THE annual World Club Challenge, which sees the champion club of the Australasian NRL play the champion club of the European Super League, is always an epic battle between two great clubs.
In 2013 the clash is set to happen in Leeds, at Headingley Carnegie Stadium. It will see England’s Super League XVII champions, Leeds Rhinos, take on Australia’s 2012 NRL Premiers Melbourne Storm.
The clash is set to be a record breaking game with Leeds aiming to become the first team ever to win four world titles whilst Melbourne will be hoping to become the first NRL club to win three global challenge matches, equaling the record held jointly by Leeds, Wigan and Bradford.
It will already be a historic moment for Leeds when they take to the field, becoming the first team to appear in six World Club Challenge games.
Leeds Rhinos and England captain Kevin Sinfield says his team is looking forward to the match.
“We are all very excited about the challenge of taking on Melbourne at Headingley Carnegie. Last season’s game against Manly was an incredible occasion.
“As a group we have been fortunate to play in some big games at great stadiums but to play a game of this magnitude at our home ground was something very special. We have had some great tussles with Melbourne over the years with one win apiece and I am sure that the 2013 World Club Challenge will be another game to remember.”
Leeds Rhinos Chief Executive Gary Hetherington says that it promises to be a great night in World Club history.
“We had a sell out crowd last season and the interest in this game is extremely high already. The chance to see players like Billy Slater, Cooper Cronk and Cameron Smith play at Headingley Carnegie is also an obvious attraction and I am sure the World Club Challenge will be the perfect way to kick off a massive year for the sport with the World Cup coming to England later in the year.”
Melbourne Storm are bringing a full strength squad to the UK for the World Club Challenge match, with the game a key part of Storm’s final preparations leading into the 2013 NRL Premiership season.
Storm will depart Australia for the UK on Tuesday 12 February and will spend time training and preparing for the match in London before travelling to Leeds.
Melbourne Storm General Manager, Frank Ponissi, said the team was looking forward to the challenge of being back to play for the World Club Challenge trophy.
“We are looking forward to heading to Leeds and testing ourselves against the current Super League premiers,”
“We value this game highly and will be looking to give ourselves the best chance to claim another World Club Challenge title, against a powerhouse club who have won five of the last six Super League premierships.”
Tickets are available through RFL at www.rugbyleaguetickets.co.uk or by calling 0844 856 1113.