- A mighty month of March with a Round 3 double-header – the first in Sydney since 2008;
- 11 day-time games among 33 regular-season fixtures at Stadium Australia;
- The first Sunday Origin on a stand-alone weekend;
- All 33 NRL games, State of Origin, NRL Finals and the 2018 NRL Telstra Premiership Grand Final Sydney are included in the 2018 Stadium Australia Membership package.
IT promises to be NRL footy at its very best as the NRL kicks off in spectacular style at Stadium Australia in 2018.
NRL CEO Todd Greenberg today released the 2018 Telstra Premiership Season Schedule and it has delivered a mouth-watering first month for rugby league fans, Stadium Australia Members and Corporate Guests.
In a massive start to the new season at Sydney Olympic Park:
- Wests Tigers will host a Round 1 classic on Saturday 10 March (4pm kick-off) with Benji Marshall returning to the Tigers and NSW fullback James Tedesco lining up for the Sydney Roosters against his old club;
- A Round 3 Double-Header – coinciding with the first weekend of the 2018 Sydney Royal Easter Show – will feature Rabbitohs v Sea Eagles and Eels v Sharks on Saturday 24 March;
- EasterFootyFest will feature traditional rivals Rabbitohs v Bulldogs on Good Friday 30 March, and Tigers v Eels on Easter Monday 2 April.
The huge month of March will follow an International Double-Header at Stadium Australia in the pre-season on Saturday 17 February, with St George Illawarra against Hull FC and South Sydney Rabbitohs against Wigan Warriors.
Stadium Australia will host 33 games over the 25 regular-season rounds, including 26 games that will be Sydney v Sydney club contests.
More than half of the Stadium Australia games are completed by 7.30pm, including 11 day-time matches – giving families the best possible opportunity to enjoy the footy.
The Parramatta Eels will play 11 home games at the Stadium, the South Sydney Rabbitohs 9, the Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs 9 and Wests Tigers 4 – and all four clubs will play multiple Sydney v Sydney games offering reciprocal entry rights to club Members.
The Rabbitohs and the Bulldogs will open their seasons by hosting games, against the Warriors and the Storm respectively, at the magnificent new Perth Stadium.
The Stadium Australia home clubs are working with the NRL on a number of game-day initiatives that will benefit fans in season 2018. Stand-by for some exciting news!
Among other regular-season highlights at Stadium Australia in 2018, the Rabbitohs in Round 10 will host fierce rivals the Dragons on Sunday afternoon 13 May while the Tigers will host the Bulldogs in a Round 12 Western Sydney shootout on Sunday 27 May, and the Bulldogs will host the Dragons on the Queen’s Birthday Monday 11 June.
Stadium Australia will host a historic first stand-alone State of Origin match on Sunday 24 June – a blockbuster that will be one of the most anticipated sporting events in the Southern Hemisphere next year.
All 33 NRL games, State of Origin, NRL Finals and the 2018 NRL Telstra Premiership Grand Final Sydney are included in the 2018 Stadium Australia Membership package. Membership enquiries here
Or why not ensure you see these games in style with clients, with Stadium Australia offering a wide range of Official Hospitality options here
The NRL Premiership will open with a clash between St George Illawarra and Brisbane Broncos at UOW Jubilee Stadium on Thursday 8 March.
The 2018 NRL season will also feature:
- Four Double Headers – at Perth Stadium, Stadium Australia, Auckland’s Mt Smart Stadium and Brisbane’s Suncorp Stadium;
- Five matches in regional NSW (Bathurst, Tamworth, Mudgee and two in Gosford), and three in regional Queensland (Gladstone, Cairns and Toowoomba);
- A more even distribution of free to air matches on Channel 9. Eleven teams will play in at least 10 matches on free-to-air TV next year – compared with only five teams in 2017;
- The introduction of a Thursday night game in the Easter Round (North Queensland Cowboys against Penrith Panthers). This means games will be played on Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday over the Easter break;
- Some of the game’s greats rivalries being played out twice during the season, including: Broncos v Cowboys, Bulldogs v Eels, Rabbitohs v Roosters, Dragons v Sharks and Panthers v Eels;
- Games staged in every mainland Australia capital as well as both the north and south Islands of New Zealand.
Mr Greenberg said the NRL had worked with the broadcasters to ensure a new-look draw aimed at benefitting fans, clubs and players.
“We have more control of the schedule for 2018 and we believe we have been able to deliver some wins for everyone, but particularly the fans,” Mr Greenberg said.
“There are more blockbusters in family-friendly timeslots.
“We have introduced a Thursday night match before Good Friday because that’s what our supporters told us they want.
“And there will be at least one Sydney match for fans to attend nearly every Sunday during the season.
“We have also worked with the clubs to ensure that their requested priority match-ups were delivered.
“Additionally, for the first time the NRL will stage four double headers in one season – across two countries, as well as matches in seven different locations across regional NSW and Queensland.
“Having more control of the draw has allowed us to not only release the schedule earlier, but it has also allowed us to analyse the structure of the draw in greater detail.
“It has also allowed more equity in the broadcast of all 16 teams.
“I’d like to thank both the broadcasters and the Clubs for ensuring the process has resulted in a great draw for all our key stakeholders.”
Mr Greenberg also said there would be a reduction in five-day turnarounds, while no club would have more than three five-day turnarounds.
“Two years ago there were 43 five-day turnarounds … next year that will drop to 24,” he said. “We would like to thank the RLPA for working closely with us during this process.”
All 25 rounds were announced today at Stadium Australia, allowing supporters the chance to plan the entire season in advance.
The Telstra Premiership Finals Series will begin on September 7 and culminate in the NRL Grand Final at Stadium Australia on September 30.