I said I’d never wear it. It’s hanging proudly in the 26 Rounds man-pit as a symbol of one of the greatest years a Roosters fan could ever have.
It stood as a beacon of everything that was right in the world: namely, that Souths are again not the premiers.
Often I will sit in the man pit, with a Super Dry in hand (I’m on a diet), just looking at it like Daryl Kerrigan looking up at the power lines. It symbolises the triumph of good over evil, of the everyman over Kal-El’s dad, of… other shit too.
But given what’s going down on February 22, it might be time to break out this bad boy:
For the first time in nearly 20 years, the World Club Challenge returns to the land girt by sea. And for the first time in over a decade, the Roosters have a chance to take it home.
Scheduled for February 22 next year, the Roosters will take on the Wigan Warriors for the title of best club in the world — with the last time the Roosters won it being back in 2003 when they beat St Helens 38-0.
Must be something with the word “Saint” that brings out 38-0 floggings.
This will be the sixth time Wigan have contested the WCC: they have won three of their previous five. However, they will be without superstar Sam Tomkins, who has signed with the New Zealand Warriors.
Despite this, they still sport a team that is worth paying to see.
It will be Matt Bowen’s swansong from Australia and his first game for Wigan — he’s one of the true class acts of rugby league and this will be many a people’s last chance to see him on Allianz turf. Ever.
Meanwhile, former Souths second-rower and he of the brilliant name to say, Eddy Pettyborne, steps out in his first run for his new club after donning the red, white and blue of the US of A.
But who I am really looking forward to seeing for the first time is Sean O’Loughlin.
The 31-year-old second rower is widely regarded as one of the best backrowers in the world, one who could have easily made the transition to the NRL had he made the leap.
The Dragons reportedly chased him hard in 2012 but missed out, as they always do. And given his age, it’s unlikely he’d make the jump now unless he was keen for a swansong in the sun.
So from a curiosity perspective, this game has enough to warrant ponying up the dosh for entry. And after all, how rare is it in Australia to see an English Super League team in full force?
It will also be the first chance for Roosters fans to check out the handywork of the French dude, Remi Casty, who signed with the club this year on a two-year deal. It also might very well be the full-time debut of RTS at fullback, as well as the debut in a game of consequence for Kane Evans.
Tickets are available today for Roosters and Wigan Warriors members from 9am today apparently. You can purchase them, if you are a member, here (click on the image):
I know I will be there. The only question is which jersey I will wear: the one I wore all year to glory, or the one that celebrates it?