The greatest Rugby League teams in the world will do battle once again at Headingley Carnegie Stadium on Friday February 22 when current world champions and Super League holders Leeds Rhinos face NRL Grand Final winners Melbourne Storm in the 2013 World Club Challenge.
The clash is set to be a record breaking game with Leeds aiming to become the first team ever to win four world titles whilst Melbourne will be hoping to become the first NRL club to win three global challenge matches, equally the record held jointly by Leeds, Wigan and Bradford.
The Storm will also equal Brisbane’s record of four World Club Challenge appearances whilst Leeds will set a new benchmark, becoming the first team to ever appear in six World Club Challenge games, surpassing Wigan on five.
Commenting on the game Leeds Rhinos and England captain Kevin Sinfield said: “We are all very excited about the challenge of taking on Melbourne at Headingley Carnegie. Last season’s game against Manly was an incredible occasion.
“As a group we have been fortunate to play in some big games at great stadiums but to play a game of this magnitude at our home ground was something very special. We have had some great tussles with Melbourne over the years with one win apiece and I am sure that the 2013 World Club hallenge will be another game to remember.”
Leeds Rhinos Chief Executive Gary Hetherington said: “Having spoken to fans, young and old, the Manly game ranks as one of the greatest nightsever in the club’s history and I am sure fans will be keen to snap up tickets for this clash against the Storm.
“We had a sell out crowd last season and the interest in this game is extremely high already. The chance to see players like Billy Slater, Cooper Cronk and Cameron Smith play at Headingley Carnegie is also an obvious attraction and I am sure the World Club Challenge will be the perfect way to kick off a massive year for the sport with the World Cup coming to England later in the year.
“We have invested heavily in our new pitch during the close season, which will not only guarantee the fixture with our new undersoil heating system but also present a perfect stage on which the two best teams in the world can go head to head,” added Hetherington.
The Rhinos beat Manly at a sell out Headingley Carnegie in 2012 and demand for tickets is expecting to be high again. Leeds and Melbourne have already met twice in the World Club Challenge, in 2008 and 2010 but both of those games were at Elland Road.
Tickets will go on sale from 9am on Monday 19th November to Rhinos 2013 season ticket holders, Rhinos 4 Life members and Leedsline agents at an allocation of 2 per person with 2013 Bronze members able to buy a week later. The priority period for Rhinos 2013 members will be up until 5pm on Monday 3rd December with all members able to gain a £2 discount during this exclusive period.
Because this is a RFL event all seats will be sold on a first come, first served basis and will not be reserved for the usual season ticket holder.
Tickets will go on general sale at 9am on Tuesday 4th December with no limit on how many people wish to purchase and prices will increase to general match ticket prices, subject to availability.
During the priority period, tickets will be available to purchase over the phone on 0871 423 1315 or by coming down to the ticket office at Headingley Carnegie Stadium. Tickets will only be available online from Tuesday 4th December at www.therhinos.co.uk.
The RFL will begin sales at 9.00am on Tuesday December 4 and people can purchase either by contacting 0844 856 1113 or online at www.rugbyleaguetickets.co.uk.
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World Club Challenge history
The first World Club Championship/Challenge match was on Tuesday June 29 1976 when Eastern Suburbs (now Sydney Roosters) beat St Helens 25-2 at the Sydney Cricket Ground before a crowd of 26,856. The Saints had won the Premiership in 1975-76, while Easts were the 1975 Australian Premiership Grand Final winners.
The one-off match was given little official status and there were no further meetings between the countries’ top teams until Wigan met and
beat Manly 8-2 at Central Park on 7 October 1987 in the re-styled World Club Challenge. Wigan qualified as the 1986-87 Division One champions and Manly as Australia’s Minor Premiership (league leaders) winners, although they did win the Grand Final just 10 days before meeting Wigan.
The World Club Challenge was given full International Board recognition in 1989 and was played at irregular intervals up to 1994 between the British champions and Australia’s Grand Final winners.
In 1997 there was a Super League World Club Championship involving 22 clubs. There was a gap of a few years before the World Club Challenge was restored in 2000 with a match between Britain and Australia’s Grand Final winners.
British clubs have won 12 of the 18 World Club Challenge matches since 1987.
World Club Challenge 1987-2011
7/10/87 Wigan 8 Manly 2 (Central Park, Wigan) Attendance: 36,895
10/10/89 Widnes 30 Canberra 18 (Old Trafford, Manchester) Attendance: 30,786
2/10/91 Wigan 21 Penrith 4 (Anfield, Liverpool) Attendance: 20,152
30/10/92 Brisbane 22 Wigan 8 (Central Park, Wigan) Attendance: 17,746
1/6/94 Wigan 20 Brisbane 14 (ANZ Stadium, Brisbane) Attendance: 54,220
22/1/00 Melbourne 44 St Helens 6 (JJB Stadium, Wigan) Attendance: 13,394
26/1/01 St Helens 20 Brisbane 18 (Reebok Stadium, Bolton) Attendance: 16,041
1/2/02 Bradford 41 Newcastle 26 (McAlpine Stadium, Huddersfield) Attendance: 21,113
14/2/03 Sydney Roosters 38 St Helens 0 (Reebok Stadium, Bolton) Attendance: 19,807
13/2/04 Bradford 22 Penrith 4 (McAlpine Stadium, Huddersfield) Attendance: 18,962
4/2/05 Leeds 39 Bulldogs 32 (Elland Road, Leeds) Attendance: 37,028
3/2/06 Bradford 30 Wests Tigers 10 (Galpharm Stadium, H’field) Attendance: 19,207
23/2/07 St Helens 18 Brisbane 14 (Reebok Stadium, Bolton) Attendance: 23,207
29/2/08 Leeds 11 Melbourne 4 (Elland Road, Leeds) Attendance: 33,204
1/3/09 Manly 28 Leeds 20 (Elland Road, Leeds) Attendance: 32,569
28/2/10 Melbourne 18 Leeds 10 (Elland Road, Leeds) Attendance: 27,697
27/2/11 Wigan 15 St George Illawarra 21 (DW Stadium, Wigan) Attendance: 24,268
17/2/12 Leeds 26 Manly 12 (Headingley Carnegie, Leeds) Attendance: 21,062
Brisbane Broncos beat Hunter Mariners 36-12 at Ericsson Stadium, Auckland, in the 1997 Super League World Club Championship final following a competition involving 22 clubs. The attendance was 12,000.
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Rugby Football League
Headingley Carnegie to host 2013 world title deciderRhinos and RFL media release
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