SAINTS and Sydney Roosters may be adversaries tonight but they are on the same page when it comes to the status of the World Club Challenge.

The clubs, who staged the first ever clash of the rugby league hemispheres back in 1976, are both passionate about the fixture

And there is a degree of frustration that the game is not set in stone every year as the real clash of the titans – and Roosters boss Trent Robinson believes the governing bodies should have driven the marketing of the game a lot earlier to guarantee a sell-out.

Saints CEO Mike Rush said: “It is a massive occasion for both clubs and we at St Helens Rugby League are really passionate about making sure it stays in the calendar.

“To see the best two teams in the two competitions go head-to-head means a lot.

“It is one of the few ways at club level, away from the international game, can challenge themselves.

“We are immensely proud to host the game.

“Hopefully it will be a very noisy, intimidating and everything we want it to be on Saturday.”

Roosters currently hold the trophy after beat Wigan last year and they will be gunning to retain it.

But Robinson expressed a degree of frustration on two counts.

“At the end of every year the two champions have to discuss ‘are we going to play this game?’ rather than it being one of the major fixtures of rugby league.

“We have to organise it each year.

“The way that we think about it is that is plays such an important part in setting up your season, both in wanting to win a title but also offering an experience that is unique for players who have never been to Europe.

“We went to the Somme last year, Barcelona this year – it is about giving the players life experiences which gives added value to our group and our club.

“We are really proud of our history. We value this competition which started in 1976 with these two teams.

“It is the combining of the southern and northern hemispheres of rugby league.

“This is what we have got – the NRL and Super League are our two competitions flying the flag for rugby league.

“To play the World Club Challenge is a privilege and we take it as that.”

Although the surge in promotion has gone up another level this week, when the Roosters arrived, the marketing of the fixture has beem left largely to the clubs.

And another difference this term is that there is also a full schedule of Super League games – rather than it being set aside for the World Club as has happened in the past.

The Rooters boss said more needed to be done to grow this game on the calendar.

“We want to see a full house on Saturday night,” Robinson said.

“It is going to be a spectacle on the field. You are going to see the two best teams in the world play, so turn up, is the first thing.

“It is up to the governing bodies – the Super League and the NRL – who must take it to the next step by big promotion.

“St Helens and Roosters can only do so much – but to create an energy around the game it has to come from those.

“That is the next step.

“This should have been sold out a month ago just because of the way the two teams will play – it will gather momentum this week.

“There is going to be some footy played.”