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The Tapupa Maraerenga Panthers and Titikaveka Bulldogs will face off at Aretere Park in Avatiu in the opening match of the Cook Islands Women’s Premiership this Friday.

The newly created Women’s competition is part of the Cook Islands Rugby League’s strategy to increase the talent pool for the Cook Island’s Women’s National team, the Moanas, as they prepare for the 2021 Women’s World Cup.

Leveraging the existing Rugby League club structures, the new competition hopes to include up to four sides for its debut season.

The Panthers, who will kick off the competition, were one of four teams to take part in the Cook Islands ‘League in Paradise’ Women’s Nines earlier this year with the Arorangi Bears, who also plan to take part. Additional teams and fixtures will be announced in the coming weeks.