TOADY BACKS STORM AGAINST RHINOS

Neighbours star Ryan Maloney, who plays the part of Toadfish, is backing his hometown club to beat the Rhinos in the Carnegie World Club Challenge next month.

After getting his hands on the Carnegie World Club Challenge this week, Neighbours star Ryan Maloney believes the trophy will soon be heading back Down Under to the city where the soap is filmed following Melbourne Storm’s match with Leeds Rhinos. The two teams meet at Elland Road, Leeds on 29 February, and the Neighbours actor, who plays the popular Toadfish character, is confident that the Australian champions will be too strong for the engage Super League Grand Final winners. Despite being a Sydney Roosters fan at heart, Rugby League nut Ryan says he and his co-star Dan O’Connor, who plays Ned Parker in the hit soap, will both be glued to the TV at the end of February to cheer on the Storm against the Rhinos in the match that will decide who is the best club Rugby League side in the world. Ryan, who is currently appearing as Buttons in pantomime at Sheffield Crucible Theatre’s production of Cinderella until mid January, said: "I’m predicting a win for the Aussies in the Carnegie World Club Challenge and am pretty optimistic that I won’t be the only Aussie getting my hands on this cup in the next few months. "I have to admit that I don’t know too much about Leeds, but what I do know is that they’ll be in for an extremely difficult game against the Storm as they’re pretty good. You don’t become champions of Australia by being an average side." Although Ryan is confident of a Melbourne victory at Elland Road, the 28 year old actor believes new Warrington signing Matt King will be a big loss to the Storm and is gutted that he won’t be in the UK to see the game live. "Last year Matt King was my favourite player for the Storm however he’s now moved on, which could be costly for the Storm. This season I’d probably say Cooper Cronk is the one to watch and I expect him to put in a big performance against the Rhinos. "Back home I try and watch as much Rugby League as possible. I’m a bit disappointed that I won’t be in the UK by the time this fixture comes around although I’ll be sure to tune into the game on TV." Tickets for the Carnegie World Club Challenge between Leeds Rhinos and Melbourne Storm are selling well with many fans purchasing early due to the limited capacity at the stadium for the fixture. Unlike two years ago when nearly 40,000 packed the stadium, this year’s game only has a capacity of 32,000 due to the fact that the upper tier of Elland Road’s East Stand will be closed for the game. Tickets for the game are priced from £17 for adults and £9 for concessions and a limited number of family tickets for two adults and two juniors are also available for just £35. This is available to all supporters, if purchased before 5pm on Friday 1 February, subject to availability. Tickets are available from the RFL Box Office on 0871 226 13 13 or via www.rugbyleaguetickets.co.uk