“We haven’t signed off on the game” – Penrith Panthers demanding cash incentive for clash with St Helens in World Club Challenge

Though the World Club Challenge has already been confirmed by NRL Champions Penrith Panthers and Super League Champions St Helens, according to reports down under, Penrith are yet to officially sign off on the fixture.

The game has been pencilled in to be played in Australia as a Super League side heads down under for the first time since Leeds Rhinos did back in 2018 to face the Melbourne Storm.

Meanwhile, Channel 4 will show the game as part of a double header in the first weekend of Super League with the fixture followed up by a clash between Hull KR and Wigan Warriors on February 18th.

However, according to the Daily Telegraph the Panthers have yet to officially sign off on the fixture.

It is expected that they will do but this is because they are chasing huge cash bonuses for playing in the clash against St Helens.

Penrith want at least $100,000 for playing in the match and are still chasing a further $200,000 for winning the NRL last season. The only received $200,000 for their title win which is half of what the prize money was prior to the pandemic.

Until they get this sum of $300,000 a question mark sits next to the World Club Challenge though it will likely go ahead.

The Panthers are so keen on this funding due to the fact participation in the World Club Challenge would see them miss out on a lucrative trial match against rivals Parramatta Eels in a rematch of the 2022 Grand Final.

It is unclear what cash incentives St Helens could be offered for playing in the game.

Speaking to the Telegraph, Chief Executive Brian Fletcher said: “We are waiting on details from Andrew Abdo – we haven’t signed off on the game.

“Andrew said we would be playing for prizemoney and we are waiting to hear what it is. We have to hear back from him before we make a decision. It’s in Andrew’s court.

“It will replace our second trial against Parramatta at home. We have to make sure we are replaced financially.”

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