Legend Andy Gregory recalls early World Club Challenge memory and makes verdict on next year's location

Great Britain legend Andy Gregory recalls Wigan’s first involvement in the World Club Challenge as one of his best memories in the game as the scrum-half hopes to see next year’s showdown played at either club’s home ground – not at a neutral venue.
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The ex-star, now 62, won the second-ever World Club Challenge with the Warriors back in 1987 against Australian champions Manly Sea Eagles in front of a crowd close to 37,000 at Central Park.

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Having also won five Challenge Cups, four Championships, two Regal Trophies, two Lancashire Cups, the John Player Trophy and a Premiership, Gregory rates the competition to be crowned the world’s best highly and is hoping to see the showdown take place at a home venue in 2024.

Ex-Wigan star Andy Gregory recalls the inaugural World Club ChallengeEx-Wigan star Andy Gregory recalls the inaugural World Club Challenge
Ex-Wigan star Andy Gregory recalls the inaugural World Club Challenge
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Chief executive Kris Radlinski had previously tossed up the idea of taking the game to Las Vegas, with the competition down under set to play a double-header at the 65,000-capacity Allegiant Stadium.

And both Wigan and Penrith are believed to be keen to travel to either side of the globe respectively, with reports in Australia suggesting that the game will take place in England next February.

Super League fixtures are set to be announced later this week which could include more details on next year’s major event.

Gregory said: “I’d rather it be played at the DW Stadium or over in Penrith.

Ex-Wigan and Great Britain star Andy Gregory wants to see the World Club Challenge take place in either Wigan or PenrithEx-Wigan and Great Britain star Andy Gregory wants to see the World Club Challenge take place in either Wigan or Penrith
Ex-Wigan and Great Britain star Andy Gregory wants to see the World Club Challenge take place in either Wigan or Penrith
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“I don’t think it should be played at a neutral ground. It should be like it was in ‘87.”

On the 8-2 victory, he recalled: “I was lucky enough to play then against Manly Sea Eagles at Central Park and it was an 8:00pm kick-off.

“We drove on the coach through Standish and all we could see was Wigan fans and neutral fans; Barrow, Salford, even St Helens.

“As we got closer to Central Park, we couldn’t move the team coach. I had already played in some big games, but I thought: ‘This is something special.’

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“I won a lot of trophies in my career, but that was one of the best. It was an atmosphere I’ll never forget.

"The build-up, it was absolutely tremendous.

"Hopefully Wigan can do the same next year at the DW Stadium.”