World Club Challenge preview: Sydney V Wigan

Saturday 22nd February (9.00am, Sky Sports 2)
Allianz Stadium

WIGAN WARRIORS are aiming to set a new record of being World Club Challenge winners for a fourth time. They previously won the title in 1987 (8-2 against Manly at Central Park), 1991 (21-4 against Penrith at Anfield) and 1994 (20-14 against Brisbane at ANZ Stadium). The Warriors also tasted defeat in 1992 (22-8 to Brisbane at Central Park) and 2011 (21-15 to St George Illawarra at DW Stadium).

Bradford Bulls (2002, 2004, 2006), Leeds Rhinos (2005, 2008, 2012) and Melbourne Storm (2000, 2010, 2013) are the other clubs to have each won three World Club Challenges.

The Warriors will equal Leeds Rhinos’ record of six appearances in the fixture on Saturday.

SYDNEY ROOSTERS make their second World Club Challenge appearance – having won their previous encounter in 2003 (38-0 against St Helens at Reebok Stadium, Bolton).

JOSH CHARNLEY needs one appearance to reach 100 for Wigan.
Charnley made a try-scoring Warriors debut in a 38-18 win at Hull KR on 22 August, 2010.

Sydney Roosters with previous World Club Challenge appearances
Heath L’Estrange (2009, Manly v Leeds, Won)
Anthony Minichiello (2003, Sydney Roosters v St Helens, Won)
Sonny Bill Williams (2005, Canterbury Bulldogs v Leeds, Lost)

Wigan Warriors with previous World Club Challenge appearances
Liam Farrell (2011, Wigan v St George Illawarra, Lost)
Darrell Goulding (2011, Wigan v St George Illawarra, Lost)
Michael McIlorum (2011, Wigan v St George Illawarra, Lost)
Sean O’Loughlin (2011, Wigan v St George Illawarra, Lost)

World Club Challenge History
The first World Club Championship/Challenge match was on Tuesday, 29 June 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 19 World Club Challenge matches since 1987.

World Club Challenge 1987-2013
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, Huddersfield) 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 St George Illawarra 21 Wigan 15 (DW Stadium, Wigan) Attendance: 24,268
17/2/12 Leeds 26 Manly 12 (Headingley Carnegie, Leeds) Attendance: 21,062
22/2/13 Leeds 14 Melbourne 18 (Headingley Carnegie, Leeds) Attendance: 20,400

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.

World Club Challenge Records
Most tries
No player has scored three or more in a World Club Challenge match, but Darren Smith got a hat-trick for Brisbane Broncos when they beat Hunter Mariners in the final of the 22-club world championship in 1997.

Most goals
9 (including 1 field goal) by Paul Deacon (Bradford Bulls, v Newcastle Knights, 2002)
9 by Craig Fitzgibbon (Sydney Roosters, v St Helens, 2003)

Most points
22 (1 try, 9 goals) by Craig Fitzgibbon (Sydney Roosters, v St Helens, 2003)

Most appearances
7 by Jamie Peacock
(2013, Leeds Rhinos v Melbourne Storm, Lost)
(2012, Leeds Rhinos v Manly Sea Eagles, Won)
(2010, Leeds Rhinos v Melbourne Storm, Lost)
(2009, Leeds Rhinos v Manly Sea Eagles, Lost)
(2008, Leeds Rhinos v Melbourne Storm, Won)
(2004, Bradford Bulls v Penrith Panthers, Won)
(2002, Bradford Bulls v Newcastle Knights, Won)

Most wins
4 by Jamie Peacock (2012, 2008, 2004, 2002)

The only player to be sent off in a World Club Challenge match was Ron Gibbs of Manly for illegal use of the elbow on Wigan’s Joe Lydon in 1987. Gibbs was not suspended.

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