Fiji Time: 12:46 PM on Friday 1 July

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 0.63070.6117
JPY 51.031748.0317
GBP 0.36550.3575
EUR 0.43960.4276
NZD 0.69010.6571
AUD 0.65750.6325
USD 0.48980.4728

from

$0.00

Exchange Rate updated on 1st July 2016

Today's Most Read Stories

  1. Hayne jets out
  2. Chief for a day
  3. Assault claim probe
  4. Fijians stand out
  5. Battle for 7s flyers
  6. Rabuka maps plans for 2018 election
  7. NFP lacks vision for all Fijians, says A-G
  8. Farmers served with eviction notices
  9. Reference cards target environmental threats
  10. 'Update tourism data'

Top Stories this Week

  1. Prayer for a spouse Thursday (30 Jun)
  2. Early morning catch wows crowd at Labasa fish market Tuesday (28 Jun)
  3. Resignation threat Saturday (25 Jun)
  4. Home on a mission Wednesday (29 Jun)
  5. Monster fish halts traffic Wednesday (29 Jun)
  6. Body parts Tuesday (28 Jun)
  7. Rabuka in Saturday (25 Jun)
  8. INTERPOL assists with Natadola gruesome discovery, missing couple Monday (27 Jun)
  9. Police probe body parts find Saturday (25 Jun)
  10. Nowhere to turn to Wednesday (29 Jun)