World Club Challenge motivates Super League sides - Matty Smith

'New World Club Challenge must work'

Wigan's Matty Smith hopes an expanded World Club Challenge in 2015 will give Super League sides the chance to prove the strength of the British game.

The Warriors travelled to Australia as Super League champions earlier this year and were comfortably beaten by the NRL's Sydney Roosters.

Only one British team has won the annual fixture in the past six years.

"They don't see our game anywhere near their game, but that is something that gives us motivation," said Smith, 27.

Wigan Warriors
Wigan lost 36-14 to NRL champions Sydney Roosters in February

Speaking to BBC's Super League Show, the scrum-half said he thought Wigan were shown "a lack of respect" for their World Club Challenge fixture in February, the first to be played down under for 20 years.

England international Smith continued: "At the minute, it is the best competition in the world over there.

"I know when we went over earlier in the year there wasn't much said about us. There was probably a lack of respect if I'm honest.

"Our competition is getting a lot better and this new three-team format is something we all want to see happen."

How the expanded World Club Challenge works
Super League's Grand Finalists and the third-highest ranked team will join the NRL winners plus South Sydney and Brisbane. Should one of the two confirmed entrants win the NRL, a third team will be invited.

The revised format of the annual international clash will next year see three sides from both the Super League and Australia's NRL competition take part.

St Helens forward Jon Wilkin said facing the some of the finest players the southern hemisphere has to offer is vitally important to the prosperity of the game in the United Kingdom.

"Constantly evaluating where we sit in comparison to the NRL is really important, not just at club level but at international level as well," said Wilkin, whose side are hoping to clinch the League Leaders' Shield on Friday.

"We should really look at investing some time and effort into making this a really stand-out part of the rugby league calendar."

Top Stories