Kangaroos coach Mal Meninga has thrown his support behind the Toronto Wolfpack and believes the return of the Canadian club into the Super League is vital to the game's growth.
Meninga was due to take the Australian team to Toronto on their way to England for the Kangaroo tour at the end of the season before the three-Test series became a casualty of COVID-19 and he hopes that the Wolfpack don't meet the same fate.
After withdrawing from Super League in July because of the financial strain of playing all their home games in England, the Wolfpack has new owners and are trying to convince the competition's administrators and clubs that they should be re-instated in 2021.
The world's first trans-Atlantic sporting team began in the third tier League One competition and won their way into the Championship and then Super League in three years, but Wolfpack officials insist it would not be financially viable to repeat the process.
A decision on Toronto's future – and that of the club's contracted players, including Sonny Bill Williams and Ricky Luetele – could be made as soon as this week and Meninga said it would be a huge setback if the Wolfpack were refused entry to Super League next season.
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"From an international point of view I would love to see them competing at the top level so it is pretty exciting for the world game if they are able to keep going," Meninga said.
"If the vision is to grow the game globally and you do that out of the English Super League into North America, then the Wolfpack become a very important cog in that.
"If we can get that right and it becomes successful then that will create other interest within the United States as well.
"To have a trans-Atlantic Super League is a dream and I think we need to have those visions for the game to grow."
The Wolfpack earlier this year announced plans to host the Kangaroos at Toronto's 30,000 capacity BMO Stadium on October 24 and Meninga said he hoped the historic match could be played at another time if the club survives.
"The Wolfpack were leading the charge for rugby or rugby league in North America and have created a lot of interest so it would have been great for the Kangaroos to go there on the tour at the end of the year," Meninga said.
"But just because it isn't going ahead now doesn't mean we can't do that in the future."
Meninga urged the Wolfpack and Super League to use the club's absence from the competition to ensure a financially sustainable model for the future.
"The Wolfpack need to use this as an opportunity to recalibrate and the Super League has got to look what best suits everyone to create the potential for a financial windfall for the game," he said.