Super League champions Leeds Rhinos will travel Down Under to take on NRL Premiers Melbourne Storm for the World Club Challenge in February .
There had been doubts the game would take place with the Storm reportedly not being keen on coming over to England only 12 weeks after the World Cup would have ended , citing player welfare issues .
The Rhinos will be looking for a 4th World Club challenge success but their 1st one in Australia . Wigan travelled to Sydney for the 2014 World Club Challenge , the season after the 2013 World Cup , showing the NRL sides being uncomfortable with the long journey after a long season .
Leeds supremo Gary Hetherington wanted to keep the traditional early season highlight on the calendar so has agreed for his side to travel to Melbourne for the clash on Friday 16th February , it has a 20:00 kick off time in Australia so will be an early Friday morning kick off for TV viewers in England .
“Leeds and Melbourne Storm have been rugby league’s two most successful teams over the past 20 years and it’s fitting for us to come together for the fourth time, coming to Melbourne represents our biggest ever challenge. A victory would be the pinnacle in our club’s 128-year history.” Hetherington went on to say that winning the trophy was the ‘ultimate achievement .’
It seems the 2 or 3 game World Series has now been shelved leaving runaway League leaders Castleford without a game , Hull FC and Wigan will also be playing in Australia early next year .