Penrith Panthers vs St Helens World Club Challenge clash on free-to-air TV - channel, date, kick-off time

The competition, which pits the Super League champions aganist the NRL champions, returns from a two-year hiatus.

<p>Siosiua Taukeiaho of Sydney Roosters on the charge during the World Club Series Final between St Helens at Totally Wicked Stadium on February 22, 2020. Photo: Nathan Stirk/Getty Images</p>

Siosiua Taukeiaho of Sydney Roosters on the charge during the World Club Series Final between St Helens at Totally Wicked Stadium on February 22, 2020. Photo: Nathan Stirk/Getty Images

The eagerly-awaited World Club Challenge will be broadcast free-to-air for the first time when it returns early next year.

Super League has confirmed that St Helens, who have won the last four Grand Finals, will travel to Australia to face NRL champions Penrith Panthers on Saturday, February 18, with a 7am kick-off UK time.

The match, which will be Paul Wellens’ first competitive fixture as head coach, will take place at the BlueBet Stadium and be shown on Channel 4, who will also broadcast the Super League clash between Hull KR and Wigan at 1pm that day.

St Helens, whose opening league fixture with Huddersfield will be postponed until later in the season, will be making their eighth appearance in the World Club Challenge, which was not held in 2021 and 2022 because of the pandemic.

Rhodri Jones, Super League’s chief commercial officer, said: “Following a two-year hiatus it is fantastic to see the World Club Challenge back in the calendar.

“Both teams have had phenomenal success in recent seasons and it will be great to see the best from Betfred Super League taking on the best from the NRL in a winner-takes-all match-up.”

Saints’ chairman Eamonn McManus said: “The 2023 season is the 150th anniversary of our club. The only attainable achievement which has eluded us during our history is to be crowned World Club Champions in Australia.

“Many consider this Penrith Panthers side to be one of, if not the, best side in the history of the NRL. Similarly, St Helens are experiencing an unparalleled period of success in Super League.

“The game in Sydney will represent one of the greatest challenges that St Helens has ever faced. We are really looking forward to meeting it head on.”