It’s been one of the major talking points in recent days, but the Penrith Panthers have effectively handed St Helens an ultimatum on the World Club Challenge.
Whilst Penrith are willing to still play the global fixture, they are unwilling to make the journey to the UK for it to happen.
Instead, it is up to Super League Grand Final winners Saints to travel halfway across the world, without it needs to be said, being funded by their Australian hosts.
That is unlike NRL sides that travel to the UK for the fixture who receive subsidised flights and accommodation from the host club.
However, for the Australian Fergo & the Freak podcast, the World Club Challenge is something they aren’t bothered about.
“As a Panthers fan I’m happy about it,” host Andrew Ferguson revealed.
“The World Club Challenge is a little bit ridiculous – I don’t want my club focused on wining a game in February, I’m more concerned about them being good in September and October when the big games are played.
“They (Penrith) would play it as the preseason warm up, but they wouldn’t be paying any of the costs, so if St Helens want to take part in it then it can be on.”
The podcast went on to explain how a World Club Challenge in the UK would just not be the right thing to do.
“Having the game in the UK right now is not feasible.
“I don’t care what other sports do, the seven-week average of new cases is 42,000, whilst in Sydney it was 128 yesterday – that is the difference between the numbers.
“You wouldn’t send your players over there especially for a game that isn’t needed.”