It has been confirmed that Penrith Panthers will make the journey to England to contest the World Club Challenge against Wigan Warriors in 2024.
The Panthers are competing in their second consecutive World Club Challenge game, but after three appearances in the historic fixture have yet to win.
In February 2023 St Helens travelled down under to face the Panthers in Penrith where they incredibly defeated them 13-12 following a Lewis Dodd drop goal in golden point extra time, and now the Panthers are set to try avenge that loss.
Facing them will be Wigan who ended Saints four year streak as Super League champions, but now they’ll have three time consecutive NRL winners Penrith to try and topple.
It’s now been confirmed that the game will take place on Saturday 24th February, meaning Matt Peet’s side will miss round two of the Super League season as many fans had expected.
It will mark the first time the two sides have met since 1991 when they contested the World Club Challenge, Wigan coming out on top that day.
Both clubs took to social media to confirm the news, with Wigan releasing the following statement.
“Wigan Warriors are pleased to confirm that the Penrith Panthers, NRL Champions, will travel to the UK in February to face the Super League Champions in the Betfred World Club Challenge.
“The game will take place at the DW Stadium on Saturday 24th February, kicking off at 8pm and will be shown live on Sky Sports.
“Wigan Warriors defeated Catalans Dragons 10-2 in the Betfred Super League Grand Final to become Super League Champions in October while Penrith Panthers were victors over the Brisbane Broncos in the NRL Grand Final to set up this mouth-watering Clash of the Champions.
“The only previous meeting of the respective 2023 champions of the Betfred Super League and the NRL Telstra Premiership came 32 years ago at Anfield, when the former All Black Frano Botica starred in a 21-4 Wigan win.
“This game will be Wigan’s ninth attempt at becoming World Club Champions having claimed the title in 1987, 1991, 1993 and most recently in 2017. It will be the Panthers’ fourth World Club Challenge appearance. A win for Wigan would be their fifth in total, victory for Penrith would be their first.”
Wigan Warriors Chief Executive Kris Radlinski said: “We are thrilled to announce that the 2024 Betfred World Club Challenge against the Penrith Panthers will be held in Wigan on the 24th of February.
“In recent weeks, substantial efforts have been invested to ensure the game takes place, fuelled by a keen interest from the Panthers to participate.
Radlinski added: “This presents a fantastic opportunity for our Club to host one of the NRL’s most formidable teams, providing a special treat for Wigan fans and Rugby League enthusiasts alike. Anticipation is high and we promise to put on a show.”
Rugby League Commercial Managing Director, Rhodri Jones said: “The Betfred World Club Challenge is a mouth-watering fixture to relish in the opening weeks of our 2024 season, as two of the World’s great Rugby League Clubs meet in Wigan.
“All credit must go to both clubs for the collegiate way discussions have taken place to confirm the fixture.
“It promises to be a very special night, with Penrith determined to be crowned World Club Champions for the first time, and Wigan are looking to extend their wonderful history in the World Club Challenge stretching back almost four decades, including a previous victory against the Panthers.”