Blake Solly delighted with World Club Series

Super League general manager Blake Solly believes that the World Club Series has shown that rugby league is beginning to deliver on its potential for growth.

With six teams involved this time around, with three each from Super League and the NRL, organisers were rewarded with sell-out crowds and large TV audiences.

A total of 51,902 people attended the three games, including a capacity crowd of 17,980 at Langtree Park for the World Club Challenge between St Helens and South Sydney Rabbitohs.

“The 2015 World Club Series delivered everything we hoped for and more and will leave an indelible and exciting legacy for the sport on both sides of the world,” said Solly.

“The series fired the imagination of existing Rugby League supporters and new fans alike, all of whom watched the best players in the world in massive numbers.

“The feedback we have had from the players involved, both from Super League and the NRL, has been universally positive, and I know from the many comments from players not fortunate enough to be involved that there is a massive appetite to be part of the World Club Series next year.

“The tournament raised awareness of the sport around the world to new levels and its continued presence in the Super League and NRL calendars, allied to a meaningful international schedule, will help Rugby League maintain the impressive levels of growth we are experiencing.”

Next year’s World Club Series is also scheduled to take place in the UK. The long-term future of the competition will be determined by discussions that will take place between Super League and the NRL as part of the 2015 tournament review.

Brisbane Broncos have already indicated their desire to host Super League opposition, and the NRL is to examine the feasibility of taking the tournament Down Under in future years.

Andrew Hill, the NRL’s general manager league integration and development, also felt that the tournament was a great success.

“The competitiveness of all three games was outstanding, with the outcome of the first two games in doubt to the final siren which kept spectators and TV viewers on the edge of their seats until the very end,” he said.

“In the World Club Challenge we saw NRL Premiers South Sydney at their very best with some scintillating play which impressed everyone.

“Off-the-field, both Super League and NRL continue to work together to enhance the game internationally.

“The World Club Series is one of the strategies for growth in place at the NRL and Super League and we are looking forward to building on what has been an outstanding tournament.”

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