Melbourne Storm have an opportunity to be crowned the best rugby league team in the world and the skipper is determined to not let it slip through his side’s grasp.
There will be plenty of intrigue around the make-up of the Storm 17, given four players have moved in since last year’s Grand Final victory.
The Downer World Club Challenge has in the past been a place for emerging talent to come to the fore. This happened most recently in 2013 when Tohu Harris burst onto the scene with a try against Leeds in his first ever game in in the purple jersey – he then went on to enjoy a distinguished 117 game career with Melbourne.
This is now a new season, they are into their second or third year in the elite competition so they should be looking to mark their mark on this match.”
Storm’s established stars are also set to be fit and firing on Friday night.
Despite experiencing a shorter than usual preparation for this game on the back of the World Cup, the likes of Cameron Smith, Billy Slater and Will Chambers will all be ready to run out onto AAMI Park.
Leeds Rhinos are not here for a holiday, make no mistake – they are here to win.
Having completed the near-17,000 kilometre journey to Melbourne on Saturday, the English Super League Champions are now preparing to return home with the crown of the world’s best rugby league team.
While the weather may be a mere 7 degrees back home at the moment, Melbourne is not entirely foreign to Leeds’ stars.
The likes of star winger Ryan Hall and captain Kallum Watkins visited the city as recently as late November as part of the English side playing in the Rugby League World Cup.
The Rhinos enter the Downer World Club Challenge at AAMI Park after a two-win start to their Super League season and Hoffman is aware of the style of play they will bring to Melbourne.
They are a very proud club and they are used to winning trophies.
“They haven’t come down here for a holiday, they’ve given themselves the preparation to come down for a hit and run mission.”
Friday night will be Hoffman’s first game in a purple jersey at home since 2014 and is an experience he is looking forward to.
“It will be great to have them (the crowd) cheering for me,” Hoffman said.