St Helens will face Sydney Roosters in the 2016 World Club Series it has been announced.
The game against the NRL Minor Premiers will take place at Langtree Park next February and will commemorate the 40th anniversary of the very first World Club challenge involving both teams.
The clash takes place on Friday February 19, 2016, at 8pm and North Queensland Cowboys and the winners of the Grand Final – Leeds or Wigan – will fight for the World Club Challenge (Sunday February 21) with the runners up hosting Brisbane Broncos on Saturday February 20.
Saints chairman Eamonn McManus said: “It is going to be a phenomenal evening at Langtree Park and it will be a great game between two great and historic clubs to launch the 2016 World Club Series.
“We are under no illusions as to the strength and quality of the opposition and will be giving everything to represent proudly our club, our town and our own Super League competition against the cream of the NRL.
As Leeds Rhinos claimed two of three possible qualification positions the Super League Board decided to invite the current champions to take part in the Series on the basis they reached both the Super League semi-final and Challenge Cup semi-final in the 2015 season, have a strong history in the World Club Challenge and will add value to the 2016 tournament.
Super League general manager Blake Solly added: “The 2015 World Club Series delivered everything we had hoped for and more, but I believe that the 2016 Series can go one step further providing even more enthralling and exciting entertainment with bigger crowds and increased interest around the world.
“It’s fantastic that we can confirm the six clubs who will take part in the World Club Series and welcoming 2015’s best NRL clubs will add further excitement and credibility to the Series. The NRL have just experienced a wonderful finals series, and our clubs can’t wait to test their opponents next February. I strongly believe that every rugby Llague fan and sports fan will be looking forward to the competition.
“Once again not only will the World Club Series pitch club against club but Super League against NRL in what is sure to be a thrilling weekend of sport and entertainment.”
Andrew Hill, the NRL’s general manager league integration and development, said: “It is testament to the standing of the World Club Series that the three best teams from the 2015 NRL season will contest it. Last season was a great start to the expanded series but in 2016 we will have the Premiers, and Runners-Up and the Minor Premiers, meaning next year’s tournament will truly be for the best of the best.”
The club say they will announce ticket details for the game in the next few weeks with tickets for the 2016 World Club Series going on sale on Monday November 9. 2016 members will have an extensive priority to secure their place for the game.