Melbourne Storm is on the cusp of skipping the World Club Series in England in favour of staying home to prepare for its 2017 NRL premiership assault.

The Herald Sun can reveal Storm officials will meet this week to finalise their position on whether or not to head to the UK in February alongside NRL premier Cronulla.

Under the current arrangement, Storm would take part in the NRL Auckland Nines pre-season tournament before travelling to play in the revamped WCS.

Storm would spend a fortnight in the UK to play just one game — against this year’s English Super League runner-up side — in the club’s final tune-up before the start of the new season in March.


    • ParraMatt

      Is it fair for the other teams that need to go either, or who have travelled in the past and had slow starts to the season following this trip? IMO it is the cost of success and a rite of passage for the teams who finish on top. If the WCC is meant to be a showcase of the best of both leagues, then it should be the top 3 teams from each competition otherwise what’s the point?

  1. As a Storm fan (in Melbourne) it is a little sad because it would have been good to see them play these games (and we don’t typically get to watch the other trial games). But having said this, I am happy for them not to travel and have pre-season games that are too heavy – let others knock themselves around…

    • The storm would lift that series 4 sure … it’s a great atmosphere as the crowd is right on top of the players yeh it’s only one game but the cost and downtime is hard to manage.

  2. Considering half the team are rep players I can see the reasoning behind this. I assume they get compensated well for the trip but with the 4 nations this year and the world cup next year they will have a lot of players getting very little time off.

  3. World club challenge should have both English rugby league and nrl to boost funds as there should be big dollars to play in it with top 4 from both leagues making it like the epl does the more exposure and game time outside of Australia the only way the game gunna grow

    • ParraMatt

      The NRL are trying to strengthen the game in England. I have a brother-in-law from the UK. He confirmed RL is only big in Northern England. For the country as a whole, they are consumed with passion for football (soccer) or maybe Rugby Union but don’t pay a lot of attention to RL.

      I addition to this it is a chance for NRL franchises to sell their product and brand name overseas and there are commercial advantages of this. Russell Crowe is well aware of this fact and when he had Tom Cruise, Snoop Dog, Oprah Winfrey etc. wearing Souths colours and caps for photo ops which just strengthens brand recognition globally. This translates into $$’s and support for the club and build support internationally for the game.

      • Forgot to mention BIG $$’s for TV rights to sell games globally which are followed by Aussie Ex-pats and sports fans in general etc.

  4. Would assume Brisbane will go over.
    Obviously the sharks will be their.
    In a biased note i hope Parra gets a call.

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