IMG are set to re-imagine rugby league.
There are a number of focuses for IMG as they look to revamp the sport and amongst them is the international game which could very well include an expansion on the World Club Challenge.
In 2023, St Helens will contend the World Club Challenge against Penrith Panthers in Australia come February and today Paul Wellens previewed that clash against the NRL Champions.
But when asked if IMG should consider expanding the competition, Wellens had a warning for IMG with their plans:
“Potentially,” he said when asked if the World Club Challenge should be expanded, “What we have to be careful of is that there is only 52 weeks in a year. We are guilty that we cram too many things in so we are diluting the product.
“We ask a lot of our players in Super League. So if we expand something like the World Club Challenge, it will have to be at the expense of something else.”
This warning could be applied to other things like more international games.
That said, Wellens trusts IMG to do what’s right: “IMG are smarter than me and I am happy for them to do something like this so long as it isn’t at the expense of player welfare.”