Warrington invited to World Club Series

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Warrington have received some consolation for their agonising semi-final defeat by Wigan with confirmation that they will take part in the newly-expanded World Club Series.

The annual clash of the NRL and Super League champions will form part of a weekend of Anglo-Australian action, with matches on Friday, Saturday and Sunday from February 20-22.

Wigan and St Helens, who will meet in next Saturday’s Grand Final at Old Trafford and are former winners of the World Club Challenge, were automatically selected to represent Super League, while Warrington qualify after finishing as the third-highest ranked club at the end of the season.

That came as some relief for Warrington owner Simon Moran, who with Gary Hetherington (Leeds) and Ian Lenagan (Wigan) were on Super League’s working party that came up with the idea of expanding the concept.

Moran confirmed after Friday night’s 16-12 loss to Wigan that his club would take in the World Club Series.

Huddersfield, who finished third at the end of the regular season, were undecided over their possible participation, with clubs having to lodge a £175,000 bond to secure their place.

South Sydney and Brisbane Broncos have been named as two of the NRL representatives, with Canterbury Bulldogs set to be confirmed after playing Souths in yesterday’s Grand Final in Sydney.

Eight players from Catalan Dragons have been named in coach Richard Agar’s initial 23-strong France squad for the 2014 European Championship.

They include Paris-born, Sydney-raised forward Jason Baitieri, who succeeds club-mate Olivier Elima as captain.

Squad: C Soubeyras (AS Carcassonne), J Baitieri, J Bousquet, D Cardace, V Duport, M Escare, B Garcia, A Maria, E Pelissier (all Catalan Dragons), K Larroyer (Hull KR), J Boudebza, A Carrere, J Fakir (Lezignan), R Marginet, F Vaccari (Palau), T Fages (Salford), J-P Baile, W Barthau, T Margalet, M Pala, M Simon (St-Esteve XIII Catalan), B Jullien (Avignon), A Decarnin (Villeneuve-sur-Lot).