World Club Challenge kick-off time knocked back due to extreme heat

Drew Darbyshire
Alex Walmsley St Helens World Club Challenge SWpix

Photo: David Neilson/

The kick-off time for Saturday’s World Club Challenge between St Helens and Penrith Panthers has been knocked back due to the expected extreme heat.

The clash between the Super League champions and their NRL counterparts will now kick-off 50 minutes later at the time of 6:50pm local time (7:50am UK).

The decision was made due to player safety concerns around the forecasted heat and humidity inregional NSW and Western Sydney.

The game will be played in quarters, with water breaks factored in. Each team is allowed one extra sub each, with two extra interchanges allowed.

A statement from the NRL read: “The NRL would like to thank broadcast partners Fox, Sky NZ and Sky UK as well as participating clubs and venues for their cooperation and flexibility.”

It’s understood the two clubs wanted the kick-off to be later on. However, due to other pre-season trials before and after, it limited the ability to further delay the kick-off time.

It is expected to be around 29°C when the World Club Challenge gets underway. 

The late game of the day is the Queensland derby between Brisbane Broncos and North Queensland Cowboys at 8:55pm.

WCC: St Helens v Penrith Panthers: Squad news, TV coverage & predictions

St Helens pair on dealing with World Club Challenge heat

Saints full-back Jack Welsby said: “The heat is what it is. We’ve had a lot of comments saying it is going to be hot.

“We’ve been here for two weeks now and it has been hot all of the time. Even when it has been raining its been hot.

“When I’ve played a Wembley against Hull and in semi-finals in the middle of August it was hot. It gets hot pitchside at Wembley so its something we’re used to and a challenge we’re looking forward to.”

Saints half-back Jonny Lomax said: “You never really know until it comes around and you adapt but it won’t be the first time we’ve played in really hot conditions and I’ve no doubt it won’t be the last.

“You’ve just got to try and do the best things through the week to make sure you are in the best position possible. It’s just another new experience, embrace it, don’t moan about it and get after the opportunity that’s there.”

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