Rugby union was first introduced into Wallis and Futuna by the French, and has been played there for at least a century. Wallis and Futuna is still a French colony, and this has proven a mixed blessing, as players have the prospect of "promotion" to French professionalism/semi-amateurism, but this also potentially weakens the local system, removing players from local competitions.
Wallis and Futuna also has geographical problems. The two main island groups are 160 km apart, making regular competition difficult. There is also the issue of population, since the islands only have around 13,000 inhabitants. However, the islands have strong ties to Tonga and Samoa, both of which are major rugby nations, despite their small size. The Kailao often thought of as the Tongan haka and used by the Tonga national rugby union team is of Wallisian origin.