St Helens’ Paul Wellens opens up on ‘disappointment’ at not getting World Club Challenge chance earlier despite “unrivalled success”

St Helens will head down under in February 2023 to take on Penrith Panthers in the first World Club Challenge since 2020.

That year, St Helens came up short against the Sydney Roosters and haven’t had a crack at it since which is a shame given their dominance over Super League winning four titles in a row as well as lifting another League Leaders’ Shield and a Challenge Cup.

However, they have now been given the chance to add the final trophy to their collection that has alluded this particular dynasty and test themselves against the NRL’s back-to-back Champions.

It also represents a chance for them to do something the club has never done before and win the World Club Challenge in Australia.

For new coach Paul Wellens, for whom this will be his first game in charge, this represents a long awaited chance for the side he inherited as he expressed ‘disappointment’ that the group hasn’t had the chance sooner.

He said: “Both ourselves and Penrith have had unrivalled success in recent years and we are relishing the opportunity to go over to Australia and test ourselves against what is undoubtably a great team.

“It had been disappointing for us that we’ve been unable to have this contest in last couple of years, but it’s great news not just for both Club’s, but for the game as a whole that the best teams in both competitions can once again compete in the World Club Challenge.

“We are obviously motivated by achieving further success and this gives us as a Club an early opportunity to do exactly that in 2023, we aim to represent ourselves, the town of St Helens and the Super League competition in the best possible manner.”

The game will take place at he BlueBet Stadium on Saturday 18 February, 2023 (6pm KO local/ 7am UK) and will be broadcast on Channel 4.

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