By TERRY MADDAFORD

Napier City Rovers have drawn the short straw in their bid for a place in soccer's rich World Club Championship finals.

The national club champions have been drawn in the same six-team group as Australian representatives Wollongong Wolves for January's Oceania club championship in Papua New Guinea.

The transtasman rivals will be joined by hosts Unitech FC, Tongan club Lotoha'pai and the yet-to-be-found champions from Fiji and the Solomon Islands.

The top two sides in each group will qualify for the semifinals, with the eventual winners qualifying for the world finals in August in Spain, where all 12 teams are assured of taking home at least $US3.9 million.

Teams from the Cooks Islands, American Samoa, Tahiti, Vanuatu and Samoa will play in what appears a much easier group of five.

The draw will be made after the Fijian and Solomon Island winners have been found. The tournament will be played in Port Morseby from January 9 to 22