The release of the NRL draw has revealed that the 2015 Telstra Premiership competition will take the game far and wide and also head to roads less travelled in the rugby league world.
Bathurst footy fans won't have to wait long into the new year for their taste of NRL football with the Penrith Panthers again taking a home game out to the central tablelands of New South Wales in Round 2.
While Penrith's game against Cronulla at Carrington Park last season didn't work out well for the mountain men, the 2014 preliminary finalists will be looking to make amends against the Gold Coast Titans who posted a club-record 42-4 win over the Eels when they played in Mudgee in 2013.
The Bathurst fixture won't be the only taste of top level football country NSW gets in 2015 though, with the annual Country v City fixture heading to Wagga Wagga.
The NRL will also return to Western Australia and the Northern Territory in 2015 with the Rabbitohs and Eels taking one of their home games respectively to their adopted states.
The Rabbitohs and Warriors will again do battle at Perth's nib Stadium in Round 13 while the Eels and Penrith will have their 'local' derby at Darwin's TIO Stadium in Round 22. The Rabbitohs are also still to confirm the venue of their Round 8 meeting with the Raiders but have an agreement to play one game a year in Cairns.
Not to be outdone, two major cricket grounds will provide spectacular backdrops to high level rugby league games with the Sydney Cricket Ground handed a scintillating clash between the Dragons and Rabbitohs in Round 19 and the Melbourne Cricket Ground playing host to Game Two of the State of Origin Series.
Rugby league traditionalists will also be pleased to know that Round 20 will see a return by the Bulldogs to their spiritual home, Belmore Sportsground. The Bulldogs will play a first grade game at the ground for the first time in 17 years, taking on the Cronulla Sharks in accordance with Canterbury-Bankstown's 80th anniversary celebrations.
With the competition set to travel as far west as Perth, as far north as Darwin and east to Auckland, the NRL has every right to record its own version of Lucky Starr's classic "I've Been Everywhere' – which we have taken the liberty of making our own below – with all 16 clubs obviously penciled in to play at their respective home grounds.
The NRL's "I've Been Everywhere"
Well, I was throwing round my Steeden on the dusty Moore Park road,
When along came a semi with a high and canvas-covered load.
“If you’re going to the footy, mate, with me you can ride.”
So I climbed into the cabin and I settled down inside.
He asked me if I’d seen the stadiums across our great southern land, I said
“Listen, mate, I’ve travelled to every stadium I can.”
Cos I’ve been everywhere, man,
I’ve been everywhere, man.
‘Cross the grassy bares, man;
I’ve breathed the family hill air, man.
Of travel I’ve had my fair share, man.
I’ve been everywhere.
I've been to: Balmain, Leichardt, Homebush, Moore Park, Red Hill, Kogarah, Penrith, Cro-nulla, Brookvale, Darwin, Auckland, Bankstown, Campbelltown Redfern, Melbourne – can you understand the rhymes that I'm belting? Oh I've been everywhere.
“Yeah, I know that, but have you been to…”
I've been to: Wollongong, Sydney, Brisbane, Canter-bury, SCG, MCG, Belmore, Parramatta, Concord… Can-b[er]-ra… what's it matter? Oh I've been everywhere.
"Yeah, I know that, but have you been to…"
I've been to: Bathurst, Lambton, Bondi, Wagga, Woolooware, Perth, Townsville and Newy… Oh and I've been to the GC. I've been everywhere.
I’ve been here, there, everywhere, I’ve been everywhere.
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