NRL side Melbourne Storm have rejected the offer to play in next year's World Club Series in England to focus on matters in Australia.

Storm turn down World Series invite

Storm turn down World Series invite

Previously it was just the NRL champions who would take on the Super League Grand Final winners but the format was expanded this year to include other clubs.

As runners-up in Australia, the Storm had been invited to take part in the series between Super League and NRL teams, with three sides from Down Under offered the chance to take on Super League's top three teams in England.

However, Melbourne chief executive Dave Donaghy says a decision has been taken to stay at home, rather than travel across the world, believing the two trial matches they have lined up next year will serve them better ahead of the new NRL season.

"As a club, we've decided that staying in Australia will provide our team with the best possible preparation for the 2017 NRL season," Donaghy said.

"Having treasured past visits to the UK in 2008, 2010 and 2013, we thoroughly value the concept of the World Club Challenge.

"However, a regular NRL season is already incredibly taxing and, as a non-Sydney team, our players travel more than most.

"We wish Cronulla all the best as the NRL's representative against the champion team of England, Wigan."

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