Headingley to hosts Leeds Rhinos' Grand Final clash with Melbourne Storm

Last Updated: 16/11/12 2:08pm

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Action from this year's final between Leeds and Manly

Action from this year's final between Leeds and Manly

Sky Bet

Leeds will defend their World Club Challenge title against Melbourne Storm at Headingley on Friday 22 February.

It will be the second time Headingley has staged the annual clash of the champions, after first hosting last February.

The Grand Final winners are aiming to become the first team to win the title four times while NRL champions Melbourne will be hoping to become the first Australian club to win it three times.

The Rhinos are guaranteed to break one record as they overtake Wigan's record of five WCC appearances.

Leeds staged their first four matches at Elland Road, including two against Melbourne, before switching to Headingley for the 26-12 win over Manly Sea Eagles last February.

The 2013 clash will be played on the club's new pitch which is expected to cost around £1m

Leeds chief executive Gary Hetherington said: "Having spoken to fans, young and old, the Manly game ranks as one of the greatest nights ever in the club's history and I am sure fans will be keen to snap up tickets for this clash against the Storm.

"We had a sell-out crowd last season and the interest in this game is extremely high already.

"The chance to see players like Billy Slater, Cooper Cronk and Cameron Smith play at Headingley Carnegie is also an obvious attraction and I am sure the World Club Challenge will be the perfect way to kick off a massive year for the sport with the World Cup coming to England later in the year.

"We have invested heavily in our new pitch during the close season, which will not only guarantee the fixture with our new undersoil heating system but also present a perfect stage on which the two best teams in the world can go head to head."

British clubs have won 12 of the 18 WCC matches since 1987 and have hosted each of the last 13.

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