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Page last updated at 12:56 GMT, Tuesday, 28 October 2008

Elland Road hosts Club Challenge

Leeds Rhinos
Leeds won the World Club Challenge at Elland Road last season

Elland Road will host the 2009 Carnegie World Club Challenge between Leeds Rhinos and Manly Sea Eagles.

It will be the third time in five years that the home of Leeds United has staged the game, being played on Sunday 1 March (KO 1800 GMT).

Leeds Rhinos' head coach Brian McClennan said: "In the past Elland Road has proved very lucky not only for myself but also for the Rhinos.

"Hopefully we can continue our winning streak there next year."

On the last two occasions the game has been played at Elland Road, the Rhinos have ran out winners .

In 2005 they claimed the world title by beating Canterbury Bulldogs 39-32 and last year they defeated Melbourne Storm 11-4.

Should they beat Manly, the West Yorkshire outfit will become the first team in the 33-year history of the match to be crowned World Champions in consecutive years.

McClennan added: "Manly are a formidable outfit and ooze class throughout their side.

"I'm also delighted that this game is going to be played at a venue where the whole of the city can turn out to show their support. This is a big city occasion."

In the past Elland Road has proved very lucky not only for myself but also for the Rhinos

Brian McClennan

It will be the first time Manly have appeared in a Carnegie World Club Challenge since 1987, when they lost 8-2 to Wigan in front of 36,000 fans at Central Park.

They qualified for the world title match by defeating last year's Carnegie World Club Challenge finalists Melbourne Storm in the NRL Grand Final, 40-0.

Manly coach Des Hasler said: "As shown with their two Grand Final triumphs and last year's victory over Melbourne Storm, Leeds Rhinos are a big game team who will present a huge challenge for us in our attempt to be crowned Carnegie World Club Challenge champions.

"The quality of their team is shown by the fact that they have so many players in the England squad.

"We're taking this game extremely seriously and will be flying into the UK well before 1 March in order to get rid of the jet lag and get used to the conditions."

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