Australia captain Boyd Cordner admits the NRL’s billboard proclaiming the Sydney Roosters as world champions was “not ideal”.
Three huge posters were erected in Atlanta, USA - close to the venue of the NFL Superbowl - as a tongue-in-cheek ambush marketing ploy.
But they raised some eyebrows given it was on the eve of the Roosters’ trip to the UK to meet Wigan in the World Club Challenge.
Cordner distanced himself and his club from the billboards.
“It was a marketing ploy from the NRL which we’ve nothing to do with,” he said. “It’s not ideal but like I say, it was a choice by them to create some awareness but we as a club can honestly say that we didn’t have anything or any choice in how that went down.”
The Roosters are interrupting their pre-season to make the trip to Europe - the NRL does not start until mid-March.
By contrast, the Super League campaign was launched on January 31 and Wigan have two Super League games under their belt already.
“It’s a bit weird. One of my best mates, Jacob Miller, is at Wakefield, and I was texting him over Christmas and they were playing on Boxing Day!” he said, during a media conference call.
“It’s something we’re not used to here in the NRL and I think the heat would play a big part in that happening over here.”
Would the 26-year-old consider following Miller to Super League?
“I’ve still got a lot of stuff I want to tick off in the NRL before I think about heading to England - I’m sure there’ll be a bed there for me though if I ever do,” he replied.
Sydney Roosters have arrived in Paris where they will train with Trent Robinson’s former club, Toulouse, and acclimatise - as well as visit the Somme - before relocating to England in mid-week.
Wigan have made no secret of the fact they want a sell-out at the DW Stadium on Sunday evening.
And Cordner added: “I love going on trips like this. Trent touched on the fact we’re going to Paris first, we’re taking an extended squad over and we’re still building towards our season which is good.
“We want a lot of our squad there and we get the chance to train there in a different environment.
“Going to the war memorials and experiencing stuff like that, you don’t get many chances to do that in rugby league. “