The World Club Challenge has been a concept for over forty years and, in that time, Rugby League fans worldwide have been treated to a grandiose spectacle as the world's best go hammer-and-tong at each other for a full eighty minutes. The right to be called world champions is at stake and, though the showpiece event is not given the respect it deserves Down Under, British teams hold it in high regards. In the 24 meetings between English and Australian clubs, England has a slight advantage with 13 wins to Australia's 11. Here are five of the best matches to have taken place between English sides and their antipodean foes over the years.

5. 2005 - Leeds v Melbourne

Leeds had just won their first Grand Final in October 2004 in what would turn out to be very much a golden era for the Rhinos. Wind the clock forward four months and the West Yorkshire side were now taking part in their first ever World Club Challenge against NRL premiers Canterbury Bulldogs. Held at a packed Elland Road - over 37,000 spectators were in attendance - Leeds and Canterbury clashed in a rip-roaring, highly entertaining encounter.

The Rhinos eventually ran out winners 39-32 with Danny McGuire's stunning long-range try arguably the pick of the 13 efforts registered in the game. Though Leeds had a 20-point lead going into half-time and were 38-12 up midway through the second forty minutes, Canterbury - despite being hampered before the game by a number of injuries to key men - hit back magnificently towards the back end of the game with four quick-fire tries to put Leeds' fans on tenterhooks.

And, only a Kevin Sinfield drop-goal in the 78th minute settled Leeds' fans nerves.

4. 1989 - Widnes v Canberra

Neither Super League nor the NRL had been created when these two sides met at Old Trafford in October 1989. And, in further evidence of a Rugby League throwback, this game was played in an era where the substitutes' bench was filled with just two players rather than four.

Widnes, the champions of the 1988-89 Rugby Football Championship as it was named then, played host to the 1989 NSRWL premiers Canberra Raiders.

Only eleven minutes into the match and it appeared as though Widnes were staring down the barrel of a gun. Coached by Tim Sheens, captained by Mal Meninga and brimming with stars including Laurie Daly, Ricky Stuart and Bradley Clyde, the Raiders hit Widnes with two tries in the opening ten minutes through Meninga and Chris O'Sullivan.

However, the Cheshire club clawed their back into the match with tries from Martin Offiah and Jonathan Davies to trail just 10-12 at half-time. And, in a blistering display of skill and power, Widnes took the second-half to the Aussie side, eventually running out 30-18 winners in a memorable upset.

3. 2007 - St Helens v Brisbane

2006 treble-winners St Helens were to appear in their fifth World Club Challenge fixture when the NRL champions Brisbane Broncos came to Bolton's Reebok Stadium in February 2007. The Broncos were missing three of their 2006 Grand Final-winning side with Shane Webcke having retired, Casey Maguire having left the club and David Stagg absent, but with Saints losing both of their opening Super League matches, the match promised to be a very entertaining and close affair.

The Broncos were first to open the scoring when Corey Parker latched on to an Ade Gardner mistake from a kick to dot down - a try which he improved. Brisbane extended their lead when Shaun Berrigan was caught high with Parker adding the two points. But, Gardner made up for his mistake to cross the whitewash himself not long after. With the scores 6-8 at half-time, the second forty promised to be tight. The Broncos were first on the board again, this time with winger Darius Boyd, but Saints responded once more as two-time Man of Steel winner Paul Sculthorpe forced his way over the line to make it 12-14.

Then, in a leap that wouldn't have looked out of place on a diving board, Gardner caught a terrific cross-field kick from Sean Long to send the hosts into the lead for the first time.

Saints, facing a continuous Broncos' onslaught, held on in what was an incredibly nervy final ten minutes.

2. 2001 - St Helens v Brisbane

That 2007 clash was not even St Helens' most impressive victory over Brisbane, no, that feat had already occurred six years before in what was the Lancashire side's first taste of the World Club Challenge. Again the Reebok Stadium was the venue and again both sides played out a truly classic game of Rugby League. And, once more the Broncos hit first, Shaun Berrigan burrowing over from dummy half before reigning Man of Steel Paul Sculthorpe replied at the other end. Brisbane loose-forward Phillip Lee sent Brisbane into the lead yet again and the sides went in 6-12 at the break.

When Brisbane extended this lead to 6-18 courtesy of a Brad Meyers effort, St Helens looked disjointed and bewildered. But, they found the energy from somewhere as Sean Long and Chris Joynt scored to bring it back equal at 18-18. And, with the game entering its final stages, first Sculthorpe kicked a drop-goal to send the Saints into a one-point lead before Long slotted over another to send the Saints fans into delirium. With a 20-18 victory, St Helens had their first world title.

1. 1994 - Brisbane v Wigan

A hat-trick of losses for Brisbane, this time against British champions and premiership winners Wigan. This result was even more startling however, as this was the first and only time a British side has won the World Club Challenge on Australian soil.

In front of a packed ANZ Stadium and with over 54,000 supporters - still the record attendance for a World Club Challenge match - firmly behind the Broncos, one could have forgiven the Wigan players to be overawed and intimidated by the occasion.

But, this was the feared Wigan side of the 1990s, and, despite their main prop forwards Kelvin Skerrett and Andy Platt out injured, Wigan stormed into a 0-12 lead with Denis Betts and Barrie-Jon Mather crossing the whitewash early on. With a Wendell Sailor reply near the half-hour mark the last points of the half, Wigan held an unlikely 4-12 lead going into the break. If this was scarcely believable then what happened next was simply utopian; Jason Robinson, picking up a loose ball, outstripped the Broncos' defence to stretch Wigan's lead to 4-18 early in the second half.

Yet, Brisbane were Australian champions for a reason; a try apiece from Michael Hancock and Julian O'Neill brought the home side back to 14-18. The difference in the end however, was with the boot as Frano Botica added another two points in the 66th minute to take his tally to the night of four from four whilst Broncos' goal-kicker, Julian O'Neill, registered just one conversion from three attempts. With the score now 14-20, Brisbane peppered the Wigan line incessantly, but the visitors held firm to record one of the most remarkable victories in the tournament's history.