World Club Challenge win a massive target for Rhinos - Ward


Stevie Ward has challenged Leeds Rhinos to prove they can match rugby league's very best teams when they take on NRL champions North Queensland Cowboys in the World Club Challenge.

The Rhinos were domestically dominant in 2015, securing a Challenge Cup, Super League Leaders' Shield and Grand Final treble.

Next up for Leeds is the World Club Challenge in February, which will again make up part of a three-game World Club Series and see the Super League champions come up against their NRL counterparts.

Ward, who will miss the fixture as he continues to recover from surgery on a knee injury, is keen for the Headingley outfit to show their quality.

"It's a massive target. If we win it then it sustains the success we had last year and really proves that we can match the best teams in the world," he told Omnisport. 

"I'm gutted to be missing it, but I'll still be nervous and tense. If we can get that win under the belt it will be good because of the way it's structured now."

Ward was involved when the Rhinos were beaten 18-14 by Melbourne Storm in the 2013 World Club Challenge.

And the 22-year-old believes there is extra motivation for players to test themselves against the best the NRL has to offer.

"Yeah, there definitely is," he added. "When I played in 2013 versus Melbourne it was like an added dimension of nerves and excitement because you're playing the best from Australia.

"It was an unknown for me to be playing against teams and players like that.

"So I imagine it will be similar for a lot of players on our side in February."