The inclusion of the Cook Islands in the RLIF Women’s Rugby League World Cup 2021 should not come as a surprise to anyone. The Cook Islands society is one of the most inclusive in the whole world and it goes back centuries.
Cook Islands Rugby League chair, Charles Carlson explains
“Cook Islands Women feature in all aspects of our community from our Traditional Kings and Queens, or Ariki to the head of the table in Parliament as well as leadership positions as the heads of half of all our government ministries.
“Currently two of the five Ariki in Rarotonga are women, 50 percent of our Heads of Ministries including, Foreign Affairs, Internal Affairs, Education, Marine Resources, Health and Agriculture.
“So, when our Cook Islands women put on the national rugby league jersey they do so with a real sense of their value and worth and that they stand alongside their male counterparts as equals, ready to take on whatever comes there way.
“We have a strong tradition of Warrior Men in the Cook Islands, as well as Warrior Woman like Aketairi from the Island of Atiu who led woman warriors into battle and it is this longstanding warrior spirit that permeates our warrior women today who will fight for the pride of our Island.”
The men have had a successful 2019 so far, defeating South Africa in a world cup qualification game and they hope to continue in that vein as they take their place in the RLIF Downer World Cup 9s in October and finally as they face the USA in Florida in November to try for the final place in the men’s RLWC2021 and join their women’s team in England.
Speaking at the launch of the RLIF Downer World Cup 9s, Cook Islands star second-row forward, Alex Glenn emphasised the impact that playing in these RLIF global events has on their small island nation.
“The whole 9s concept is about having fun and putting on a show for the fans. It is massive for our small nation to stand alongside the other countries participating.
“We are happy to be involved and put the Cook Islands on the rugby league map.”
Information about the RLIF Downer World Cup 9s
Tickets are available from https://tickets.nrl.com/worldcup-9s-sydney