,” Teiotu said.

“We have also asked Sean to stay on as the legal advisor. He was instrumental in bringing in a legal advisor from Oceania Rugby to draft a new constitution for us which will align us to World Rugby.”

After his appointment last year, Smith said he had a five to 10-year plan that aimed to have a strong structure from top to bottom.

“With the previous administration, we felt there was not a clear direction that they were taking. They operated within their limits, but I think at times they put too many eggs in too many baskets,” Smith then told Cook Islands News.

“Whereas we can start focusing on a certain few. For example, the local scene needs to improve. We definitely have the capacity to improve, and that’s from under eights right up to the seniors.

“The grassroots - you have to start there because you can’t pump out a high quality team without a solid base.”

The incoming interim president Teiotu is no stranger to the game and is ready to fulfill some of Smith’s ambitious goals.

Teiotu also heads the Cook Islands Rugby Referees Association and is the vice-president of the national Touch body. He was part of Athletics Cook Islands from 1989-1990.

“I have experience in dealing with matters of interest in sports in the country and I’m looking forward to the challenge. We have also requested for former president Moana Moeka'a to come onboard and assist us on the administration side as he has a lot of experience in that area.”

Teiotu said their main focus was the upcoming domestic competition starting this weekend and the 30th Raro International Sevens.

He said they would be calling a special general meeting in the near future to elect a new president.

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