Cook Islands book spot for Women’s World Cup

The Cook Islands have secured their place in the Women’s Rugby League World Cup next year without playing a qualifier.

Fiji, Samoa and Tonga withdrew from Saturday’s Pacific qualifying event in Sydney because of a lack of players, leaving the Cook Islands to claim the sixth and final World Cup spot.

The Cook Islands Rugby League President Charles Carlson expressed his frusration about the situation to Radio NZ.

“The girls were quite disappointed in a way because we were all very well prepared for this game when we found out that the other three teams had defaulted the game,” he said.

“We still got dress and turned up to the field and just announced to the girls that we weren’t playing but we had the two officials from the Rugby League International Federation to confirm that Cook Islands has been appointed as the sixth placing on the World Cup.”

Carlson said the Cook Islands flew six players over from New Zealand while the other three sides were only planning to use Australian-based players.
“This was a very short notice and I can understand where the other teams are coming from, with no finance to assist with the games,” he said.

“We basically had to look for sponsors and do a bit of quick fundraising to get our girls together.

“There was some disagreement along the way that (it was a) short time and no finance for the World Cup but we all agreed to set the date and just go for it – we were the only one that came to the party.”

The Cook Islands will compete in the Women’s Rugby League World Cup alongside New Zealand, Australia, England, Papua New Guinea and Canada.

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