Cook Islands name ‘experienced’ Rugby League World Cup squad


Cook Islands rugby league coach Tony Iro has named an “experienced” side for the Rugby League World Cup to be held in England from 15 October to 19 November 2022.

Iro has named a number of Super League and NRL players with the likes of senior reps Tinirau Arona, Makahesi Makatoa, Esan Marsters, Tepai Moeroa, Dylan Napa, Anthony Gelling, Dominique Peyroux, Johnathon Ford, Paul Ulberg and Zane Tetevano leading the side.

Youngsters Kayal Iro, who capped off a breakthrough 2022 season with the Knock-On Effect NSW Cup Player of the Year award last month, Davvy Moale, Ruatapu Ngatikaura, Pride Pettersen-Robati and Brendan Piakura have also made the squad.

Coach Iro named Adam Tangata (Halifax) and Malachi Morgan (Southport Tigers) as standby players and players not considered due to injury and unavailability were Xavier Willison, Teui Robati, Troy Dargan and William Samuels.

“We have named an experienced group with a number of senior professionals. Many have good knowledge of the English conditions and we have added nine new faces to the squad that played Samoa in June during the Pacific Test Series,” Iro told Cook Islands News.

“We have had a number of players involved in finals campaigns in both Australia and the UK which will help in our preparation.”

The national team will depart for London from Sydney, this Friday.

Cook Islands is grouped in Pool D alongside Tonga, Papua New Guinea and Wales.

The national side will take on Wales in its opening match on October 19 followed by PNG on 25 October and Tonga on 30 October.

Cook Islands team

Tevin Arona (Auckland), Tinirau Arona (Wakefield Trinity), Geoff Daniela (St Marys Saints), Johnathon Ford (Featherstone Rovers), Anthony Gelling (Auckland), Kayal Iro (Cronulla Sharks), Makahesi Makatoa (Parramatta Eels), Esan Marsters (Huddersfield Giants), Steven Marsters (Thirroul Butchers), Davvy Moale (South Sydney Rabbitohs), Tepai Moeroa (Melbourne Storm), Dylan Napa (Catalans Dragons), Rua Ngatikaura (Wests Tigers), Moses Noovao-McGreal (Norths Devils), Pride Pettersen-Robati (NZ Warriors), Dominique Peyroux (Toulouse Olympique), Brendan Piakura (Brisbane Broncos), Reuben Porter (Tweed Heads Seagulls), Vincent Rennie (Newtown Jets), Reubenn Rennie (Newtown Jets), Brad Takairangi (Hull Kingston Rovers), Aaron Teroi (CQ Capras), Zane Tetevano (Leeds Rhinos), Paul Ulberg (London Broncos).