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Panthers to host St Helens for World Cup Challenge

The World Club Challenge will be contested for the first time since 2020 when the Panthers host St Helens at BlueBet Stadium in 2023.

The match against the Super League champions will kick-off at 6:00pm on 18 February.

This will mark the eighth time St Helens have played in the World Club Challenge, while the Panthers have previously appeared twice in the fixture but are yet to claim the title.

Rhodri Jones, Super League chief commercial officer, said: “Following a two-year hiatus it is fantastic to see the world Club Challenge back in the calendar.

“Both teams have had phenomenal success in recent seasons and it will be great to see the best from Betfred Super League taking on the best from the NRL in a winner takes all match up.”

St Helens R.F.C. Chairman Eamonn McManus said: “The 2023 season is the 150th anniversary of our Club. The only attainable achievement which has eluded us during our history is to be crowned World Club Champions in Australia. 

“Many consider this Penrith Panthers side to be one of, if not the, best side in the history of the NRL. Similarly, St Helens are experiencing an unparalleled period of success in Super League.

“The game in Sydney will represent one of the greatest challenges that St Helens has ever faced. We are really looking forward to meeting it head on.”


St Helens R.F.C. Head Coach Paul Wellens said: “Both ourselves and Penrith have had unrivalled success in recent years and we are relishing the opportunity to go over to Australia and test ourselves against what is undoubtedly a great team. 

“It had been disappointing for us that we’ve been unable to have this contest in last couple of years, but it’s great news not just for both Club’s, but for the game as a whole that the best teams in both competitions can once again compete in the World Club Challenge. 

“We are obviously motivated by achieving further success and this gives us as a Club an early opportunity to do exactly that in 2023, we aim to represent ourselves, the town of St Helens and the Super League competition in the best possible manner.”

Penrith Panthers chief executive officer Matt Cameron said: “On behalf of all at Panthers, we look forward to welcoming St Helens to BlueBet Stadium in February.

“St Helens have been the benchmark team in the Super League for several years now, which will give the Panthers a great challenge to start the new season.

“The World Club Challenge is an important piece of the rugby league calendar and it’s great to see the fixture return for the first time since 2020.”

The NRL will provide ticking details for the World Club Challenge at a later date. 

Acknowledgement of Country

Penrith Panthers players and staff respect and honour the traditional custodians of the land and pay our respects to their elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.