Cook Islands Rugby League map


Information on this page was updated – 14/3/2014

Foundation Year – 1988

International Team – The Cooks

Highest finish in World Cup – One draw in Pool games (2000)

Top level domestic competition – The Cook Islands domestic competition includes 7 top level teams and runs from February to October.

History – The Cook Islands is a group of fifteen Islands located in the South Pacific. Cook Islands have been playing rugby league since 1988, when they took part in the Pacific Cup competition. The Cook Islands finished the tournament with only one win against Tokelau.

The Cook Islands were rewarded with their ongoing development of league with a place in the 1995 Emerging Nations World Cup. The ENWC was held alongside the main World Cup in the UK. The Cooks defied the odds by getting past Scotland to reach the final. In a close game the Cooks defeated Ireland 10 – 6 to win the Emerging Nations World Cup.

As another sign of their progress the Cook Islands gained entry into the 2000 RLWC. Cook Islands missed out on progressing pass the pool rounds. They lost Pool games against New Zealand and Wales by big margins. The Cook Islands could only manage a draw against newcomers Lebanon.

In 2005 the Cook Islands played the New Zealand Maori in a three game series. The games were telecast live throughout the South Pacific Islands and New Zealand via Maori TV. The Cook Islands were coached by Kevin Iro while the Maori had Tawera Nikau at the helm. In what was a tough fought series the Cook Islands drew the first game and then went on to win the remaining two games to win the series.

In 2006 the Cook Islands played in the 2008 World Cup Qualifiers against Samoa, Tonga and Fiji. The Cooks lost all there qualifying games and missed out on qualifying for the 2008 Rugby League World Cup finishing last in the pacific pool.

In early 2008 Kevin Iro was appointed as general member of the Cook Islands Tourism Board. Kevin Iro is arguably the most famous sports person to represent the Cook Islands in rugby league. His popularity at home and abroad is hoped to assist with putting the Cook Islands on the map as a tourist destination.

The Cook Islands played in the International 9’s in Feb 2008 as part of a strategy to unearth more Cook Islands talent. The successful 2008 World Cup has also provided funds to assist rugby league nations like the Cook Islands to continue with the development of rugby league. It is hoped that Cook Islands will be able to field a stronger team and qualify for the 2013 Rugby League World Cup.

In early 2009 Cook Islands were ranked 14th in World seedings by the Rugby League International Federation (RLIF).

In late 2009 the Cook Islands shocked the rugby league world with it’s on field performances. It all started when the Cooks defeated Samoa in a Pacific Cup qualifying match. Samoa were unbackable favourites to book a place in the Pacific Cup but someone forgot to tell the Cook Islands rugby league team. Against all the odds and against a team full of players from the NRL and Super League, the Cooks punched above their weight by defeating Samoa 22 – 10 and booking a place in the Pacific Cup.

Their giant killing run didn’t stop there and they defeated Fiji the 2008 World Cup semi finalists a week later in Port Moresby booking a place in the Final against Papua New Guinea. Like all good fairy-tales their run came to an end when Papua New Guinea proved to strong on home soil defeating the Cooks 42 – 14. The Cook Islands Rugby League team put in a great effort during the end of year internationals.

In a huge boost for Cook Islands Rugby League they have automatically qualified for the 2013 Rugby League World Cup. This will see them return to the World Cup stage after a 13 year absence. 

The Cook Islands have been placed in Group D in the 2013 Rugby League World Cup (RLWC) along side Wales and the United States. On October 30th (Wednesday) the Cook Islands will open their World Cup campaign at the Memorial Stadium, Bristol in England against RLWC new comers the United States. The Cook Islands will then tackle Tonga on November 5th (Tuesday) at Leigh Sports Village, in England. Their final match takes them to the The Gnoll at Neath in Wales to take on the world cup co-hosts Wales on November 10th (Sunday).

For the latest 2013 RLWC match information and results for Wales visit our 2013RLWC page and click here

Dear Readers, If you have first hand knowledge of the current Rugby League situation in Cook Islands we would love to hear from you. Please email us at: or join our international rugby league Forums at and let us all know what’s going on in your part of the world.



2013 Rugby League Results
Nov 10th 2.00pm Wales 24 v Cook Islands 28 (World Cup)
Nov 5th 8.00pm Tonga 22 v Cook Islands 16 (World Cup)
Oct 30th 8.00pm Cook Islands 20 v USA 32 (World Cup)
Oct 20th Cook Islands 0 v New Zealand 50 (RLWC warm-up match)

2012 Rugby League Results
Oct 7th Cook Islands 28 – Lebanon 24

2010 Rugby League Results 
Oct 16th NSW Country 22 – Cook Islands 26

2009 Rugby League Results 
Nov 1st Papua New Guinea 42 – Cook Islands 14 (Pacific Cup Final)
Oct 24th Cook Islands 24 – Fiji 22 (Pacific Cup)
Oct 17th Cook Islands 22 – Samoa 20 (Pacific Cup Qualifier)
Jul 1st Australian Affiliated States 38 – Cook Island Presidents XIII 20

2006 Rugby League Results
Dec Maori 24 – Cook Islands 12
Dec Cook Islands 18 – Maori 16
Oct 7th Fiji 40 – Cook Islands 6 (World Cup Qualifier)
Oct 4th Samoa 46 – Cook Islands 6 (World Cup Qualifier)
Sep 29th Tonga 56 – Cook Islands 14 (World Cup Qualifier)
Mar 2nd Cook Islands 44 – Samoa 0
Fiji 40 – Cook Islands 18

2005 Rugby League Results
Oct 16th Cook Islands 24 – Maori 16
Oct 13th Cook Islands 22 – Maori 10
Oct 8th Cook Islands 26 – Maori 26
Feb Cook Islands 20 – Fiji 20

2004 Rugby League Results
Oct 23rd Cook Islands 46 – Maori 4 (Pacific Cup Final)
Oct 21st Cook Islands 20 – Fiji 12 (Pacific Cup)
Oct 20th American Samoa 28 – Cook Islands 12 (Pacific Cup)
Oct 19th Cook Islands 18 – Tonga 10 (Pacific Cup)
Oct 4th Tonga 38 – Cook Islands 30
Aug 27th Cook Islands 22 – Fiji 14
Aug 17th Cook Islands 36 – Fiji 24

2000 Rugby League Results
Nov 5th Lebanon 22 – Cook Islands 22 (World Cup)
Nov 2nd New Zealand 84 – Cook Islands 10 (World Cup)
Oct 29th Wales 38 – Cook Islands 6 (World Cup)

1999 Rugby League Results
Tonga 34 – Cook Islands 4
Tonga 42 – Cook Islands 2
Tonga 28 – Cook Islands 13

1998 Rugby League Results
Cook Islands 22 – Tokelau 16
American Samoa 40 – Cook Islands 34
Maori 28 – Cook Islands 6
Tonga 30 – Cook Islands 22
Cook Islands 16 – Maori 8
Papua New Guinea 46 – Cook Islands 6
Maori 24 – Cook Islands 4
Cook Islands 18 – Maori 10
Maori 24 – Cook Islands 14
Papua New Guinea 46 – Cook Islands 6
Tonga 16 – Cook Islands 8

1997 Rugby League Results 
Papua New Guinea 34 – Cook Islands 14
Papua New Guinea 38 – Cook Islands 14
Cook Islands 22 – Fiji 14

1996 Rugby League Results
Fiji 14 – Cook Islands 8

1995 Rugby League Results 
Oct 24th Cook Islands 10 – Ireland 6 (Emerging Nations World Cup Final)
Oct 20th Cook Islands 21 – Scotland 10 (Emerging Nations World Cup)
Oct 18th Cook Islands 58 – Russia 4 (Emerging Nations World Cup)
Oct 16th Cook Islands 64 – United S 8 (Emerging Nations World Cup)

1992 Rugby League Results 
Niue 42 – Cook Islands 12
Fiji 54 – Cook Islands 6
Western Samoa 66 – Cook Islands 12
Tonga 26 – Cook Islands 6
Cook Islands 23 – Niue 22

1988 Rugby League Results
Maori 70 – Cook Islands 10
Western Samoa 52 – Cook Islands 16
Cook Islands 19 – Tokelau 10