Legendary All Blacks coach Sir Graham Henry pointed to a Cook Islander as being one of the people most responsible for the All Blacks record-breaking success over the past 14 years.
Cook Islander Teddy Stanaway has been elevated to the travelling reserve role with the All Blacks Sevens team for the Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast, Australia.
The Cook Islands Rugby Union (CIRU) will have their work cut out for them if they are to compete at the top level in sevens, as it will require an influx of money.
The Cook Islands went winless in the Hong Kong Sevens qualifiers, suffering heavy loses to both Ireland and Uruguay on the first day before narrowly losing to Jamaica yesterday afternoon.
The fanfare that the Cook Islands sevens team has received since their arrival in Hong Kong will not distract them from their ultimate goal of qualifying for the World Sevens Series circuit, says team manager Simon Iopu.
Before departing to participate in the Hong Kong Sevens tournament, the Cook Islands national sevens team were presented with $10,000 raised with the aim of putting a bit of money back in their pockets.
Over the next three weeks, a rugby-mad couple will be running a non-contact rugby programme for young children called Rugbytots around the Cook Islands.