Nines gives Cook Islands players chance to impress for World Cup

Australian-based Cook Islands players will use Saturday's International Nines tournament at Cabramatta to push for inclusion in the nation's World Cup qualifying campaign.

The Cook Islands are scheduled to play United States later in the year for a place in the 2021 World Cup and officials are hoping they will have the services of NRL and Super League stars such as Alex Glenn, Dylan Napa, Zane Tetevano, Brad Takairangi, Anthony Gelling and Dominique Peyroux at that tournament in England.

However, most of the squad is likely to be drawn from the Cook Islands, New Zealand and Australian competitions outside the NRL, and players from NSW and Queensland will have an opportunity to press their claims at the Nines.

The Cooks Islands team, known as Ozzy Cooks, are one of 18 men's sides competing in the tournament, which has grown since 2003 and also features teams representing Italy, France, Papua New Guinea, Poland, Japan, Ireland, Columbia, South Sudan and composite African, Mediterranean and ASEAN outfits.

A Kooris team will also compete, along with teams from Cabramatta and Glebe-Burwood Wolves

Cook Islands, Tonga and Niue will field women's teams, along with Cabramatta, and there will also be Physical Disability demonstration matches.