11 Aug 2015

Sport: Cook Islands still waiting on World Cup playoff info

11:48 am on 11 August 2015

Cook Islands Rugby League is still in the dark about details for October's World Cup playoff match against Tonga.

Five Pacific teams competed at the last tournament, but only four will make the trip to New Zealand and Australia in 2017.

The president of Cook Islands Rugby League, Charles Carlson, says they still haven't received any confirmation about the date, venue and format for the playoff game.

"It's making it hard on everybody because we're looking at drawing on our professional players from the NRL and the Super League, and of course these guys need time. We need to make sure they get released from their clubs - time is running out - and we're just pressuring the Rugby League International Federation to try and get this finalised so we know where we stand with the dates and the venues and get all our squad confirmed for that game".

Charles Carlson hopes the squad will be able to assemble at least five days prior to the game, which he expects will be played in Australia for financial reasons.

President of Cook Islands Rugby League Charles Carlson (far right).

President of Cook Islands Rugby League Charles Carlson (far right). Photo: RNZI / Vinnie Wylie

Meanwhile Pacific nations could be the beneficiary after confirmation the ANZAC rugby league test between Australia and New Zealand will be scrapped.

A new National Rugby League television deal which comes into effect from 2018 has spelt the end for the annual test with the NRL saying there will be a window for international matches at the end of the season.

There will however be a one week break in the middle of the competition for the State of Origin and Pacific Tests, which could open the door for the Kiwis to also play against an island country.

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