The Rugby League World Club Challenge comes to Sydney
It has been confirmed that the Sydney Roosters will play English side Wigan Warriors in the World Club Challenge on February 22 2014 at Allianz Stadium.
It is the first time the game, which is played annually between the victorious Australian NRL and Super League teams, will be played in Australia for some 20 years.
The Sydney Roosters will be fighting to win the title of World's Best Club side
The game might be shown on free to air TV, but that hasn’t been confirmed as yet. Family tickets are available from $40 for members.
The game is just a week after the inaugural Auckland Nines competition, in which all 16 NRL teams will be expected to field many of their top players. Therefore, it is going to have a significant impact on the Roosters.
Superstar Sonny Bill Williams and the Roosters will draw a big crowd
Meanwhile, Wigan has issues of their own - especially as they will have to travel half way across the world to take part in the game, which always acts as a trial match for the Australian team taking part.
Wigan will be a slightly different side to the one that won the English Super League, with star fullback Sam Tomkins now contracted to play for the New Zealand Warriors, and winger Pat Richards lining up to play for the West Tigers next year. Also, forward Lee Mossop will be in the Parramatta side in 2014.
Sonny Bill always attracts a crowd
They will, however have former North Queensland favourite son, Matt Bowen, and former Tiger Eddy Pettybourne, who recently played for USA in the World Cup.
The Roosters on the other hand have lost none of their team that won the 2013 grand final against the Manly Sea Eagles, with Luke O’Donnell the only player yet to commit.
The home team always has a definite advantage in this game, and so the Roosters are likely to start favourites.
It will be interesting to see how seriously the coach takes the match, especially given that many of Trent Robinson’s men have had a short off season playing for various countries in the World Cup. The inclusion of superstar Sonny Bill Williams will no doubt have an affect on crowd numbers, not to mention the outcome of the game.
Where: Allianz Stadium
Why: A rare sporting event
Cost: From $40 Family Ticket
When: February 22, 2014