Betfred Super League Champions Wigan Warriors will face NRL Premiership-winners, Sydney Roosters, in the World Club Challenge at the DW Stadium on Sunday 17th February 2019 (kick-off 7pm) in an eagerly-awaited clash of the Champions.
The Warriors, crowned Champions for the 22nd time at Old Trafford in October, are the only team to have won the World Club Challenge four times (1987, 1991, 1994, 2017) when they defeated then-NRL Champions Cronulla Sharks 22-6 back in February 2017. Wigan will face the Sydney Roosters who claimed their 14th Premiership with Grand Final victory against the Melbourne Storm just over a month ago. The Roosters will be vying for their fourth World Club Challenge title (1976, 2003, 2014).
The DW Stadium at Wigan has hosted the World Club Challenge final on three occasions (2000, 2011, 2017) and also staged two World Club Series fixtures (2015, 2016). An expected full house will welcome the likes of Cooper Cronk, Boyd Cordner, James Tedesco and Latrell Mitchell as the cream of Australian rugby league will be on show in the North West of England.
Wigan Warriors Chairman, Ian Lenagan commented: “The World Club Challenge is a special competition for the Wigan Club and with a game against Sydney Roosters we have two of Rugby League’s most iconic institutions facing one another. Seeing the cherry-and-white of Wigan up against the tricolour of the Roosters in front of a packed stadium on a Sunday will be a great spectacle. With the calibre of players on show from both teams, it should be a great advert for our sport. “We’re delighted to be hosting the game in England and we’re looking forward to welcoming Chairman Nick Politis AM, Head Coach Trent Robinson and the whole Sydney Roosters team and support staff to what should be a sold-out DW Stadium in February 2019.”
Robert Elstone, the chief executive of Super League Europe, said: “I can’t wait for two giants of our game to go head to head, seeking to be crowned the best club team in world rugby.
“The opportunity to see some of the best players in the world is one I don’t want to miss and one I know all our fans will relish.
“The best of Super League versus the best of the NRL is a mouth-watering prospect, and will provide one of many early highlights in a season which promises so much.”
The game will take on an added significance for incoming Warriors Head Coach, Adrian Lam, who will be leaving his position in the backroom staff at the Roosters to take up his role with Wigan in 2019. On facing the prospect of facing his former employers at the Roosters, Lam said: “I feel honoured and privileged to be the coach of our great Wigan club for the 2019 season. I have had some great memories in the cherry-and-white that I will forever hold close to my heart. Another great opportunity presents itself with the World Club Challenge in February and our squad will work hard to prepare well through pre-season to deliver a performance that will make our fans proud.”
With the Sydney Roosters due to commence their pre-season training in the coming weeks, Roosters Chief Executive Officer, Scott Bennetts, said: “The World Club Challenge is a significant fixture on the rugby league calendar and we are very proud to be taking our Club to England to compete against the Wigan Warriors for the 2019 World Club Challenge title.
“Both Clubs feature notably in the history of the tournament, and with the Roosters having hosted the 2014 World Club Challenge match between our clubs at Sydney’s Allianz Stadium, we are looking forward to making the trip to Wigan,” he added.