Posted: 11 November, 2016
REVEALED: The EXPLOSIVE Round One Games To Kick-Off 2017 Season
Here are the awesome games that will kick-off the 2017 season.
Canterbury fans will need to overcome Sydney peak hour traffic to see their side's 2017 NRL season opener.
The Bulldogs will reportedly host Melbourne at Belmore Sports Ground at 6pm (AEDT) in a round one fixture on the first Friday night of the new season.
It is a Canterbury decision to play at Belmore and not at ANZ Stadium, the Bulldogs home ground, according to News Corp Australia.
The clash precedes South Sydney hosting Wests Tigers at ANZ Stadium - 10km from Belmore - as part of a Friday night double-header.
Premiers Cronulla are understood to kick off the season with a blockbuster home clash with Brisbane on Thursday night on March 2, while preliminary finalists North Queensland and Canberra will meet on the first Saturday.
"We'll be in England for the World Club Championship but we get home nine days before the Broncos game and we'll be ready for them," Sharks coach Shane Flanagan told News Corp.
"It will be a great game and a great way to launch the season."
The scheduling is believed to be part of the NRL's $1.8 billion dollar broadcast deal, but the league has told AAP the draw isn't finalised.
Belmore is 15km west of the CBD and it could take city workers negotiating Friday evening traffic more than an hour's travel to get to the Bulldogs' spiritual home.
In previous seasons Friday night double-headers, games would be played concurrently in a 8.05pm timeslot, with one televised on a delay.
With daylight saving, the Bulldogs-Storm clash at Belmore would be shown at 5pm (AEST) in Queensland if broadcast live.
EXPECTED KEY ROUND ONE GAMES OF THE 2017 NRL SEASON
Thursday, March 2
Cronulla v Brisbane
Friday, March 3
Canterbury v Melbourne
South Sydney v Wests Tigers
Saturday, March 4
Warriors v St George Illawarra
Gold Coast v Sydney Roosters
North Queensland v Canberra
Sunday, March 5
Manly v Parramatta
Penrith v Newcastle