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World Club Challenge

Whipping up a Storm PHIL CAPLAN eagerly anticipates a World Club Challenge that may well be the last of its kind

Leeds Rhinos are preparing to whip up a Storm. But they go into the battle for global club supremacy without Ben Jones-Bishop, pictured below right, who scored the game-breaking try five minutes from time in last year’s blood and thunder encounter with Manly.

The 24-year-old winger was diagnosed with a pulmonary embolism in pre-season, the initial treatment being three months without physical contact. It is a desperately cruel blow for the England Knight who has already overcome a fractured skull on loan at London and double shoulder reconstruction.

His absence opens the way for Exeterborn but Aussie raised former Gold Coast winger Joe Vickery, who was offered a oneyear deal with the Rhinos having made a two-try 40 minute debut on Boxing Day.

That match was played on the lush new million pound Headingley Carnegie surface, which will add to the 22 February encounter against Craig Bellamy’s men. Their trip, details of which are being finalised, looks like it will include a day training, coaching and speaking at Eton school, furthering a link established by the Rhinos at one of

Order of the Boot: Melbourne’s Cameron Smith and Co will be out to make a point ActionPhotographics

England’s most prestigious and historic educational establishments.

As if the clash needed added spice - the series stands at 1-1, Rhinos winning in 2008 and Melbourne triumphant two years later,

both at Elland Road in feisty encounters - it comes with old Ashes rivalries well and truly re-opened. Not only is a World Cup looming, Kevin Sinfield was this month awarded the 2012 Golden Boot, ahead not

18 Forty-20 January 2013

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