Get to know our opposition for the 2018 World Club Challenge!
Who are they?
Arguably English rugby league’s most decorated team. The Rhinos have been crowned English Super League Champions in seven of the past 11 seasons. Leeds has a total of 11 domestic titles, the most of any other English team and have also won the Challenge Cup on 13 occasions. This will be the seventh World Club Challenge they will be competing in, having won it three times previously against the Bulldogs (’05), Storm (’08) and Sea Eagles (’12). Founded in 1870, 127 years before Storm, they play their home games in West Yorkshire, at a ground called Emerald Headingley Stadium.
Who is their main man?
Ryan Hall – The superstar winger of English rugby league. He has played his entire career at Leeds and his record speaks for itself. Hall has made 306 appearances for the Rhinos, scoring 221 tries. In 2009 he was named the Rugby League International Federation Winger of the Year and has maintained that level of excellence ever since. Hall has extended his try-scoring exploits to the national team, where he has crossed the line 23 times in 27 games. Storm have their share of superstar wingers themselves but the will have their work cut out for them stopping Hall.
How did they get here?
Leeds finished the 2017 Super League season in second place – 10 points behind the Castleford Tigers. However two great weeks of rugby league earned the right to play in this showpiece game. Leeds narrowly overcame Hull by two points in their Preliminary Final to book a place in the Grand Final against Castleford at Old Trafford. Despite being significant underdogs, the Rhinos smashed the Tigers 24-6 to book their place in the World Club Challenge and a trip to AAMI Park to face Storm in February.
Any interest facts?
Yes, hey have their own Cameron Smith! A 19-year-old forward who has made three apperances for the Rhinos. He also plays in the forwards. Not quite as decorated as his namesake but a funny coincidence none the less!
Coach: Brian McDermott (since 2010)
Home ground: Emerald Headingley Stadium
Past games v Storm:
2008 – Leeds 11 def Melbourne 4
2010 – Leeds 10 def by Melbourne 18
2013 – Leeds 14 def by Melbourne 18
English champions: 11x (1960-61, 1968-69, 1971-72, 2004, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2011, 2012, 2015, 2017)
World Club Challenge: 3x (2005, 2008, 2012)
Challenge Cup: 13x (1909-10, 1922-23, 1931-32, 1935-36, 1940-41, 1941-42, 1956-57, 1967-68, 1976-77, 1977-78, 1999, 2014, 2015)