Cook Islands to face South Africa in World Cup qualifier

Cook Islands will take on South Africa in Sydney on Friday, June 21, in what will be a World Cup qualifier.

The winners of the game will play USA in the final qualifier to take the last berth at the 2021 Rugby League World Cup, a game which will take place in October.

The Cook Islands last qualified for the Rugby League World Cup in 2013, while South Africa last competed at a World Cup back in 2000.

The Kukis face the Rhinos at Wentworthville’s Ringrose Park in Sydney on Friday, June 21, 7pm kick-off.

President of Cook Islands Rugby League, Charles Carlson, commented: “This is every nation’s dream to play in the World Cup and no doubt both teams will want to qualify for this event given the success of the last World Cup.

“We are looking forward to this game as we have had limited opportunities to bring our players together for international test matches.”

SARL director, Jacey Strauss, said: “We are proud and excited to face the Cook Islands in June in Sydney in a World Cup qualifier for RLWC2021.

“The Rhinos will field a competitive team made up of   heritage players and players from our domestic competition.

“This mix of talent and experience should make us worthy opponents and the team are proud to be flying the South African flag.”

The World Cup qualifier will be a part of a huge weekend of international rugby league. The RLIF Oceania Cup will kick off when Tonga play New Zealand and Papua New Guinea will meet Samoa and Fiji will play Lebanon in an international Test match.