Cronulla Sharks and Brisbane Broncos will travel to the UK next February to take on England’s best at the Dacia World Club Series.
The 2017 series has been dogged with controversy as the Melbourne Storm was joined by five of the other top eight finishers in turning down an invite to play.
Long travelling hours and a disrupted pre-season were factors for the lack of interest among the top National Rugby League clubs refusing to take part.
At one stage it appeared eleventh placed St George-Illawarra Dragons would become the second challenger until Wayne Bennett’s Broncos confirmed they would compete.
With no mention of a third game through the Australian media over the last few weeks it was almost certain that Hull FC would miss out on hosting a match. That news was confirmed this week.
The World Club Series format has struggled with Australian clubs winning all six matches.
In 2015 South Sydney thumped Super League champs St Helens 39-0 and North Queensland did a job on Leeds Rhinos 38-4 last year.
With the World Club Series future in serious doubt, attention has moved to different options including one which could see both Super League and National Rugby League Grand Final ‘replays’ take place at one of Britain’s largest stadiums.
Another suggestion is that Australian clubs will invite Super League sides down to Australia to play friendlies.
This could potentially see Brisbane Broncos hosting Wigan Warriors at Suncorp Stadium with both sides among the popular clubs in rugby league.
DACIA WORLD CLUB SERIES
Saturday February 18, 2017
Warrington Wolves vs Brisbane Broncos
Halliwell Jones Stadium
Kick-off: 8pm (BST)
Sunday February 19, 2017
Wigan Warriors vs Cronulla Sharks
Kick-off: 3pm (BST)