Sydney Roosters' lock Isaac Liu (R) holds the ball during a training session with Toulouse Olympique XIII, at The National Institute of Sport in Paris (INSEP) in Paris on February 13, 2019, ahead of their match against Wigan Warriors in the World Club Challenge on February 17. (Photo by Christophe ARCHAMBAULT / AFP) (Photo credit should read CHRISTOPHE ARCHAMBAULT/AFP/Getty Images)

The World Club Challenge takes place this weekend when Super League Champions, Wigan Warriors take on the NRL Premiers, Sydney Roosters at the DW Stadium in Wigan.

The Warriors will be going for their 5th WCC crown, while the Roosters will be looking to draw level with them on 4 titles.

The Roosters arrived in Europe on Sunday and have been spending the buildup to the game in Paris, where they’ve been training at the National Institute of Sport and taking in the sights, too.

Aside from a training session with Toulouse Olympique and a planned training match with St Helens on Friday, this will be their first match since the Grand Final last September, with their NRL campaign not getting underway until 15th March.

For Wigan, this will be their third game of the season, having won one and lost one in the opening two rounds of Super League.

Team news

Ex-Titans centre Dan Sarginson is a doubt for the Warriors after picking up a knock against Leeds Rhinos last weekend. The only other notable absentees are Grand Final hero Dom Manfredi and ex-Rooster Joe Burgess.

2015 Man of Steel Zak Hardaker, who had a spell with Penrith Panthers, has made a solid start to his Warriors career after being banned for the entire campaign last year and is likely to continue at full-back, while skipper Sean O’Loughlin will be a big influence for the home team.

The Roosters have brought a 23-man squad over for the match, with Angus Crichton and Brett Morris likely to make their debuts and star halfback Cooper Cronk passed fit to play after picking up a serious shoulder injury in the Grand Final.

England winger Ryan Hall has also travelled and taken part in training during the week but he’s extremely unlikely to play as he continues his recovery from an ACL injury sustained last August.

The biggest miss for Sydney will be young centre Latrell Mitchell, who has chosen to play in the All Stars game this weekend instead.

Another player who could make his Roosters debut this weekend is half-back Lachlan Lam, son of Adrian, the current Wigan coach and a former Roosters and Wigan star as a player. If he does make his debut this weekend, it will complete a remarkable story for the young PNG international, whose first ever game of Rugby League took place just a couple of miles away from the DW Stadium at amateur club Wigan St Pats as an under-7 while his Dad was starring for the Warriors.

Prediction

Wigan will definitely have the edge in terms of match fitness, having already got their season underway and the Roosters are likely to tire quicker. However, with their star-studded line-up and the experience of superstars such as Cooper Cronk and Boyd Cordner, I think the Roosters will claim the trophy with a narrow victory.

2 COMMENTS

  1. If the Roosters win then English and Australian winners will be equal at 13 each. The Roosters will not tire quicker, they have been training flat out all during the summer heat. They are super fit focused and have been waiting for this game all off season and this is why the Roosters will win by 13+ even without a goal kicker. 💪🐔👍

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