30 Sep 2015

Sport: Opportunity beckons for fringe league players

1:27 pm on 30 September 2015

The Cook Islands rugby league team are using Saturday's clash with Niue to test fringe players ahead of their World Cup qualifier against Tonga later this month.

The Cook Islands team at the 2013 Rugby League World Cup.

The Cook Islands team at the 2013 Rugby League World Cup. Photo: PHOTOSPORT

The Kukis haven't played an international match since the 2013 World Cup, having been overlooked for the first three years of the Pacific Test programme.

Their World Cup status is also under threat, with only space for four Pacific teams in 2017.

Kukis head coach Alex Chan says places are up for grabs to those who can grasp the opportunity.

"We've named a 30-man squad. Obviously there's a few players there that have got vast experience and there's a few guys there that are little-known names but we're looking at giving opportunities to guys that are showing form and I think we really need to put the best team we can on the field. We won't be just going with names, we'll be going with blokes who can get the job done for us. We're going to have a look at if we've got the cattle that's capable of doing it or do we change our structure to suit".

The winner-takes-all match is on 17th October.

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