Watch Cook Islands vs New Zealand Heartland XV Live Streaming 2014 End Of Year Autumn International Live Online.This Rugby Union match will be kick off at National Stadium, Cook Islands,Friday 14 November 2014 online, Time 19:00 CET and its broadcast on Fox Sports,Online Channels,Sky Sports.
The national rugby Heartland XV are looking forward to their latest venture to a new rugby frontier – the Cook Islands.
Selected out of New Zealand-eligible Heartland Championship players, the side usually undertakes an off-shore tour every two years. Since 2006, they have visited Argentina, USA, Australia and Samoa to spread the gospel.
Out of the original squad of 24 named three weeks ago, they have lost Mid Canterbury hooker Jon Sharpe, who tore his calf muscle before the Meads Cup final. His replacement is Thames Valley’s Blake Hill, meaning 10 of the 12 Heartland Championship provinces are represented. Wanganui’s veteran flanker Peter Rowe is skipper, though there are several other provincial captains in the side: loosies Josh Clark (North Otago), Jon Dampney (Mid Canterbury) and halfback Andrew Stephens (Buller).
Prop Carl Carmichael, out of King Country, brings ITM Cup experience, having played 53 games for Taranaki.
The Heartland XV assembled in Auckland this week ahead of today’s annual first-class match with New Zealand Marist. Head coach Kurt McQuilkin of King Country and his assistant ‘Chester’ Scott of South Canterbury have drilled them hard before unleashing them on Marist, whom they have beaten the last two seasons, but always pose a competitive game. Marist have included the likes of Bay of Plenty fullback Leroy Van Dam and Northland second five Troy Gilbert.
But the big challenge, admits McQuilkin, will be two internationals in four days against the world No 46-ranked Cooks, who were just one win from qualifying for Rugby World Cup 2015 in June.
“These are genuine test matches and great experience for our lads. They cherish it. It’ll be a bit of a shock for some of them – it was 28 degrees in Rarotonga earlier this week – and it’ll be the first time overseas for some of them. We’re expecting a very physical side but with pace in the wider channel,” said McQuilkin.
The Cooks will likely field a clutch of players who have played ITM Cup rugby. The Heartland XV began life in 2006, morphing into its current guise after 18 years as the Divisional XV. Their last full ‘international’ was in 2005 against Fiji.
McQuilkin believes the standard of the Heartland Championship is getting better every year.
“You can’t take form from the previous season. It was a good selection headache to have, so we (fellow selectors Guy Lennox, Dave Perrin and Earle Kirton) had a tight last meeting”.