Brad Takairangi aims to make waves with Cook Islands at World Cup

Drew Darbyshire

Hull KR’s new recruit Brad Takairangi believes the Cook Islands are capable of making similar waves to Tonga at this year’s World Cup.

Born in Australia to a Cook Islander father and New Zealander mother, the 31-year-old has represented both the Cook Islands and New Zealand on the international stage.

Takairangi played for the Cook Islands in the 2013 World Cup and represented New Zealand in the last tournament in 2017.

The Hull KR centre or back-rower believes the Cook Islands have the potential of reaching the heights that Tonga have done in recent years.

Takairangi said: “I’ve seen Jarome Luai talking about wanting to make waves for Samoa and myself and Alex Glenn are very similar for the Cook Islands.

“We’d love to get our best squad on the park and if we do, then I honestly believe we can have a bit of a momentum shift like the Tongans did in 2017 so thats our plan.

“Hopefully we will get the okay for the World Cup to go ahead but our plan is to field our best team and go from there.

“Our goal is to try and get our best team on the park at the end of the year and make it a wave like Tonga did.”

The Cook Island’s perform a Haka before the the 2013 World Cup match at Leigh Sports Village, Leigh

The Cook Islands didn’t make it out of the group stage in the 2013 World Cup but Takairangi hopes they can go one better this time around.

He said: “2013 was the last World Cup we were in and it wasn’t very successful for us. We had a decent squad but we found that was a disappointment for us.

“Obviously we want to have a really good year playing club footy but the end goal is to try and get our best players playing for the Cook Islands.

“We’ve got loads of players eligible for us like Valentine Holmes, Joey Manu, Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad, Dylan Napa and Jordan Rapana so thats definitely a goal of ours to get our best squad on the park.”

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