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Leeds 20:00 St Helens

Leeds are prepared to play their World Club Challenge in Australia rather than England

Last Updated: 07/10/12 3:34pm

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Leeds: Happy to go to Australia for Challenge final

Leeds: Happy to go to Australia for Challenge final

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Super League champions Leeds would be happy to travel to Australia for their World Club Challenge against Melbourne, according to chief executive Gary Hetherington.

The match has been played in England every year since it was revived in 2000, and Leeds are the defending champions after beating Manly Sea Eagles 26-12 earlier this year.

The Rhinos earned the right to defend their world crown after beating Warrington 26-18 in Saturday night's Super League Grand Final at Old Trafford, and they will face NRL champions Melbourne Storm.

Hetherington is on a joint working party examining the possibility of expanding the competition, with matches potentially played outside England.

"There has been a lot of work done on that," he said. "There is no doubt that we will be working towards expanding the World Club Championship and playing it in alternate hemispheres as well.

"For next year the plan was to play it in England but it could be subject to change if the NRL wish to stage it. We're ready to go and have always been ready to go. The ball is very much in their court.

"When we were asked last year if we were prepared to go to Sydney to play Manly, to a man everybody said 'yes'.

"Our attitude is that we've always been prepared to go to Australia for what would be the ultimate challenge.

"It's an NRL and SLE competition - it's not within our gift to say where we're playing - but, as far as we're concerned, we're able and willing to get on a plane and play it in Melbourne.

"Whether it's at Headingley or Melbourne, we're really looking forward to flying the flag for Super League and for British rugby league."

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