The Vanuatu Rugby League is reaching out for sponsorship and corporate support, in order to ensure that their forthcoming Test Match against the Solomon Islands is played.
The match is scheduled for October 15, but without funds it looks unlikely that it can go ahead.
Infrastructure was wrecked in Vanuatu following Cyclone Pam in 2015, and the domestic season was reduced to a round robin competition between three sides based in the nation’s capital.
Two other clubs also played games, but the nation still needs help to get back onto its rugby league feet properly.
The match against the Solomons is seen as a vital part of this process, according to VRL president Tom Carlo.
“We are extremely thankful to the Solomon Islands for committing to play this Test in Vanuatu and with some small contributions it will go ahead and be a great success,” he said.
“We have opportunities for companies to sponsor the Vanuatu team and feature on our jerseys and training kits and we’re also hoping to receive some funding from rugby league’s governing bodies.
“Last year was a very difficult one for everyone associated with rugby league in Vanuatu but there remains a great passion for the game and we would dearly love to see our boys run out in the national jersey again in October.”
Vanuatu have played four international matches since their foundation, with the first being a defest to Greece in 2012.
Since then, they have beaten the Solomon Islands and Niue, and lost to the Philippines.
“We are only a young nation with regards to rugby league but there is tremendous passion and enthusiasm amongst the players and officials,” Carlo added.
“If this Test can go ahead and it is the success we expect it to be our next step will be to seek permission from the Rugby League International Federation to play a curtain-raiser in Townsville during next year’s Rugby League World Cup.
“Then, of course, our goal will be to one day be in a position to be taking part in the main event.”