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World Club Challenge (Merged Threads)
Damien posted a topic in The General Rugby League ForumNow on the one hand while it seems good that this match may take place the attitude just stinks in my opinion. If this match is played at Penrith and is simply being treated as no more than a trial game, with star names rested and youngsters played, then I see little point in it taking place at all. Saints win and it's a hollow victory and easily dismissed, Penrith win and SL is ridiculed. This is not what a World Club Challenge should be: Premiers Penrith are about to be given the green light to host the highly anticipated World Club Challenge against Super League champions St Helens. After COVID-19 forced the concept to be abandoned for the past couple of years, league officials on both sides of the globe have worked hard to make sure the game proceeds next February. Penrith officials had no appetite to drag some of their stars to the other side of the world because so many of them are already playing in the World Cup in Britain. St Helens, who have won the Super League four years in a row, can instead look forward to swapping the end of the European winter for potentially blistering February heat in Penrith in what will now essentially double as Penrith’s second trial. Panthers boss Brian Fletcher told the Herald he had learned of St Helens’ visit on Monday after initially thinking the game would be spiked yet again. Because stars such as Nathan Cleary, Isaah Yeo and Liam Martin are expected to feature all the way through to the November 20 final with Cup favourites Australia, their extended break means they are expected to play limited minutes – if at all – against Saints at BlueBet Stadium. The game will also be televised. “It would have been impossible for us to go over there, but talk of them coming out here is excellent,” Fletcher said. “We’ve only got word today that our second trial, instead of being against another NRL side, the NRL are investigating how they can bring St Helens to Sydney. “The plan will be to play the game a week before the start of the NRL competition. “We’d love for it to happen. It will be a great game for our fans out at Penrith, it will be great for the area, it’s something different, and it will also give some of our younger boys the chance to have a run against a quality side.” NRL 2023: Penrith to host St Helens in Word Club Challenge reboot (smh.com.au)