Storm coach Craig Bellamy (left) and captain Cameron Smith show off the NRL premiership trophy. The Storm will play Leeds Rhinos in Melbourne in the World Club Challenge
Storm coach Craig Bellamy (left) and captain Cameron Smith show off the NRL premiership trophy. The Storm will play Leeds Rhinos in Melbourne in the World Club Challenge MAL FAIRCLOUGH

Storm gets home game for World Club Challenge

THE World Club Challenge is coming to Melbourne for the first time.

Melbourne Storm will fight for the title of the world's best rugby league team when it hosts Leeds Rhinos at AAMI Park next year.

The NRL premier and the English Super League champion will clash at AAMI Park on Friday February 16.

The deal was done with the help of the Victorria Government, with the announcement expected Tuesday.

"The World Club Challenge is right at home in the sporting capital. We can't wait to get behind our Storm and help make them the world's best rugby league team,” said John Eren, Victorian Minister For Tourism And Major Events.

Storm and Leeds previously met in the 2013 World Cup Challenge in the UK, in which Storm prevailed.

Despite hosting the game, Storm will be up against it given its list of departed players following its grand final win.

Cooper Cronk, Tohu Harris, Jordan McLean and Slade Griffin have all joined new clubs, but returning club favourite Ryan Hoffman and recruit Sam Kasiano should be available.

It will kick off a bumper 2018 for rugby league in Victoria, which will include Storm's NRL title defence and a blockbuster State of Origin fixture at the MCG on June 6.


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