For just the third time in the tournament’s history, the World Club Challenge is set to be played in Australia after the NRL confirmed this morning that the fixture would take place at AAMI Park.
With the battle for supremacy set to begin, both the Melbourne Storm and the Leeds Rhinos will go head-to-head on February 16 to determine which club is rugby league’s best.
Previously, the game had been held in both Brisbane and Sydney but this is the first time that Melbourne is hosting the event.
The Storm and Rhinos have gone head-to-head in a World Club Challenge on three previous occasions, with the Storm winning two of those in 2010 and 2013.
With the game now locked in, fans can make some early plans to watch footy at AAMI Park and the NRL is pleased that such a game has been confirmed.
“It’s important for the growth of both the NRL and international game that major events like this go ahead each year, so we’re glad to have ensured this important match takes place in what is a shortened pre-season post the Rugby League World Cup,” said the NRL’s Head of Strategy, Mr David Silverton said.
“To have the match take place on home soil for the first time in four years is an added bonus for Australian rugby league fans too.
“A special thank you must go to all those involved from the Super League, Melbourne Storm, Leeds Rhinos and Channel Nine for joining forces and committing to make this showpiece event happen.”
Equally pleased is Victoria’s Minister for Sport, Tourism and Major Events, with John Eren stating that the tournament is right at home in Melbourne and that they are thrilled to host it.
“The World Club Challenge is right at home in the sporting capital. We can’t wait to get behind our Storm and help make them the world’s best rugby league team,” said Eren.
“It’s yet another coup for the sports capital that will bring more visitors to Victoria – boosting businesses and supporting local jobs.”
The Storm themselves are excited to have the opportunity to host the World Club Challenge as CEO Dave Donaghy praised the event.
“There’s no better venue or city to host a game that decides the world’s best rugby league team than AAMI Park and Melbourne – Australia’s sporting capital.
“It will be fantastic to see rugby league take centre stage again at AAMI Park, having hosted record Storm crowds and the Rugby League World Cup in 2017.”
For the fans that want to watch the game, it will be broadcast live on Channel Nine in Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane.
“We’re really excited about this match – the two best rugby league teams in the world squaring up against each other for the title of champions,” said Nine’s Director of Sport, Tom Malone.
“Wide World of Sports will be the best place to catch all the action – live and free and in HD.
Club members of both the Storm and the Rhinos are able to purchase tickets on ticketek.com.au today before public tickets go on sale on Tuesday November 21.