World Club Series
|World Club Series|
|Current season or competition:
2015 World Club Series
|Sport||Rugby league football|
|Number of teams||6|
|World Champions|| South Sydney Rabbitohs (2015)
|Most titles|| Bradford Bulls
(3 Titles Each)
|Broadcast partner||Nine Network
|Related competitions||National Rugby League
The World Club Series is an annual rugby league football competition played between the champion clubs of the Australasian National Rugby League and the European Super League and two invited clubs from each competition, therefore six teams in total. The competition is an expanded form of the World Club Challenge which, until 2014, was a single match played at the beginning of each year between the two champions of each league. The two champions still compete in a single match for the World Club Championship trophy as in previous years, with the other four teams competing in, what are essentially, exhibition games.
The first such match was played in 1976 but did not become a regular fixture until the late 1980s. It was also punctuated in the 1990s by the Super League war but has been held every year since 2000. The South Sydney Rabbitohs are the current champions, having defeated St Helens 39–0 in 2015.
As the World Club Series championship match is a match between the premiers of the National Rugby League and Super League, it has been possible for teams from New Zealand, France and Wales to win it as well as England and Australia, however, to date only English and Australian sides have competed in and won the World Club Challenge.
- 1 History
- 2 Qualification
- 3 Format
- 4 List of participants
- 5 Results
- 6 Records
- 7 Sponsors
- 8 See also
- 9 References
- 10 Sources
- 11 External links
1976–2014: World Club Challenge
The competition began so 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 didn't eventuate.
2015-present: World Club Series
In September 2014 it was announced that the World Club Challenge name would be changed to the World Club Series with six clubs participating - 3 from each league. It took place between February 20–22, 2015, and featured three matches, the first and second essentially being two exhibition games and the final game being for the Championship trophy between the two respective premiers as in previous years. The first World Club Series was won outright by the Australian with St George Dragons and Brisbane Broncos narrowly beating Warrington Wolves and Wigan Warriors in the first two games to win the series and South Sydney thrashing St Helens 39-0 in the World Club Challenge, which was the biggest winning margin in the history of the competition.
The three teams from Super League that's qualify to play in the World Club Series are:
- Challenge Cup Winners
- League Leaders
- Grand Final Winners
The NRL does not set any specific needs for qualify for the World Club Series apart from the Grand Final winner to play in the World Club Challenge
In 2015 the competition was expanded to contain two exhibition matches before the World Club Challenge. The competition takes place over one weekend with the World Club Series being played on Friday and Saturday and the World Club Challenge being played on Sunday.
World Club Series
The first two games are between the Super League League Leaders and Challenge Cup winners of the previous season and two teams that are sent over from the NRL. The NRL does not specify any criteria that teams have to meet to qualify. The World Club Series trophy is awarded to the team representing the nation that won the series by winning both games or won one game by a greater margin than the team playing the other game won.
World Club Challenge
The World Club Challenge is the final game of the weekend and is played between the Super League and NRL Champions. The winner of this game is given the World Club Challenge trophy and is considered the best club side in the world.
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||Suncorp Stadium||52,500||2 (1997)|
||South Sydney Rabbitohs||1908||Redfern, New South Wales||ANZ Stadium||84,000||1 (2015)|
||St George Illawarra Dragons||1998||Sydney, New South Wales||WIN Jubilee Oval||22,000||1 (2011)|
||St Helens||1873||St Helens, Merseyside||Langtree Park||18,000||2 (2007)|
||Warrington Wolves||1876||Warrington, Cheshire||Halliwell Jones Stadium||18,000||0|
||Wigan Warriors||1872||Wigan, Greater Manchester||DW Stadium||24,057||3 (1994)|
*capacity for Rugby League games may differ from official stadium capacity.
- See World Club Challenge for list of finals before 2015.
|2015||Game 1||St George Illawarra Dragons||18-12||Warrington Wolves||Halliwell Jones Stadium|
|Game 2||Brisbane Broncos||14-12
|Wigan Warriors||DW Stadium|
|World Club Challenge||South Sydney||39-0||St Helens||Langtree Park|
|2016||Game 1||Challenge Cup Winners||TBD||Challenge Cup Winners||TBD|
|Game 2||League Leaders||TBD||League Leaders||TBD|
|World Club Challenge||Grand Final Winners||TBD||Grand Final Winners||TBD|
|1||South Sydney Rabbitohs||1||2015 (1)||(0)|
|2||St George Illawarra Dragons||1||2015 (1)||(0)|
|3||Brisbane Broncos||1||2015 (1)||(0)|
|4||St Helens||1||(0)||2015 (1)|
|5||Wigan Warriors||1||(0)||2015 (1)|
|6||Warrington Wolves||1||(0)||2015 (1)|
|2||Warrington||Halliwell Jones Stadium||2015|
|3||St Helens||Langtree Park||2015|
|2015||Warrington||Halliwell Jones Stadium||13,080|
|2015-||AFEX||AFRX World Club Series|
- 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.
- 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
- RLIF.ORG – Rugby League International Federation
- World Club Challenge Preview
- World Club Challenge Review
- World Club Challenge at 188-rugby-league.co.uk