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It’s been 139 days since Anthony Minichiello held aloft the NRL Premiership trophy at ANZ Stadium, the first title win for the Roosters since 2002 and the second for one of the Club’s most respected players.

Tonight he will look to again emulate the success he had following his first Premiership win when he leads a star-studded Tricolours team out onto Allianz Stadium chasing his second World Club Challenge win.

Standing in his and the Bondi Boys way however is a Wigan Warriors outfit coming off the back of one their most decorated seasons in the history of the proud English club.

A Super League title and Challenge Cup glory leave them chasing the treble in Sydney, while Minichiello’s men are looking to add to their expanding trophy cabinet by adding the WCC crown to an already impressive list of milestones last season including the NRL title, Minor Premiership and Club Championship.

The match will also be the first of its kind to be played on Australian soil in two decades, with the last WCC battle contested down under back in 1994 when – ironically enough – Wigan headed south to defeat the Brisbane Broncos, 20-14, at the then ANZ Stadium (now Suncorp) in Brisbane.

The last and only time Sydney has ever seen a World Club Challenge match was some years earlier when – again ironically enough – the Roosters defeated St Helens 25-2 at the Sydney Cricket Ground in 1976.

History will however play no part tonight when the two teams descend upon the Allianz Stadium turf around 8pm for a match that has captured the hearts and minds of the rugby league public down under.

Wigan are coming off the back of an opening round loss to Huddersfield in the English Super League just a fortnight ago, however strong showings in trial matches against the NZ Warriors and South Sydney have them in good stead heading into the clash.

Trent Robinson’s men are admittedly “underdone” coming into the game, with the Rugby League World Cup disrupting the full Squad coming together until the New Year and the inaugural Auckland Nines and a Wyong Trial against the Newcastle Knights seeing them split once again for a weekend of festivities last week.

The likes of Minichiello, Michael Jennings and Sonny Bill Williams (to name but a few) facing off against English superstars Sean O’Loughlin, Josh Charnley and Liam Farrell is mouth-watering enough as it is.

Then add two of the world’s best mentors going head-to-head, tactically, in the form of Robinson and Shaun Wane and you’ve got a battle on your hands like no other.

Will form even play a part? Will fitness be a factor? Is this a season opener or a decider? What are we even watching?

We’ll tell you...

Two sides not only representing their Clubs and their Fans, but also on show to the world for their respective competitions and countries as two ‘Club’ teams face off, in an international battle, for bragging rights that can last a lifetime.

Really, how many of these do you get to play in?

Well, just two players in the current Roosters side have ever contested one. Minichiello, in 2003, and Williams back in his Bulldog days. They really don’t come around that often and not just for those on the field.

Especially, down under...

The Roosters have featured in just two WCC battles and won both. A win tonight would see them as the only Aussie side to have ever won three.

Wigan are in a slightly different position having played in five and lost just two, meaning they tonight could become the first side – from either country – to have won four.

This is truly a match for the rugby league fan and far from a forgotten game with no meaning, as some have labelled it. However, when all is said and done and the ref signals time on, this is simply a game of footy that should not be missed.

Sydney Roosters (1-13): Anthony Minichiello (c), Daniel Tupou, Michael Jennings, Mitchell Aubusson, Shaun Kenny-Dowall, James Maloney, Mitchell Pearce, Jared Waerea-Hargreaves, Jake Friend, Sam Moa, Boyd Cordner, Sonny Bill Williams, Frank-Paul Nuuausala

Bench: Daniel Mortimer, Aidan Guerra, Dylan Napa, Remi Casty

Wigan Warriors Squad (alphabetical order): 25 John Bateman, 1 Matty Bowen, 32 Joe Burgess, 2 Josh Charnley, 24 Tony Clubb, 17 Dom Crosby, 16 Gil Dudson, 12 Liam Farrell, 10 Ben Flower, 5 Anthony Gelling, 3 Darrell Goulding, 6 Blake Green, 14 Jack Hughes, 9 Michael McIlorum, 13 Sean O'Loughlin (c), 22 Eddy Pettybourne, 23 Dan Sarginson, 7 Matty Smith, 8 Scott Taylor

Tickets are still available for this history-making clash of two of rugby league's most famous Clubs and can be purchased by clicking here.

For full details on Ticket categories and prices click here.

Acknowledgement of Country

Sydney Roosters 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.