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Wigan Warriors vs Sydney Roosters World Club Challenge Preview and Team News - NRL and Super League juggernauts collide

Andrew Hendrie 16 Feb 2019
  • Wigan Warriors host Sydney Roosters in the 2019 World Club Challenge on Sunday
  • Wigan have won the WCC on four occasions
  • Roosters looking to match them with a win
Wigan Warriors host Sydney Roosters in the World Club Challenge on Sunday

NRL premiers Sydney Roosters square off against reigning Super League champions Wigan Warriors in the annual World Club Challenge on Sunday night.

This season’s World Club Challenge sees the competition’s most successful club - Wigan Warriors - take on NRL heavyweights the Sydney Roosters, who have won it the most out of any Australian team.

A victory for the Roosters would see them draw level with Wigan on four WCC titles, while the Warriors - coached by ex-Roosters star Adrian Lam - are gunning for a record fifth crown.

The two sides met as recently as five years ago as the Roosters won the 2014 showpiece, although the Warriors managed to prevail just two years ago when they conquered the Sharks.

The bulk of that winning squad are still at Wigan, with some of the names Australian fans might be familiar with including Test skipper Sean O’Loughlin, Zak Hardaker, Thomas Leuluai, Taulima Tautai and Dan Sarginson.

Meanwhile, the Roosters have brought a strong squad to the UK, with star halfback Cooper Cronk a confirmed starter after recovering from his shoulder injury during the off-season.

Cronk famously played a starring role in the Roosters’ surge to the 2018 premiership, playing in their Grand Final triumph over the Storm with basically one shoulder.

Wigan were crowned 2018 Super League champions after beating Warrington Wolves 12-4.

Australian clubs have traditionally struggled on English soil in the WCC, but overall they’ve had the wood over Super League opposition, winning eight of the last 10 matches.

It will be interesting to see how the Roosters deal with the freezing English winter after training for the last three months in Australian summer. The tri-colours have the better team, but these one-off matches are always tricky and Wigan have home ground advantage. If the Roosters embrace the challenge and get off to a good start, I can see them improving to a flawless 4-0 record in the WCC.

Stats


  • Roosters are 3-0 in WCC matches, winning in 1976, 2003 and 2014
  • Wigan have won an extra game but have lost three for a 4-3 record
  • Roosters won their last clash 36-14 in the 2014 WCC at Allianz Stadium

Squads


Roosters squad: Mitchell Aubusson, Nat Butcher, Lindsay Collins, Boyd Cordner (c), Cooper Cronk, Poasa Faamausili, Jake Friend (c), Ryan Hall, Matt Ikuvalu, Luke Keary, Asu Kepaoa, Lachlan Lam, Isaac Liu, Joseph Manu, Brett Morris, Victor Radley, Siosiua Taukeiaho, James Tedesco, Zane Tetevano, Daniel Tupou, Sitili Tupouniua, Jared Waerea-Hargreaves

Warriors squad: Joe Bullock, Tony Clubb, Tom Davies, Morgan Escare, Liam Farrell, Ben Flower, Oliver Gildart, Joe Greenwood, Gabe Hamlin, Zak Hardaker, Willie Isa, Thomas Leuluai, Liam Marshall, Romain Navarrete, Sean O'Loughlin, Sam Powell, Dan Sarginson, Taulima Tautai, George Williams.

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Wigan Warriors vs Sydney Roosters World Club Challenge Preview and Team News - NRL and Super League juggernauts collide

NRL premiers Sydney Roosters square off against reigning Super League champions Wigan Warriors in the annual World Club Challenge on Sunday night.

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