Morgan Knowles hopes every English rugby league fan will support St Helens when they face NRL champions Penrith Panthers in the World Club Challenge.
The Super League champions will take on their Australian counterparts Down Under on February 18.
The winner will be crowned the world’s best team – and Knowles hopes fans of all English clubs can get behind Saints.
“The lads who played for England know a few of the Samoa lads and quite a few of them play for Penrith,” Knowles told Love Rugby League.
“There’s always going to be that rivalry between England and Australia; and Super League getting put down as a second tier competition and what they think of us so hopefully Super League and England can get behind us and not be so strict on their own team and try to back us to not only to put on a good show for Saints, but for Super League and England as well.”
Knowles admitted he isn’t as familiar with the NRL as with Super League but knows just how much quality Penrith have after playing in England’s heartbreaking defeat to Samoa at the World Cup.
“I’ve played against a fair few of them with England against Samoa,” he said.
“I’ve seen bits and bobs and know they are a really good team and for them to go back-to-back means they’ve got consistency as well. We know the challenge we’ve got up against us.
“It’s a big stage and a big game so we are really excited for it.”
How do Saints back up the past four years?
St Helens have dominated Super League for the past four years, winning the Grand Final four times in a row.
And with a new head coach at the helm, how do the Saints back it up in 2023? Knowles answers: “By winning it again.
“The World Club Challenge is our main focus initially. That opportunity has been taking away for the last two years and we came close at the start of 2020 on the back of the 2019 season.
“We are keen to try and get a bit of silverware early and then we’ll turn our attention to Super League and rip in and go again.”
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