Leeds Rhinos scrum-half Rob Burrow admits he and his team had their eyes on the World Club Challenge as soon as they lifted the Super League trophy at Old Trafford.
The Rhinos face Melbourne Storm at Elland Road on Friday to see who is the best rugby league side in the world, and Burrow is eager to get started.
Burrow admits that Leeds have been eager to take on Australia's finest ever since they defeated St Helens at Old Trafford in the Grand Final.
"The day after the Grand Final we were thinking about the opportunity to play in this," said Burrow.
"It's been a long time coming - but preparation has been great."
Super League sides have won seven out of the last nine matches against the NRL champions, and they take on the Storm in good form after four straight wins to start their season.
"You couldn't have asked for a better start," added Burrow.
"It is just what we needed. The fact that you're playing games is good, but coming in with four wins is even better.
"We've obviously had a little eye on this game - we knew we needed to perform.
"It's certainly not been a distraction; it's something we've been building for.
"They've had great preparation as well, so all the hallmarks are there for it to be a great occasion."
Burrow is hoping for a repeat of the 37,000 fans that packed Elland Road three years ago as the Rhinos beat Canterbury Bulldogs in the World Club Challenge.
"It was an amazing feat in 2005," said Burrow.
"You don't think the Grand Final can get any better, but the fact that you get to represent your country against another country's top club side is amazing.
"It is a Champions League final at rugby. Ask any player how much it means, and they will say it means a lot."
Cooper Cronk will captain Melbourne against Leeds, and Burrow says his opposing scrum-half will be a big danger.
"He's a world-class player," said Burrow.
"Right across the team, there are international quality players - and every Leeds player will be tested against world-class opposition.
"It brings out the best in you. It's a challenge and it shows where you are on the ladder."