Come and play for us and we will find you a bed and a job, Roxburgh Rugby Club vice-president Craig Darling says.
With the start of the rugby season only a few weeks away, Mr Darling said the club had enough players at the moment for the senior one team, but he was keen to attract more as reserves and replacements.
Mr Darling recently posted fliers and promoted the club on social media to attract more players for a 30-strong squad.
“We need 15, plus reserves – 22 people – and we really want additional players to cater for injuries and people moving away,” he said.
“If we catch one person coming through who may need a job or change of scenery, [it’s worth it].
“We are an amateur club and people get injured, or need to be at home or at work on a Saturday.
“Last year we had a horror run of injuries, and people moving away.”
He said if someone [from out of town] wanted to play rugby for Roxburgh, he would try to find them accommodation and a job.
Farmers and orchardists often needed workers or were happy to support the club with job offers.
“Someone in the club will generally have a bed.”
He said hosting a player was a good experience for the host, as well as integrating the young man into the community.
The club has had players from Europe and the Pacific Islands in the past.
Visitors need working holiday visas if they want to earn money in New Zealand but, while it is generally easier to get the appropriate visa the first time they work here, it becomes increasingly difficult if they wish to return.
Some do not want to work in orchards or other outside jobs.
He said he had worked with Work and Income but it believed there were enough New Zealanders to fill a rugby team.
Although there were a lot of Vanuatuans working in the region, he said they tended to prefer football. They had had a couple of rugby players from Vanuatu about five years ago who were very good, but he had not seen them back.
‘The community does not want the rugby team to disappear, as it keeps the guys out of trouble and people like to come down on a Saturday to watch and then have a chat in the clubrooms after.
“That’s what it is all about,” Mr Darling said.