2013 World Club Challenge: Leeds Rhinos to take on Melbourne Storm at Headingley

Gary Hetherington.
Gary Hetherington.
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Super League champions Leeds Rhinos will square up to Aussie rivals Melbourne Storm at Headingley Carnegie on Friday, February 22 next year.

It will be the third World Club Challenge meeting between the two teams – after one win each at Elland Road – and Rhinos are aiming to become the first side to win the trophy four times.

Rhinos will be making a record sixth appearance in the annual showpiece and Melbourne could become the first Australian side to win three world titles, equalling the record jointly held by Leeds, Wigan and Bradford.

Rhinos skipper Kevin Sinfield described the prospect as “very exciting”.

He said: “Last season’s game against Manly was an incredible occasion. As a group we have been fortunate to play in some big games at great stadiums, but to play a game of this magnitude at our home ground is something special.

“We have had some great tussles with Melbourne over the years, with one win apiece and I am sure the 2013 World Club Challenge will be another game to remember.”

Coach Brian McDermott said: “The Manly fixture this year was a huge, huge success – not just commercially, but as an event.

“There might be some advantage in playing at home, but we’ve all had the experience of going to an away ground when it’s absolutely bouncing and I’m sure Melbourne would rather play at a full Headingley, with a bouncing atmosphere, than a half-full ground and not much atmosphere somewhere else.

“We’re excited and really looking forward to it. If I was a spectator I’d want to get my ticket now, because I don’t think they’ll be on the market for long.”

Rhinos chief executive Gary Hetherington described the Manly clash as “one of the greatest nights in the club’s history” and he said: “We have invested heavily in our new pitch during the close season, which will not only guarantee the fixture with our new undersoil heating system, but also present a perfect stage on which the two best teams in the world can go head to head.”

* Tickets go on sale from 9am on Monday to Rhinos 2013 season ticket holders, Rhinos 4 Life members and Leedsline agents at an allocation of two per person and to 2013 Bronze members from a week later.

* Rhinos 2013 members have priority until 5pm on Monday, December 3, at a £2 discount, with prices starting from £23 for adults and £16 concessions.

* Tickets will go on general sale at 9am on Tuesday, December 4, when prices will increase to the general match rate.

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