For many Rugby League enthusiasts in this country, the World Club Series is a rare opportunity to see some of the NRL’s stars in action.
The first team in the spotlight is the Sydney Roosters, who take on St Helens in the opening match of the series tonight.
The Roosters are without a number of stars, namely Boyd Cordner and Mitchell Pearce. Nevertheless, Trent Robinson still has a number of world class players at his disposal.
Here are three players in particular to watch out for this evening.
Despite his age, Friend has made over 150 appearances for the Roosters.
He’s overcome plenty of controversy in his time. In 2009 he had his contract terminated at the Roosters after being arrested, but was reinstated after counselling. Since then his career has flourished, winning the Grand Final with the club in 2013 before putting in a man of the match performance against Wigan in the 2014 World Club Challenge.
His superb work-rate makes him a valuable member of Sydney’s defence while he also has qualities with the ball going forward.
The biggest compliment you can give Ferguson is the quantity of praise he received last year while playing in a back line with the great Roger Tuivasa-Sheck.
RTS has now departed for the New Zealand Warriors, resulting in Ferguson moving to full-back after playing last year out wide.
Another man with controversy surrounding him, Ferguson was sacked by Canberra Raiders in 2013 for a number of off-field incidents, with the RFL refusing to let him play in the competition before last season.
However, he is back now and taking his opportunity with both hands.
Moa is something of a familiar face after playing for New Zealand in the recent autumn Test series against England.
He has Super League experience too. The forward played for Hull FC from 2009 to 2012, eventually returning to the NRL with the Roosters and winning the Grand Final in 2013.
New Zealand came calling soon after, and he has become a mainstay in the Kiwis team since.