The first details of the 2018 AFL premiership season have been revealed with confirmation that Gold Coast will host North Melbourne in Cairns in the opening the round.
The meeting will be a night match on Saturday March 24 at Cazaly’s Stadium.
Gold Coast have been forced to stage a game in Cairns because their usual home ground Metricon Stadium will be unavailable until early June due to the Commonwealth Games.
Suns CEO Mark Evans said the club was looking forward to starting the season in the region of their talent academy.
"The Suns are thrilled to be kicking off our 2018 season in Cairns against North Melbourne,” Evans said.
“A round one game in Cairns presents a wonderful opportunity to showcase the region ahead of what is always a much-anticipated opening round.
“As a club we have established significant support in Cairns and throughout North Queensland.
“We are committed to playing our role in developing our game throughout the region, which is also a key recruitment catchment for the Suns Talent Academy."
The match will mark the first time the Kangaroos have played in the North Queensland city.
"We'll have plenty of time to prepare for the likely hot and humid conditions, and hopefully we'll have some warm summer days in Melbourne in the lead up to help us acclimatise," North Melbourne football manager Cameron Joyce said.
"We hope as many of our supporters as possible can make the trip to support us.”
Both sides will be keen to get 2018 off to a winning start after finishing in the bottom four this year.