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Warrington Wolves are playing Huddersfield Giants at the Galpharm on Saturday, which confirms that the Super League champions wonít be playing in that match. The Super League champions will be playing at Headingley the night before against Manly Sea Eagles for the World Club Challenge. Itís a fixture that Wire arenít invited to because Leeds Rhinos knocked them out in the play-offs last year. Finishing at the top of the table at the end of the regular rounds is hard, but beating teams in a knock-out fixture is a lot harder, and in recent years Leeds Rhinos have proven themselves to be the hardest.
To become a World Champion you have to face the best team in the Southern Hemisphere. This is the chance that Leeds Rhinos have earned themselves off the back of beating every team that came their way in last yearís play-off series. The Rhinos are spoilt with international talent thanks to the likes of Kevin Sinfield, Danny McGuire, Ryan Bailey, Jamie Jones-Buchanan & Rob Burrow; all having become World Club Champions twice whilst playing for the club. Then thereís Jamie Peacock whoís been victorious in this fixture three times. This just isnít the kind of pedigree that Warrington have got a lot of in their team.
I donít ever remember a World Club Challenge final being staged in Warrington. Thereís been no need to stage this fixture in that part of the country for the obvious reasons. Leeds Rhinos fans are based in Leeds so it makes sense to host this fixture at Headingley. Having to travel to Warrington to see the two champions compete would be rubbing it too much into the faces of the Wire fans. Plus, it would be a massive inconvenience for Leeds fans whoíd have to travel outside Yorkshire. On a bit of a tangent I do hope that one day the RFL turn Odsal into the Wembley of the north.
In other news, Wiganers call Hunter's Chicken a whole different name. Before the match last week I was in Mortimer's and had myself a New Yorker. No wonder why Scotland want to split up from the British union when we English people canít even agree on what to call a meal.
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