Niue and the Cook Islands to meet in rugby league international

​Niue's fledgling international rugby league program steps up a gear next month after Cook Islands accepted their invitation for a match in Sydney.

The Rock thrashed South Africa 48-4 during their last hit-out in May and are now ranked 32nd in the world.

Niue rugby league team.

The 17th ranked Cook Islands will use the game on October the third as preparation for their Rugby League World Cup qualifying match against Tonga two weeks later.

Niue coach Brendan Perenara says even though the match doesn't have test status or rankings points on offer, going up against the Cook Islands will be the biggest game in their history.

"They're ranked top five in the Pacific Islands - we're behind them but we haven't even touched the surface. They've been in a couple of World Cups so should be a good game and [we're] very excited that they've accepted our proposal to play a warm-up game against Niue. We want to play them and get that experience - what they've got - to tell everyone that we're still out here, we're still trying to go to a World Cup".

Brendan Perenara says the match will also allow them to blood a few more young players coming through the ranks.