It happens every single year…
After a Super League champion has been crowned the attention of the English Rugby League media turns towards their participation in the World Club Challenge. Every single season we hear the same thing from Super League clubs, they all say they would love to play the World Club Challenge in Australia.
Every single one of them…
So this evening I had one of my followers on Twitter send me this tweet:
A fair question.
Now, I’ve seen this dance happen all before. You could write me off as jaded, but don’t say I’m not right. My reply was this:
Hard to argue with me really. However, understandably, the Official Leeds Rhinos Twitter feed decided they would defend the club, which is their right. They replied with this:
Now I replied to that tweet and there was a bit of back and forth, it was nothing special really. I thought it would be interesting though to have a look at the last five locations the Leeds Rhinos had traveled to to play in the World Club Challenge. They were:
2012: Headingley – Leeds
2010: Elland Road – Leeds
2009: Elland Road – Leeds
2008: Elland Road – Leeds
2005: Elland Road – Leeds
I think its fair to say at the very least, history backs up my skepticism that the World Club Challenge will be played anywhere but in Leeds in 2013.
I would like to see next years World Club Challenge played in April, during the season. Give both sides a bye week, play it during the season when both sides are in form and see how we go.
A number of times we have seen Australia and New Zealand fly over to the UK and play the following week. Isn’t it fair to think that maybe the Rhino’s, if they really are keen to play in Australia, could do the same thing?
I’m sure the Melbourne Storm would be more than willing to play set up the game in Australia. It wouldn’t take too much to organised the venue, sponsors and a broadcaster. Hell I bet they would even be willing to play at a neutral venue such as Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane if needed.
However, I would suspect that if they went to Leeds and the RFL, they would hear the same thing every other Australian team gets told. The stadiums already been booked. The deals have all been signed. We can’t break any contracts. Our hands are tied. You have to play over here in England.
I hope I’m wrong. I hope in a few months time it is announced that the World Club Challenge will be played in Australia. I hope the Leeds Rhinos can find me and say “I told you so!”.
History suggest that I’m right though. Lets wait and see what happens…
A well known Rugby League writer, League Freak has established a reputation among supporters of the game for his fearless commentary and unmatched insight. With a reach that spans both sides of the globe, League Freak has produced an independent network that allows him to distribute content to his many thousands of followers. He is the owner and main author of LeagueFreak.com
Aug 15, 2019 0