The climate and the crowd will pose just as big a threat as an out-of-form St Helens for the Sydney Roosters in the World Series-opening clash.
However, Trent Robinson and his squad have a secret weapon among their ranks, English recruit Joe Burgess, who has filled them in on how to handle the cold and what to expect from a sell-out crowd at Langtree Park on Friday (Saturday 0700 AEDT).
The former Wigan man, who looks set to nail down the right-wing spot at the Roosters after impressing during pre-season with his size and speed, has been playing the role of tour guide, weatherman and informant.
The injury-hit Saints are coming off a 44-10 thrashing by Salford, but Burgess knows better than most that sometimes the fiercest opposition can be in the stands.
In his last appearance at Langtree Park, Burgess scored a length-of-the-field try and celebrated by lobbing the ball into the crowd.
He was given a gentle warning by the referee to “not get them started” before being hounded with chants of “Burgess, Burgess, look at the score” as St Helens put his Warriors to the sword.
“Especially this ground, they’re quite close to you. I think the ticket sales are quite up, and it will be quite a noisy game,” Burgess warned.
“When I played with Wigan against Sydney Roosters (in the 2014 World Club Challenge in Sydney), it was a lot different with the fans.
“You could just hear (the Wigan) fans singing. It’s a different atmosphere. It’s more full on. They don’t really sing a lot in (Australia).”
And if that isn’t confronting enough, the expected icy rain and low temperatures are also likely to be an unwelcome hurdle to overcome for the Bondi boys who were training in 40 degree weather a month ago.
“They can’t handle the (cold) weather as much,” Burgess said, while singling out Sio Siua Taukeiaho and winger Daniel Tupou as the two squad members handling the change the worst.
“They’re struggling a bit. I don’t think they’ve experienced weather like this. It was the same with me when I went over (to Australia).
“The second week, it was a tough week of running and I remember one day it was like 40 degrees and I was just trying to find the shade, it was killing me.
“But you wouldn’t believe how much it’s helped me with my fitness.”