|Number of teams||12|
|Country|| Australia |
England (RFL )
|Series winners||Super League (1st title)|
|Most titles||NRL (2 titles)|
|Broadcast partner|| Nine Network |
|Related competitions|| World Club Challenge |
National Rugby League
The World Club Series was an annual rugby league football competition played between clubs from the NRL (Australia and New Zealand) and the Super League (England and France). The competition culminated with the World Club Challenge, a single match played between the reigning champions of each league.
The World Club Challenge was first contested in 1976 and was expanded to include two invited teams from each league playing a short Series in 2015. The Series was reduced to one invited team from each league in 2017, and suspended (only the usual Challenge was played) in 2018.
The World Club Series was created as an expansion to the World Club Challenge competition which has been played sporadically since it began unofficially in 1976. Games were played on a somewhat ad-hoc basis throughout the 1980s and 1990s before returning to a one-off match between the League champions in 1998.
Between 1998 and 2014 the World Club Challenge was played as an annual fixture at the beginning of each Rugby League season.
In September 2014 it was announced that the World Club Challenge would be expanded, with four extra clubs participating in the World Club Series.The first edition took place between 20 and 22 February 2015 and featured three matches, the first and second essentially being two exhibition games and the final game being for the World Club Challenge match between the two respective premiers as in previous years. The first World Club Series was won outright by the Australians with St. George Illawarra Dragons and Brisbane Broncos narrowly beating Warrington Wolves and Wigan Warriors in the first two games to win the series and South Sydney beating St Helens 39-0 in the World Club Challenge, which was the biggest winning margin in the history of the competition.
In 2016 a possible expansion to 8 teams was suggested. This would see two games being played in Australia and two games being played in the UK. The World Club Challenge would be played alternatively between the UK and Australia each year and a new points system would be introduced to determine the series winners: one point would be awarded to the winners of the first four games and two points to the winners of the World Club Challenge.
This expansion ultimately did not eventuate and it remained a six team format in 2015 and 2016.
In 2017, the format was reduced to 4 teams, with the NRL citing tight schedules, distant travel and long seasons as an impediment to their participation in the Series. After the NRL negotiated with the Brisbane Broncos, it was decided that they would represent the NRL in an exhibition match vs Warrington Wolves prior to the usual Challenge game between the Super League Champions Wigan Warriors and Cronulla Sutherland Sharks, maintaining the overall Series concept. 2017 would be Super League's first victory since the series began, with Warrington winning 27-18 against Brisbane,and Wigan beating Cronulla 22-6.
Following the reluctance of Australian teams to travel to England for the 2017 tournament there were similar issues with the 2018 tournament. This coupled with, the 2017 Rugby League World Cup being played in Australia at the end of 2017 meant that the preseason for Australian teams was going to be unusually short ahead of the 2018 season and therefore they did not want to make the trip to England for the 2018 series. The Melbourne Storm (2017 NRL Premiers) in particular were reluctant to travel, meaning the series was in danger of cancellation for the first time since the 1990s as it was the Storm that was playing in the World Club Challenge.
In addition and as part of this trip to Australia, Wigan and Hull would also play two exhibition games against South Sydney Rabbitohs and St George Illawarra Dragons respectively. These were separately arranged fixtures and not considered part of the World Club Series.
In November 2017, it was confirmed that the World Club Challenge would return to a one-game format for the first time since 2014 with Super League Champions Leeds Rhinos travelling to Australia to play NRL Champions Melbourne Storm at AAMI Park in Melbourne. On 16 February 2018, Melbourne Storm were victorious, outscoring Leeds Rhinos by 38 points to 4.
It is not known if and or when an expanded World Club Series will return and the 2019 World Club Challenge will again be a one-game format with NRL Premiership-winners, Sydney Roosters travelling to the UK to play Super League Champions Wigan Warriors at Wigan's DW Stadium on Sunday 17 February 2019 (kick-off 7pm).
Qualification rules in the two league competitions mean that, in theory, teams from four different countries could compete in the competition. English and French teams compete in the Super League and so are eligible to win that competition and qualify for the series. In the NRL, teams from Australia and one team from New Zealand compete and so could win their league to qualify.
The two teams from Super League that qualify to play in the World Club Series are:
If a team wins both Grand Final and League Leaders' Shield then the Grand Final runners up will qualify.
Qualification for the NRL has varied since the World Club series was first instituted in 2015. While the NRL Premiers always play off for the World club Challenge each year, the teams representing the NRL in the other two games have altered from year to year. Normally, the Grand Final Winners, Runners up and Minor Premiers are given first option to play; however, history has shown that it is either invited teams that make up the numbers or teams that are "willing to travel" who take part.
|St George Illawarra||18–12||Warrington||Halliwell Jones Stadium||13,080|
|South Sydney||39–0||St. Helens||Langtree Park||12,576|
|2016||Sydney||38–12||St. Helens||Langtree Park||14,008|
|2017||Warrington||27–18||Brisbane||Halliwell Jones Stadium||12,082|
|Wigan||22–6||Cronulla Sutherland||DW Stadium||21,011|
NOTE: No series in 2018, reverted to a single World Club Challenge match
|Team||Wins||Years won||Runners up||Years runner-up|
|1||Brisbane Broncos||2||2015, 2016||1||2017|
|2||Wigan Warriors||1||2017||1||2015, 2016|
|4||North Queensland Cowboys||1||2016||0|
|6||South Sydney Rabbitohs||1||2015||0|
|7||St George Illawarra Dragons||1||2015||0|
|8||St. Helens||0||2||2015, 2016|
|Country||Series won||Years won||Matches won|
|1||Wigan||DW Stadium||2015, 2016, 2017|
|2||St. Helens||Langtree Park||2015, 2016|
|3||Warrington||Halliwell Jones Stadium||2015, 2017|
|4||Leeds||Headingley Carnegie Stadium||2016|
|2017||Warrington||Halliwell Jones Stadium||12,082|
|=1||2||Richard Silverwood||2015, 2016|
|=1||2||Ben Thaler||2015, 2016|
|=1||2||Phil Bentham||2015, 2017|
|2015||none||World Club Series|
|2016-2017||Automobile Dacia||Dacia World Club Series|
The New Zealand Warriors are a professional rugby league football club based in Auckland, New Zealand that competes in the National Rugby League (NRL) premiership and is the League's only team from outside Australia. They were formed in 1995 as the Auckland Warriors, and are officially known as the Vodafone Warriors for sponsorship reasons. The Warriors are coached by Nathan Brown and captained by Roger Tuivasa-Sheck. Whilst they are based at Mt Smart Stadium in the Auckland suburb of Penrose, they are currently based on the Central Coast in New South Wales playing home games at Central Coast Stadium.
Matt King is an Australian former professional rugby league footballer. A New South Wales State of Origin and Australian international representative centre or wing, he played in the Super League for English club the Warrington Wolves and in the NRL for the South Sydney Rabbitohs and Melbourne Storm. During his time in England he won the 2009 and 2010 Challenge Cups with Warrington Wolves and was also named at centre in the 2010 Super League Dream Team.
Ashton Sims is a Fijian former rugby league footballer who played in the 2000s and 2010s. He played at representative level for Fiji, and at club level for the St. George Illawarra Dragons, the Brisbane Broncos and the North Queensland Cowboys in the National Rugby League (NRL), the Warrington Wolves in the Super League and the Toronto Wolfpack in the Betfred Championship, as a forward
Kevin David Walters is an Australian professional rugby league football coach who is the head coach of the Brisbane Broncos in the NRL and a former professional rugby league footballer who played in the 1980s, 1990s and 2000s.
Ryan Hoffman is an Australian former professional rugby league footballer who played in the 2000s and 2010s. He played for Melbourne Storm and the New Zealand Warriors in the National Rugby League, and the Wigan Warriors in the Super League, as a second-row or lock.
The history of the Brisbane Broncos Rugby League Football Club stretches back from their inception in the mid-1980s to the present day. They were introduced to the NSWRL's Winfield Cup premiership in 1988, taking the competition by storm in winning their first six games. The Broncos participated in 18 consecutive finals series from 1992–2009, winning premierships six times, including the 1992 and 1993 NSWRL premierships, the Superleague premiership in 1997 and then the 1998, 2000 and 2006 National Rugby League premierships.
William Chambers is an Australian professional rugby league footballer who plays as a centre for Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks in the NRL. He is a former professional rugby union footballer.
Taulima Tautai born 3 April 1988 is an Australian former professional rugby league footballer, who has most recently played as a prop for the Wigan Warriors in the Super League. He previously played for the Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks, Parramatta Eels and the Wakefield Trinity Wildcats.
Blake Green is an Australian former professional rugby league footballer who played as a five-eighth and halfback in the 2000s, 2010s and 2020s.
This article contains information on rugby league events played in 2009. The season commenced with a friendly match between Super League clubs Leeds Rhinos and Salford City Reds in the United States in January, and concluded with the Scottish tour of South Africa in December.
Anthony Gelling is a Cook Islands international rugby league footballer who plays as a centre, winger and second-row forward.
John Bateman is an English professional rugby league footballer who plays as second-row and loose forward for the Wigan Warriors in the Betred Super League, and England and Great Britain at international level.
George Williams is an English professional rugby league footballer who plays as a scrum-half and stand-off for Warrington Wolves in the Super League and England at international level.
The 2014 World Club Challenge was the 15th consecutive annual World Club Challenge and was contested by Super League XVIII champions, Wigan Warriors and 2013 NRL Premiers, the Sydney Roosters. The 2014 World Club Challenge marked a return to Australia, 20 years after the last Australian based game. It was played on 22 February 2014 at Allianz Stadium in Sydney. The Roosters won the match 36–14.
The World Club Challenge is an annual rugby league competition between the winners of the Australian NRL and the English Super League. 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 Sydney Roosters are the current champions, defeating St Helens 20-12 in 2020.
The 2015 World Club Series was the inaugural World Club Series and was contested by six clubs, including Super League XIX champions, St Helens R.F.C. and 2014 NRL Premiers, the South Sydney Rabbitohs. The 2015 series marked a departure from the previous format, whereby only the premiers from the two respective competitions would take part.
The 2016 Super League Grand Final was the 19th official Grand Final and conclusive and championship-deciding match of the Super League XXI season. It was held on Saturday 8 October 2016, at Old Trafford, Manchester, with a 6pm kick-off time. British rock band Feeder provided the pre-match and half-time entertainment. The Wigan Warriors were crowned champions, winning their fourth Super League crown, and prevented Warrington from winning their first championship in 61 years.
The 2017 World Club Series was the third staging of the World Club Series and featured two Super League teams and two National Rugby League (NRL) teams. The series included the World Club Challenge, a one-off match between the champions of the Super League and NRL.
The 2016 NRL Grand Final was a rugby league match between the Melbourne Storm and the Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks to determine the premiers of the National Rugby League for the 2016 season. The match was held at Sydney's ANZ Stadium on Sunday 2 October. The Sharks won the match 14–12 in a tight contest before 83,625 spectators, earning the club its first premiership title in their 49-year history. They also became the last of nine Sydney-based teams to win a premiership. Cronulla forward Luke Lewis was awarded the Clive Churchill Medal as the best player on ground.
The 2017 NRL season was the 110th season of professional rugby league in Australia and the 20th season run by the National Rugby League. The season started in New Zealand with the annual Auckland Nines, and was followed by the All Stars Match, which was played at McDonald Jones Stadium in Newcastle, and the World Club Series. It marked the last time that the Anzac Test and City vs. Country representative matches were played.