The World Club Challenge will be played in Australia for the first time in well over a decade when the Sydney Roosters host Wigan at the Sydney Football Stadium on the 22nd of February next year.
The last time the World Club Challenge (In its current format) was held in Australia was in 1994 when the then great Wigan team beat the Brisbane Broncos at Lang Park.
This time around it will be a very different Wigan team…
The Sydney Roosters will win this game with relative ease. It will be interesting to see if the Roosters play any sort of warm up matches and if they decide to play their best lineup for the game.
Wigan will be arriving in Australia a few weeks early to try and acclimatize and shake off the jet lag, but it will be a very tough ask for them to put up any sort of fight to be honest.
The World Club Challenge in its current format is nothing more than an exhibition game. It holds not real value and dones not come close to showcasing the ability of either team that competes it in.
It will be interesting to see if Wigan’s Super League campaign is effected as heavily is the UK trips have effected Australian based teams. The long season really takes its toll on NRL clubs and I think it has had a lot to do with the fact that we have not seen and NRL club win back-to-back titles for so long.
I would suggest that this will be the last World Club Challenge held in Australia for some time simply because the score line will be so one sided. At least when it is held in the UK all of the handicaps of travel and the time of years its held make the game someone of a contest.
By playing the World Club Challenge so early in the season you ensure that NRL clubs are not near match fit and in form. Super League teams play exhibition games over the off season and start their season a lot earlier than NRL clubs.
Wigan will enjoy their time in Australia no doubt. The weather in February is great, they can catch a few games of Cricket if they feel like it, and no doubt they will be hosted very well by the NRL and its clubs.
You won’t see the NRL step in and cancel any warm up games that Wigan would like to play as the RFL on visiting NRL clubs to England.
I will attend the match even though I don’t particularly like either team. It will add to what is already a very busy schedule to start next season with the NRL Nines kicking off in Auckland before the season gets underway in March.
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