NRL and Super League “thrashing out details” of 2018 World Club Series

Super League executive director Roger Draper has revealed that a weekend has already been pencilled in to potentially stage next year’s World Club Series – with a decision to be made on the format no later than May.

Discussions have taken place between Super League and the NRL over what the 2018 series will look like, after Super League recorded its first whitewash in the competition’s three-year history earlier this year with victories for Warrington and Wigan against Brisbane and Cronulla respectively.

And Draper told TotalRL that both competitions have agreed on a weekend for the event to take place: it is just now a case of finalising what the tournament will look like.

“We’ve had some discussions with the NRL on the World Club Series but there’s a World Cup to factor in this year,” he said.

“The NRL, with their new broadcasting deal, are deciding what they do with the Nines but there’s a weekend of the 24th and 25th February blocked off by everyone for the series. Then it’s discussions about whether it’s one game, two games, four games, UK, Australia, Singapore and things like that.”

However, with the details of this year’s series only being confirmed at the end of 2016, Draper is adamant that he wants next year’s event sorted sooner, rather than later.

He said: “Last year we were messing around in November so this year we want to batten down whatever we’re doing in 2018 with it by May. It’s in the calendar, both competitions have earmarked that window and we’ve just got to thrash out the finer details.”

Draper also revealed that as part of the plans to move forward with Super League, a double-header to start the season is one idea being floated around.

“The double-header to start the season is an option we’ve got kicking around,” he admitted.

“Look at what rugby union have done with that and they can say they’ve had a big increase in crowds. So getting some of those bigger games into an event like that would be great and it would start things with a bang. The beginning of the season then gives you the momentum to move forward.”