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Roosters coach Trent Robinson has called on the NRL to provide greater financial backing for the World Club Challenge.

The three-time premiership winner has long been one of the competition's biggest proponents but lamented the lack of a long-term plan around the fixture, which sees Super League clubs fund the travel of their NRL counterparts.

As it stands the 12 top-tier English clubs contribute a combined $100,000 towards bringing the NRL premiers to the UK.

Each individual Super League club hosting the game, this year it is St Helens entertaining the Roosters, is understood to foot a six-figure bill to stage the match as well.

Officials are hopeful of a capacity 18,000 crowd for Saturday's clash with a few thousand tickets still available.

But Robinson called on the NRL and Super League to invest in the concept and give it greater prestige on the rugby league calendar.

"At the end of every year the two champions get together and ask ‘are we going to play it?' instead of it being one of the major fixtures," Robinson said.  

"We have to organise it each year and more needs to be done to grow this game.

St Helens v Roosters - World Club Challenge

"It's going to be a real spectacle on the field and that's what we've come here for. You're going to see the two best teams in the world play on Saturday night, so turn up.

"It's up to Super League and the NRL, they're the ones that will help this take the next step via big promotion. St Helens and the Roosters can only do so much, but to create the energy around the game it has to come from those.

"This [match] should have been sold out a month ago given the way these teams will play but it doesn't gather momentum until this week."

NRL CEO Todd Greenberg is currently in London ahead of Saturday's World Club Challenge, and among other meetings has sat down with George Brandis, Australia's high commissioner to the UK.

Super League chairman Robert Elstone hopes to use Greenberg's visit to push for a greater financial commitment from the NRL to ensure the competition's longevity.

"Right now, it is Super League that entirely funds it," Elstone said.

"Essentially the other 11 Super League clubs put their hands in their pockets to make this work.

"We've gone back to the NRL on two occasions and said, whether it be through sponsorship or through support from yourselves, it would really help make this work better commercially.

"We haven't been able to secure that to date but what we have to do is keep delivering a great game in a great stadium with a full house and telling the world that this is something that is great and should be funded on more equal and fair basis."

The Roosters have confirmed that back-rower Angus Crichton will start at left centre against St Helens, with a chance to make Latrell Mitchell's old spot his own.

Former Cronulla half Kyle Flanagan will play his first game in red, white and blue while Sitili Tupouniua comes into the starting line-up with captain Boyd Cordner rested.

Sydney Roosters: 1. James Tedesco, 2. Daniel Tupou, 3. Angus Crichton, 4. Joseph Manu, 5. Brett Morris, 6. Luke Keary, 7. Kyle Flanagan, 8. Jared Waerea-Hargreaves,  9. Jake Friend (c), 10. Siosiua Taukeiaho, 11. Sitili Tupouniua, 12. Mitchell Aubusson, 13. Victor Radley. Interchange: 14. Sam Verrills, 15. Isaac Liu, 16. Nat Butcher, 17. Lindsay Collins, 18. Matthew Ikuvalu, 19. Poasa Faamausili, 20. Asu ‘AJ' Kepaoa, 21. Lachlan Lam

St Helens: Tommy Makinson, Kevin Naiqama, Mark Percival, Jonny Lomax, Theo Fages, Alex Walmsley, James Roby, Luke Thompson, Zeb Taia, Dom Peyroux, Louis McCarthy-Scarsbrook, Morgan Knowles, Matty Lees, Kyle Amor, Joseph Paulo, Aaron Smith, James Bentley, Matty Costello, Jack Welsby, Lewis Dodd, Tom Nisbet.

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