23 Jun 2014

Sport: Bonds form quickly for Cook Islands rugby team

12:01 pm on 23 June 2014

The Cook Islands rugby captain Stan Wright says despite a short lead-in the team has gelled quickly and will be ready come Saturday's World Cup qualifier against Fiji.

The match will determine which of the two sides will progress to next year's tournament, joining England, Australia, Wales and a playoff winner in Pool A.

The Cookies lost both of their warm-up games in New Zealand against Thames Valley and the Blues Development team but Stan Wright, who plays for French second division club Narbonne, believes that with another full week of training together the team is a genuine chance.

"I was quite surprised how quick the boys came together. A lot of guys from all over the world: it took us about two days and seems like we've been together for a long time. Obviously a lot of the boys [were] experiencing Cook Islands culture for the first time so it was an eye-opener for them. Now we've had a few feeds with the Cook Island community in Auckland. I think it was good that they really got to see how much it meant to the people that we went there and just played our best really. We know we can beat this time, it's about putting it out on the paddock".