“The World Club Challenge is important” says Penrith executive as he labels St Helens as “the benchmark”

For the first time since 2020 the World Club Challenge will return in 2023.

And for the first time since Leeds Rhinos headed down under to take on Melbourne Storm in 2018, the game will be held down under.

It comes at an interesting time for rugby league with the IMG proposals set to radically change the nature of show piece events in the sport with the Magic Weekend on the chopping block.

Meanwhile, the NRL is expanding to 27 rounds next year and after a World Cup many felt it would be hard to fit it in the 2023 calendar.

Furthermore, it has often been said that Australian clubs don’t see it as important.

However, speaking about taking on St Helens, Penrith Panthers Chief Executive Officer Matt Cameron described the event as “important” to the rugby league calendar and St Helens as the “benchmark” of Super League.

He said: “On behalf of all at Panthers, we look forward to welcoming St Helens to BlueBet Stadium in February.

“St Helens have been the benchmark team in the Super League for several years now, which will give the Panthers a great challenge to start the new season.

“The World Club Challenge is an important piece of the rugby league calendar and it’s great to see the fixture return for the first time since 2020.”

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

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