20 Oct 2014

Sport: Heartland rugby team prepares to tour the Cooks

12:23 pm on 20 October 2014

The New Zealand Heartland rugby squad has been named to play three matches, including two in the Cook Islands.

The 24-strong squad draws from the lower divisions of domestic provincial rugby.

They will play a New Zealand Marist XV on 8 November before departing for two matches against the Cook Islands on 11 and 14 of November.

Mid-Canterbury and Buller are well-represented with six and five players respectively.

Wanganui and Wairarapa Bush each have three players in the squad.

Coach Kurt McQuilkin says the Heartland squad showcases the depth of talent in New Zealand.

McQuilkin also says the team expects the Cook Islands side to be competitive.

He says they're expecting the games in the Cook Islands to be hard and fast and to be played in hot and sticky conditions, making for some exciting rugby.

Heartland XV Coach Kurt McQuilkin

Heartland XV Coach Kurt McQuilkin Photo: PHOTOSPORT