World Club Series
|Dacia World Club Series|
|Current season or competition::
2017 World Club Series
|Number of teams||6|
|Series winners||Super League (1st title)|
|Most titles||NRL (2 titles)|
|Broadcast partner||Nine Network
|Related competitions||World Club Challenge
National Rugby League
The Dacia World Club Series is an annual rugby league football competition played between the clubs from the Australasian National Rugby League and the European Super League. The competition includes the World Club Challenge, a single match played between the two champions of each league.
- 1 History
- 2 Qualification
- 3 List of participants
- 4 Results
- 5 Venues
- 6 Sponsors
- 7 Records
- 8 See also
- 9 References
- 10 Sources
- 11 External links
1976–2014: World Club Challenge
The competition began unofficially in 1976 as a match between Sydney's Eastern Suburbs and Premiership winners St. Helens. In 1987, another unofficial match took place when Wigan chairman Maurice Lindsay invited Manly-Warringah to Central Park.
The first official World Club Challenge was between Widnes and Canberra in 1989. Three further matches, each involving Wigan, were staged in the early 1990s with the 1994 match being staged in Australia. This would be the last time for 20 years that this would happen.
After the 1994 match logistical issues meant the concept was put on hiatus until it was revived in 1997. With the outbreak of Australia's Super League War in 1995, the World Club Challenge was not staged again until 1997 when the competition was restructured to include twenty-two clubs from the Australian and European Super Leagues. With six rounds in two hemispheres and $1,000,000 prize money, the competition was prohibitively expensive to stage and reportedly lost over $5,000,000. This, coupled with the poor ratings and attendances both in Australia and Europe, led to the competition being postponed for two seasons.
Returning to a one-off match between the League champions in 1998, a World Club Challenge as a show-piece fixture at Ellis Park in Johannesburg was mooted. However, this did not happen.
2015-present: World Club Series
In September 2014 it was announced that the World Club Challenge would be expanded, with four extra clubs participating in the World Club Series. The first edition took place between 20 and 22 February 2015 and featured three matches, the first and second essentially being two exhibition games and the final game being for the World Club Challenge match between the two respective premiers as in previous years. The first World Club Series was won outright by the Australians with St. George Illawarra Dragons and Brisbane Broncos narrowly beating Warrington Wolves and Wigan Warriors in the first two games to win the series and South Sydney beating St. Helens 39-0 in the World Club Challenge, which was the biggest winning margin in the history of the competition.
In 2016 a possible expansion to 8 teams was suggested. This would see two games being played in Australia and two games being played in the UK. The World Club Challenge would be played alternatively between the UK and Australia each year and a new points system would be introduced to determine the series winners: one point would be awarded to the winners of the first four games and two points to the winners of the Would Club Challenge.
In 2017 however, the format was reduced to 4 teams due to NRL clubs refusing to play either Warrington Wolves or Hull F.C.. It was decided that the two games would be between Warrington Wolves vs Brisbane Broncos in the first game of the series. In the main game would be between the Super League Champions Wigan Warriors and Cronulla Sutherland Sharks. The series would be Super Leagues first victory since the series began, with Warrington winning 27-18 against Brisbane, and Wigan beating Cronulla 22-6.
Qualification rules in the two league competitions mean that, in theory, teams from six different countries could compete in the competition (though only five countries could be represented in any one tournament). English, French and Welsh teams compete in the English league system and so are eligible to win any of the three available cups. In recent years, the Scottish league champions have been invited to take part in the first round of the Challenge Cup and so are eligible to win that competition and qualify for the series. In the NRL, teams from Australia and one team from New Zealand compete and so could win their league to qualify.
The three teams from Super League that qualify to play in the World Club Series are:
- Challenge Cup Winners
- League Leaders
- Grand Final Winners
During the first Series in 2015, the NRL did not specify any specific qualification to play in the World Club Series. From 2016 however the three teams that qualify are:
- Minor Premiership Winners
- Grand Final Runners Up
- Grand Final Winners
If a team were to win both Minor Premiership and Grand Final then the team finishing second in the league would qualify unless they reached the Grand Final in which case the third placed team would qualify.
List of participants
- Only contains clubs who appeared in the World Club Series from 2015 onwards.
|World Club Series Participants|
||Brisbane Broncos||1987||Brisbane, Queensland||NRL||3
||Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks||1967||Sydney, New South Wales||NRL||1
||Leeds Rhinos||1870||Leeds West Yorkshire||Super League||1
||North Queensland Cowboys||1995||Townsville, Queensland||NRL||1
||South Sydney Rabbitohs||1908||Sydney, New South Wales||NRL||1
||St George Illawarra Dragons||1998||Sydney, New South Wales||NRL||1
||Sydney Roosters||1908||Sydney, New South Wales||NRL||1
||St. Helens||1873||St. Helens, Merseyside||Super League||2
||Warrington Wolves||1876||Warrington, Cheshire||Super League||2
||Wigan Warriors||1872||Wigan, Greater Manchester||Super League||3
*capacity for rugby league games may differ from official stadium capacity.
|Game went to Golden Point extra time|
|World Club Challenge|
|2015||St. George Illawarra Dragons||18-12||Warrington Wolves||NRL|
|Brisbane Broncos||14-12||Wigan Warriors|
|South Sydney Rabbitohs||39-0||St. Helens|
|2016||Sydney Roosters||38-12||St. Helens||NRL|
|Brisbane Broncos||42-12||Wigan Warriors|
|North Queensland Cowboys||38-4||Leeds Rhinos|
|2017||Warrington Wolves||27-18||Brisbane Broncos||Super League|
|Wigan Warriors||22-6||Cronulla Sharks|
|1||Brisbane||3||(2) 2015, 2016||(1) 2017|
|2||North Queensland||1||(1) 2016||(0)|
|3||South Sydney||1||(1) 2015||(0)|
|4||Wigan||3||(1) 2017||(2) 2015, 2016|
|5||St George Illawarra||1||(1) 2015||(0)|
|7||Warrington||2||(1) 2017||(1) 2015|
|8||St. Helens||2||(0)||(2) 2015, 2016|
|9||Leeds Rhinos||1||(0)||(1) 2016|
|10||Cronulla Sutherland Sharks||1||(0)||(1) 2017|
* Bold: World Club Challenge Game
|1||NRL||6||(2) 2015, 2016|
|2||Super League||2||(1) 2017|
|1||Wigan||DW Stadium||2015, 2016, 2017|
|2||St. Helens||Langtree Park||2015, 2016|
|3||Warrington||Halliwell Jones Stadium||2015, 2017|
|4||Leeds||Headingley Carnegie Stadium||2016|
|2017||Warrington||Halliwell Jones Stadium||12,082|
|2015||none||World Club Series|
|2016-2018||Dacia||Dacia World Club Series|
- Sky Sports (2009-03-02). "RFL cool on bigger Challenge". BSkyB. Retrieved 2009-05-16.
- Wilson, Andy (3 October 2010). "Wigan prepare to slay Dragons after crushing St Helens in Grand Final". guardian.co.uk. Retrieved 24 July 2011.
- Townsend, David (27 September 1992). "Just a Touch of the Old Dart". The Sydney Morning Herald. Australia: Fairfax Media. p. 47. Retrieved 13 February 2011.
- Hadfield, Dave (1998-09-23). "League proposes show in S Africa". The Independent. UK: independent.co.uk. Retrieved 2010-04-24.
- World Club Series Details Announced - Rugby League Week
- Dragons to play in World Club Series - NRL.com
- Gallaway, Jack (2001). The Brisbane Broncos: The Team To Beat. University of Queensland Press. ISBN 0-7022-3342-0.
- Rugby Super League website
- telegraph.co.uk website