Rugby league’s greatest challenge is spreading the game to a vast array of places, the latest being Singapore.
Singapore Rugby League has been set up by two Australian’s, hoping to establish the code in Asia with the ultimate aim of founding an Asian Cup, to add to the ever-growing international calendar.
Working to a business plan, the SRL hopes to establish a domestic competition to start in April 2012 consisting of four teams – Singapore City Roosters, Tampines Tigers, Jurong Dugongs and Choa Chu Kang Rats – but as with most development projects, they will be reliant on financial backing from sponsors and local authorities if the competition is going to kick-off.
One of the two, currently secret, partners, said: “We both love international rugby league, and the opportunity for other countries to take up the great game.
“Rugby League has tried to start in Singapore before, but it hasn’t really worked. We believe this was because there was a lack of interest before a game had even kicked off.
“Singapore has a large population over a small land mass, with a great number of schools and universities. There is no reason why there will be a shortage of participants, with expats adding to the local players.”
The pair are already receiving interest from possible players, coaches and managers for the four mooted domestic teams, with the plan to add an extra team to each club every year after their inaugural season, starting with Under 20s, then Under 18s and followed by Under 16s.
Not only does the organisation hope to get domestic rugby league off the ground in Singapore, but they also hope to lure one of rugby league’s biggest matches, the World Club Challenge, to the country to help gain exposure for the sport, not only in Asia, but worldwide.
“I raised the idea of Singapore holding the world club challenge, because it just makes sense. Singapore is a major stopover point between UK and Australia, with great sporting facilities, a huge business district, and a huge population.
“There is no reason, with the correct promotion, why Singapore couldn’t pack out an 80,000 seat stadium, and love the game of rugby league.
“It is all an option at the moment, but time will tell the amount of these options come to life.”
You can follow the progress of Singapore Rugby League via their Facebook, Twitter and website.