Cook Islands head coach David Fairleigh has named his squad to play Tonga at Leigh Sports Village on Tuesday (20:00)
Cook Islands’ Head Coach David Fairleigh has made four changes ahead of his side’s must-win Rugby League World Cup 2013 Group D clash against Tonga at Leigh Sports Village on Tuesday (20:00).
In the wake of his side’s shock loss to tournament outsiders USA Tomahawks in Bristol last Wednesday, Fairleigh has opted for NRL experience to counter the Tongans’ physicality and dynamism.
The side features three representatives from NRL Premiers Sydney Roosters and two each from New Zealand Warriors and Canberra Raiders, as well as players from Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs, Penrith Panthers, Gold Coast Titans and Newcastle Knights.
Chris Taripo comes in to replace Lulia Lulia on the wing, while Eko Malu of New Zealand Warriors gets his chance off the interchange bench.
There’s also a change at stand off, with Tolouse Olympique’s Jonathan Ford coming to in to replace Brad Takairangi, who switches to centre in place of Wigan Warriors’ Anthony Gelling.
Following USA Tomahawks surprise win over Wales on Sunday, Cook Islands must win to keep their hopes of qualification for the Rugby League World Cup 2013 Quarter Finals alive.
Tickets for the Tonga v Cook Islands RLWC2013 Group C/D match are still available to purchase, from as little as £15 for adults and £7.50 for concessions. To buy your tickets, please either visit www.eticketing.co.uk/rlwc or call our 24-hour hotline on 08448472013.
Cook Islands team to take on Tonga
1. Drury Low
2. Chris Taripo
3. Brad Takairangi
4. Keith Lulia
5. Jordan Rapana
6. Jonathan Ford
7. Isaac John
8. Zane Tetevano
9. Daniel Fepuluai
10. Dylan Napa
11. Domnique Peyroux
12. Zeb Taia
13. Tinirau Arona
14. Hikule’o Malu
15. Joey Matapuku
16. Adam Tangata
17. Sam Mataora