South Sydney and Sydney Roosters kick off Australia's 2013 National Rugby League season Thursday against a backdrop of six clubs under investigation for alleged doping and potential links with organised crime.
Melbourne Storm beat Leeds Rhinos on February 22, 2013 to win the World Club Challenge. Storm, favourites to defend their NRL title, launch their season against St George Illawarra Dragons at home on Sunday.
NRL officials will be relieved to finally get the season under way after a series of unwanted headlines, further tarnished by the suspension of poster boy Ben Barba by his Canterbury club over behavioural issues.
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