Fiji Time: 1:58 PM on Tuesday 17 October

Fiji Times Logo

/ Front page / Sport

Back to their roots

Emoni Narawa
Thursday, June 26, 2014

GETTING back to their traditional roots is one of the major motivations for the Cook Islands rugby team, apart from making its first ever appearance in the Rugby World Cup.

The Cooks rugby 15s team is laced with players born and bred in New Zealand and Australia but have roots on the island nation.

And the pride of wearing the Cooks jersey will be at stake this weekend in a bid to create a piece of history, making its debut on the RWC competition.

For 21-year old Justin Marsters, who is chasing his first Test cap for the Cooks, beating Fiji is the mission. However, he says players have personal motivations to psych them up while preparing for the crucial encounter.

"I am born and bred in Melbourne, Australia but both my parents are from Rara," the Australian based player said.

"We have been in camp last week and before, getting players together from New Zealand. The Cooks communities are supporting us hugely, that is just part of motivation for some of the boys.

"Some are getting back to their roots just to show the boys what they're playing really for, if it's rugby basically or family side and then you have your culture side to play for so there's a lot of motivation for the boys to play for and that's good."

Marsters said he would be eyeing a spot in the starting XV and to line up against Fijian players who have played top level rugby in Europe and Super Rugby level.

The Harlequins rugby club utility back from Melbourne has represented the Cooks in the abbreviated code. He played at the recent International 7s tournament in Fiji and also played at the Hong Kong 7s tournament in March.

"There are some nerves around, you know this is going to be my first Test cap for Cook Islands and I'm looking forward to playing against Fiji."

He said Fiji would be tough to play.

"We see Fiji as a big team, big boys with a lot of speed. We're hoping to compete and to take a win from this game, we do not want to come here for nothing, we know they're a really big threat so we'll put up a good fight against them and hopefully make it to the world cup."

Fiji last played Cook Islands during the 1997 RWC qualifying match where the Flying Fijians thrashed the Cooks 53-7 at the National Stadium, Rarotonga.

This Saturday's match kicks off at 3pm at Lautoka's Churchill Park.








Fiji Times Front Page Thumbnail

Kaila Front Page ThumbnailFiji Times & Kaila Frontpage PDF Downloads

Use the free Acrobat Reader to view.

Westpac
Code Inward TTs Outward TTs
CAD 0.62160.6026
JPY 56.274453.2744
GBP 0.37320.3652
EUR 0.42070.4087
NZD 0.69850.6655
AUD 0.63540.6104
USD 0.49810.4811

from

$0.00

Exchange Rate updated on 17th, October, 2017

Today's Most Read Stories

  1. Man allegedly hit by bulldozer blade, dead
  2. 11 vye for Miss Fiji crown
  3. Fiji Airways to ground aircraft until cleared to fly
  4. 'Let's bring it to life'
  5. Full force for polls
  6. Health audit
  7. NCDs' shocking stats
  8. CORRECTION
  9. Tuvalu makes call for UN Security Council support
  10. 'Preparedness paramount'

Top Stories this Week

  1. 30 officers dismissed from force Friday (13 Oct)
  2. Final in mind Monday (16 Oct)
  3. 'Hell on Earth' Thursday (12 Oct)
  4. $8m drugs seized Friday (13 Oct)
  5. Cyclones predicted to hit Fiji Wednesday (11 Oct)
  6. Villagers pass around eTransport card Monday (16 Oct)
  7. Plans for Bati Sunday (15 Oct)
  8. Unsolved mystery of MV Joyita Sunday (15 Oct)
  9. Fijian overstayers Thursday (12 Oct)
  10. Fiji Airways flight makes rapid descend; Air system fault Wednesday (11 Oct)