25 Nov 2016

Sport: Cook Islands women accept difficult Rugby League World Cup draw

8:44 am on 25 November 2016

The Cook Islands have been handed the toughest possible draw for next year's Women's Rugby League World Cup.

The international newcomers secured the sixth and final berth, by default, after Fiji, Samoa and Tonga all withdrew from last month's Pacific qualifying tournament due to a lack of playing numbers.

The Cook Islands have been drawn in Pool A, alongside defending champions Australia and England, who finished third at the 2013 tournament.

The Cook Islands have qualified for the Women's Rugby League World Cup.

The Cook Islands have qualified for the Women's Rugby League World Cup. Photo: Facebook / Ozzy Cooks Rugby League

They will also play a crossover match against the Kiwi Ferns and the President of Cook Islands Rugby League, Charles Carlson, said they will have to do it the hard way.

"That's the way the cookies fall so we just have to go with it," he said.

"The first game up of course is Australia and then followed by New Zealand and so hopefully by the time we play England we should have learnt a few tips by playing the two teams and take England on for that last spot (in the semi finals)."

For the first time, next year's Women's World Cup in Sydney will be played alongside the men's tournament.

Get the new RNZ app

for ad-free news and current affairs