23 Dec 2014

Sport: Cook Islands disappointed to miss out on Pacific Test weekend

12:21 pm on 23 December 2014

Cook Islands Rugby League say they are disappointed to miss out on next year's expanded Pacific Test programme but remain hopeful of arranging some international games of their own.

A Melanesian and Polynesian Cup double-header has been pencilled in for the Gold Coast in May, with Fiji and Papua New Guinea going head to head and Samoa taking on Tonga.

The winning teams will then play off at the end of the year.

The President of Cook Islands Rugby League, Charles Carlson, says the new format cannot be considered a true Pacific Cup as not every team in the region is taking part.

He says they're disappointed to be overlooked and are trying to organise alternative arrangements.

"It's important we are playing international games at that level but we did request that since that window is open to allow NRL players to play in those games perhaps arrangements can also be made for Cook Islands to play another country like Italy or USA, or teams that were at the World Cup, so it creates an even playing field in the region, because we will be qualifying for the World Cup next year so it's unfair on the Cook Islands not having such games where all these other teams are having top international games".

Charles Carlson says the Kukis head coaching job remains vacant, following last year's World Cup, and they hope to name a replacement in the new year.