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Leeds back bigger Club Challenge

Manly Sea Eagles
Manly stopped Leeds from becoming the first team to ever retain the trophy

Leeds chief Gary Hetherington believes the World Club Challenge should be expanded to incorporate more teams.

Hetherington's idea is backed by his opposite number at Manly, Grant Mayer, and would see the top three teams from Super League and NRL play each other.

"It's been spoken about in the last year. The Aussies are keen and we feel our teams would be competitive, he told the BBC's Super League Show.

But the Rugby Football League says any change to the event is some way off.

Manly became the first Australian side in five years to lift the World Club Challenge Trophy after beating Leeds 28-20 at Elland Road on Sunday.

The plans for change would see the best three clubs from the northern and southern hemispheres go head-to-head over one weekend.

"If you took last year's standings we'd have Wigan v Cronulla on the Friday night, Saturday night would see St Helens against Melbourne. Then it would either be 1-1 or 2-0 in the battle of Super League v NRL," said Hetherington.

"Then come the Sunday it would be Leeds v Manly. The winners of that would still be the World Club Challenge champions but we would have also had a mini tournament of Super League against NRL."

Mayer added: "Both leagues are very strong currently and, as a code, we need to look at ideas like this one.

"It is important for the entire game for both leagues to do things like this and expand our shores."

The RFL said the additional games could be a bone of contention with the clubs.

"It's appropriate to have a discussion about what may or may not be possible," said RFL chief executive Nigel Wood.

"There are issues about the over-playing of players, which we need to bear in mind.

"Sunday's game was a terrific and outstanding success. International football delivers a profile that domestic football doesn't and we have got to weigh up the balance.

"All things are possible. The middle east or far east are options but as yet no-one has come to the table with a package that would enable us to take the proposal to the next level.

"There is every likelihood the event will look the same next year."

You can watch the The Super League Show again on the BBC iPlayer or via the BBC Red Button.

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see also
Leeds 20-28 Manly
01 Mar 09 |  Leeds
Super League Show
17 Feb 08 |  Rugby League

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