Rugby league in the cook islandS 

Rugby league was introduced and played informally during the late 70s, early 80s until it was formally registered in 1989. The code grew rapidly over the years to win the Emerging Nations in 1995 and qualified for their first World Cup 2000.  After missing out in the qualifying round for the World Cup 2008, CIRL bounced back to qualify for the World Cup 2013 and registering their first win in a World Cup against Wales. Unfortunately Cook Islands missed out for the World Cup 2017 but came back with vengeance to qualify both their men and women teams for the World Cup 2021. This is a sensational achievement indeed for a small island nation in the Pacific.


Cook Islands Rugby League (CIRL) was registered as an Incorporated Society on the 30th October 1989. All sporting codes are regulated by the Cook Islands Sports National Olympic Committee (CISNOC), under the auspices of the Ministry of Internal Affairs. The CIRL Board Members are elected by the Clubs at an AGM and normally serve a term of up to 3 years.


The game of rugby league is no doubt the most dominant code in the Cook Islands with seven clubs in its national competition. The Clubs provides a Premier grade, Premier Reserve, U19, U16 U14, U12, to the competition. With the increasing popularity of the women’s rugby league, CIRL is aiming to grow the game among the juniors. The League Masters game is popular among the old boys with a National team/s regularly participating at international League Masters events held in Australia or New Zealand.