Rugby league's World Club event returns to one-game format
Rugby league is to revive the World Cup Challenge, the contest between the champions of England's Super League and Australia's National Rugby League, but it will no longer form part of a larger series of fixtures.
The 2018 contest will comprise a one-off fixture between Super League champions Leeds Rhinos and NRL counterparts Melbourne Storm at AAMI Park in Melbourne on 16 February.
This means an end to the World Club Series, which debuted in 2015 as a replacement for the World Club Challenge and featured up to three fixtures between teams from England and down under.
This year's World Club Series was reduced to two games and four teams after the Melbourne Storm, the 2016 NRL runners-up, rejected an invitation to the competition in England. It was reported that a further 10 NRL teams turned down the opportunity to replace the Storm.
The Cronulla Sharks, the NRL champions, took on the English Super League champions Wigan Warriors, while the Brisbane Broncos faced the Warrington Wolves.
The World Club Challenge dates back to 1989 when there was a one-off game between England's Widnes and Australia's Canberra.
Next year, Wigan and Hull FC will contest the first Super League fixture outside of Europe, with a game to be played in Australia.
The match will take place at the Win Stadium in Wollongong on 10 February.
There will then be a double-header of exhibition games a week later with Wigan taking on the South Sydney Rabbitohs and Hull facing the St George Illawarra Dragons in Sydney on 17 February.