12 Oct 2012

Sport: Cook Islands hope to make netball tri-series a regular fixture

11:43 am on 12 October 2012

The inaugural International Tri Series netball tournament launches in Rarotonga on Thursday local time, with the Cook Islands taking on Wales.

The host nation has a new-look about them with just five players who took part in this June's Pacific Series, and a new coach in Mii Maui.

She says the tournament will give the team much needed exposure at international level.

"We just don't have that available but we're hoping from the planning that's been happening since last year that that's going to be a regular event for us - to be able to play against international teams. It would be good if we could somehow look at doing a biannual one where we actually play against the world game participants."

Meanwhile Welsh captain Sara Hale says the team hopes to use the tournament as a stepping stone towards quaklifying for the 2014 Commonwealth Games.

We're there or thereabouts at the moment with our world ranking - I think we're tenth - and the top eight all qualfy so we're looking at maintaining or improving that ranking over the next sort of year and a half, leading up to the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow. So we've come here really with the firm belief that we can and will win the next three games, which will then help us massively in upping our ranking and securing our spot for that competition.

Cook Islands take on Wales in the first game before backing up against Scotland the next day, with a total of five games to be played over six days.