SIX Rockingham rugby union players have been selected in the Cook Islands under-20s preliminary squad for an Oceania tournament in Fiji.
The players selected were Jay Matai (second row), Taiapa Graham (centre), Santana Baker (half-back), Didas Carseldine (wing/fullback), Stephen Rani (hooker) and Ethan Cayless (flanker/ back).
Rockingham under-20s coach Clement Ringiao congratulated the players and praised their dedication and commitment.
“I’ve been saying the whole season hard work pays off and now they’re receiving the rewards,” Ringiao said.
The squad will comprise players from Cook Islands, Australia and New Zealand and will compete in Fiji in November.
Under-20s manager Cam Kilgour said he was happy with the talent in the squad and the Rockingham players would be important to the side.
“We are not going over to just make up the numbers, we are going over to win and we have the talent to do just that,” he said. “The under-20 team is a significant step in the pathway to professional and international rugby for young Cook Islands players.”