WOLVES boss Karl Fitzpatrick said the club would have loved to take on an NRL powerhouse in a World Club Series clash next year.

And he described as 'puzzling' comments from Australia that Wayne Bennett's South Sydney were due to play the Wire in February – but that a potential match was scuppered by financial concerns.

The World Club Series, which launched in 2015 between the top teams in Super League and counterparts from the NRL in Australia, was stopped in 2017.

Now the winners of the two grand finals face off in the traditional World Club Challenge - with St Helens set to play Sydney Roosters in February.

But Shane Richardson, South Sydney Rabbitohs director of rugby league, told League Weekly that they had been due to play Warrington at The Halliwell Jones Stadium on the same weekend next year.

Warrington Guardian:

Ryan Atkins scored against St George in 2015

He said the decision not to hold the game was due to commercial worries.

He added: "It was a financial thing, not from our point of view but from the leagues' point of view.

"We would have gone. We organised to go, we haven't got another trial that weekend.

"We've to do more to try to promote the World Club Challenge and make it bigger and better."

Wolves twice hosted games in the World Club Series, losing to the St George Dragons in 2015 before recording a famous victory over Brisbane Broncos in 2017.

And the club says it asked to take part in any 2020 edition of the competition.

Wolves chief executive Karl Fitzpatrick said: "We've got a great relationship and the upmost respect for Shane but we were a little puzzled reading his comments.

"We would have the loved the opportunity to go up against them or any NRL club.

"We have got the financial capabilities and, as demonstrated previously, the ability to stage a World Club series fixture.

"In fact, I requested to Super League that should there be a 2020 World Club Series, as Challenge Cup winners, we would be very happy to participate."

Wolves also took on the Rabbitohs in a pre-season friendly down under in 2012.

Warrington Guardian:

Adrian Morley leads out the Wire against South Sydney