8 Nov 2022
What are the teams for Cook Islands v France women at the Rugby League World Cup?
Check out the line-ups as Cook Islands and France look to finish with a win
By Paul Eddison
Qualification hopes might be gone, but make no mistake, this is the big one for Cook Islands and France in York.
Drawn in a group with the world’s top two sides, Australia and New Zealand, it was always asking a lot for Cook Islands or France to stay in the race for the semi-finals by the time of their final group game.
The Moana have come closer to doing so, falling to a 34-4 defeat to New Zealand after an opening loss to the Jillaroos, with France finding life tougher against the top two, notably in a 92-0 defeat to Australia last time out.
But with a World Cup on home soil in three year’s time, this is a big one for France to improve their World Cup record and lay down some foundations from which to build.
Cook Islands: 24 Erikana Dean, 9 Tetuanui Dean, 20 Mireka Dean, 12 Kennedy Harrison-Vahua, 17 Lavinia Kitai, 2 Beniamina Koiatu, 3 Kerehitina Matua, 23 Terehia Matua, 11 Moniqca Mo’ale, 10 April Ngatupuna, 4 Daimzel Rongokea, 21 Anekka Stephens, 8 Karol-Ann Tanevesi, 19 Tehinnah-Leal Tatuava, 16 Alekermay Tuaana, 18. Charlize Tumu-Makara, 14 Jazmon Tupou-Witchman, 13 Elianna Walton, 1 Mackenzie Wiki
France: 1 Elisa Akpa, 2 Cristina Song Puche, 3 Mélanie Bianchini, 4 Lauréane Biville, 5 Manon Samarra, 6 Elisa Ciria, 7 Alice Varela, 8 Jeanne Bernard, 9 Cyndia Mansard, 10 Gaëlle Alvernhe, 12 Perrine Monsarrat, 14 Fanny Ramos, 15 Cloé Guillerot, 17 Maïlys Borak, 18 Anaëlle Meunier, 19 Zoé Pastre-Courtine, 20 Anais Fourcroy, 21 Dorine Samarra, 23 Margot Canal
This will be the first-ever meeting between the two sides, as they both target a first win of the tournament.
This match will pit two of the least error-strewn teams in the tournament against one another. With 18 errors, Cook Islands have made the fewest errors of any team, while France on 20 are third, with only Australia splitting the teams.
Cook Islands record
The Cook Islands have won three of their previous 11 Rugby World Cup encounters, although in this tournament they have fallen to both Australia and New Zealand. Their record against northern hemisphere opposition in the competition is strong though, having drawn with Great Britain back in 2003, and beaten England in 2017.
France have lost six in a row in the tournament since their lone Women’s Rugby League World Cup victory, against Tonga back in 2008. They are still searching for a first point in this year’s tournament, three years out from hosting the next edition.
Players to watch
- April Ngatupuna (Cook Islands) has made 11 offloads at the 2021 women’s Rugby League World Cup, more than twice as many as any other player at the tournament.
- Elisa Akpa (France) has made three try saves throughout the first two rounds of the 2021 women’s Rugby League World Cup, more than any other player across the competition.
The Rugby League World Cup promises to be the biggest, best and most inclusive event in the sport’s 127-year history with men’s, women’s and wheelchair teams competing in 61 games across 21 venues throughout England. Tickets are available via rlwc2021.com/tickets