World Club Challenge gets underway as Warrington take on St George
The much-anticipated new format of the World Club Series takes centre stage in rugby league this weekend, which kicks off with Warrington Wolves taking on NRL side St George Illawarra.
This year sees an expanded version of what was originally the World Club Challenge, which pitted the winner of the Super League Grand Final against the NRL equivalent. It has been dubbed as Super League versus the NRL, with Warrington odds-on at 8/15 with Coral to win.
Taking part in the series are the two teams competing in both finals, plus the next highest finisher. Kicking off proceedings, is Tony Smith’s side, and the Australian coach has made former Kangaroos international Joel Monaghan his skipper for the match.
Last season’s leading Super League try-scorer has said he is proud to lead his team out against the side from Down Under.
“The three English teams week to week don’t like each other at all, but I think this weekend they will be hoping each other wins,” said Monaghan, who unsurprisingly is 7/1 favourite to score the first try.
“It’s a massive honour to be named captain, especially for a concept like this. We want to kick this off in style by going out in front of a packed house and doing a job. But we’re under no illusions, they are three quality NRL sides there.”
Gareth Widdop returns to the Super League with St George and is a 7/2 chance to score anytime, while Benji Marshall, who switched back to rugby league, is 3/1 to cross anytime.
Last year’s Super League Man of Steel, Daryl Clark will relish this test and performed heroically in the big games for Castleford last season, also scoring previously in the 7-6 victory over Hull FC, and is 15/8 in the anytime market.
New Zealand star Jason Nightingale will also be one to watch for the visiting side and is 10/1 to cross the whitewash first.