United States, Singapore or Hong Kong could host 2020 World Club Challenge

The United States, Singapore and Hong Kong could host the 2020 World Club Challenge.  

The game could be staged in a neutral country in future years as the NRL looks to assess the cost of taking a Premiership match to the States.

NRL officials had hoped to kick off the 2019 campaign by playing a game in California but financial risk put the idea on hold.

But NRL chief executive Todd Greenberg and chief commercial officer Andrew Abdo have not given up on the concept.

As a first step, the 2020 World Club Challenge between next season’s NRL and Super League winners could be played in the States or another neutral venue, like Singapore or Hong Kong.

The time difference in the US would be an issue for Australian broadcasters, while Singapore and Hong Kong are in the same time zone as Perth, which will host a State of Origin game next year.

The flying time from Manchester to Singapore or Hong Kong is about 13 hours, while it will take approximately nine hours from Sydney.

Next year’s World Club Challenge between Sydney Roosters and Wigan Warriors will take place on February 17, at the DW Stadium.

Abdo said: “We will continue to look at not just America but other ways we can continue to innovate that has a benefit to our fans locally and abroad to the World Club Challenge, for example, is something we want to think about strategically in terms of where it is played, when it is played and how it is viewed.

“Taking a Premiership game to other parts of Australia and other parts of the world is definitely in our planning but it has to make sense to everyone.

“It is not responsible just to go and do something as an exhibition, even if it is someone else’s money.”

About Drew Darbyshire 8324 Articles
Love Rugby League Deputy Editor. Joined the site ahead of the 2017 World Cup and been a full-time reporter since 2018.

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