The South Sydney Rabbitohs’ will take part in a new-look World Club Series which will see three NRL sides taking on three Super League sides in England during February 2015.
In an exciting initiative for Rugby League in both hemispheres, the World Club Series will see the Rabbitohs, the Brisbane Broncos and the 2014 NRL Premiers take on the top three Super League sides as determined at the completion of the 2014 season, and should either the Rabbitohs or Broncos win the premiership this season, then another NRL team will fill the third NRL-designated spot.
The three NRL sides will take on the Super League Grand Finalists and the third placed team from the European competition, in three matches to be played on Friday, Saturday and Sunday over the one weekend in the northern hemisphere as part of the World Club Series.
The winners of the NRL Premiers vs Super League Champions clash will be crowned World Club Champions, and the competition which has the most winners from the NRL vs Super League three combined clashes will take out the World Club Series.
The Rabbitohs have taken on Super League sides in their preparations for the NRL season in previous years, playing the 2007 Super League champions, the Leeds Rhinos, in Jacksonville, Florida in 2008, followed by a clash with the 2011 League Leaders Shield winners, the Warrington Wolves, in the 2012 Return to Redfern match.
Rabbitohs CEO Shane Richardson says the expanded World Club Challenge gives both the NRL and Super League competitions another highlight event in the pre-season as well as providing valuable experiences and quality opposition as teams from both hemispheres prepare for the 2015 season proper.
“When we were approached to be part of this new concept we were excited about the challenge and the opportunities it would afford the Club both on and off the field,” Mr Richardson said.
“This is a fantastic opportunity for the Club to expand its business, but more importantly it will provide our football team with some top class opposition upon which to build their pre-season, and provide the players and coaches with opportunities in England and Europe that they cannot get at home.
“We’ll be working on plans to visit some of the biggest sporting organisations in the world to see what systems we can implement into our operations, both in football and administration, as well as representing the NRL when taking on some of the best Rugby League teams in the world on foreign soil.
“It will allow us to further expand the Rabbitohs family throughout the UK and Europe as part of an exciting new concept for Rugby League internationally.
“We will also be looking into travel packages for our Members, Corporate Partners and supporters to head to England to support us and enjoy the trip alongside the team.
“It will be a great challenge for us and we look forward to representing the NRL in the first expanded World Club Challenge in 2015.”
2015 World Club Series ticketing, game day and supporter travel package information will be available in the coming weeks.
The Rabbitohs will also have some exciting opportunities for 2015 Members that will be announced shortly. Keep an eye on www.rabbitohs.com.au for more details.