Storm decline World Club Series invite


Melbourne Storm have declined an invitation to play in next year's World Club Series.

In previous years only the NRL champions contested the World Club Challenge against the winners of Super League.

However, since 2015, two further NRL sides have been invited to take part in an expanded format.

But the Storm, beaten in the NRL Grand Final by Cronulla Sharks, will not be participating, with CEO Dave Donaghy saying: "As a club, we've decided that staying in Australia will provide our team with the best possible preparation for the 2017 NRL season.

"Having treasured past visits to the UK in 2008, 2010 and 2013, we thoroughly value the concept of the World Club Challenge.

"However, a regular NRL season is already incredibly taxing and, as a non-Sydney team, our players travel more than most.

"We have committed to playing two trial matches in Australia which we believe will serve as a better lead-in for the team ahead of next year's opening round.

"We wish Cronulla all the best as the NRL's representative against the champion team of England, Wigan."