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Thursday, 24 October, 2002, 07:26 GMT 08:26 UK
Saints target home advantage
Saints beat Bradford in the Super League Grand Final
Saints beat Bradford in the Super League Grand Final
St Helens coach Ian Millward has called for the new Super League champions to be allowed to play their World Club Challenge against Sydney Roosters at Knowsley Road.

The last three editions of the inter-hemisphere showpiece have been staged at neutral venues in Britain.

A date and venue for next year's contest have yet to be announced.

But officials are thought to be looking at a mid-February date on a ground with undersoil heating to ensure the Roosters' 12,000-mile journey is not wasted.


People talk about the great night at the Reebok but it could be even greater here
Ian Millward
St Helens coach

Despite talk of the game being played in Australia, to follow the World Sevens in Sydney at the beginning of February, it seems certain to be held in Britain once more.

Millward, a former assistant coach at Illawarra Steelers, said on Wednesday he would love to take his team Down Under to fly the flag for the British game.

"But, if the game is played in the UK, I appeal to the authorities to let us play it at Knowsley Road," he added.

"Last year the authorities did everything they could to make it tough for us with a neutral ground.

"Let us have it in front of a full house at Knowsley Road.

"Let's not put the bar so high for us to jump over."

Saints beat Brisbane Broncos at Bolton's Reebok stadium in 2001.

Saints coach ian Millward
Millward would expect an electric atmosphere
But in 1999 they lost to Melbourne Storm at the JJB Stadium in Wigan.

The main obstacle to realising Millward's dream is the lack of undersoil heating at Knowsley Road.

"I appreciate that it would cost about 5,000 for some heaters and blowers at the ground," he said.

"Let's get some covers and some heaters. I reckon you could get 15,000 Saints fans to sleep here to make sure we did not get snow on the ground.

"Imagine the atmosphere here. People talk about the great night at the Reebok but it could be even greater here."


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