The Sharks will start their Premiership defence with a trial against the Broncos.

Broncos and Sharks to meet in Redcliffe

Cronulla's defence of their Telstra Premiership campaign will be launched in Redcliffe when they take on the Brisbane Broncos in the first of their pre-season trial fixtures on February 4.

2017 pre-season fixtures

The match, to be played at the revamped Dolphin Stadium in Redcliffe, will be the only hit-out for both the Sharks and Broncos before they depart for England to take part in the World Club Series and could serve as the pre-cursor to a rumoured first-round meeting to kick off the 2017 Telstra Premiership.

The match will be played on Saturday night, February 4, and despite clashing with the NRL Downer Auckland Nines Redcliffe's general manager of football Grant Cleal expects that local footy fans will flock to the ground in their thousands.

"The last time we hosted an NRL trial in 2014 we had a record number of fans come along to the game," said Cleal. 

"Unfortunately we were washed out in 2015 and construction of the $12 million stage one of Dolphin Stadium meant we couldn't host a trial this year.

"Our Dolphins' fans were able to enjoy some brilliant football from the new Des Webb Stand in the second half of the 2016 season.

"I have no doubt that with a strong Broncos side playing the reigning premiers Cronulla, Dolphin Stadium will again be packed with fans."

Tickets for the Broncos-Sharks trial will go on sale in early December.

This article first appeared on Broncos.com.au