NRL final rounds of draw released
The NRL released the schedule for the final six rounds of the Premiership on Monday morning, which includes a series of blockbuster matches and the introduction of free-to-air matches across all four days of the final five rounds.
Penrith, Parramatta, North Queensland and Brisbane Broncos will all host crucial matches in marquee timeslots during the closing rounds.
Premiers Cronulla, Penrith, North Queensland and Melbourne will all host blockbuster Saturday night simulcast matches over the closing five rounds, broadcast on Channel Nine as well as Fox Sports.
Some of the highlights of the finalised schedule include:
• A final-round clash between 2015 grand finalists North Queensland Cowboys and Brisbane Broncos on Thursday night at 1300Smiles Stadium;
• A Friday night clash between St George Illawarra and South Sydney Rabbitohs at the Sydney Cricket Ground in Round 22;
• A clash between Premiers Cronulla and Canberra to open the Channel Nine simulcast of Saturday night football in Round 22;
• A Round 23 Friday night clash between Brisbane Broncos and Premiers Cronulla at Suncorp Stadium;
• A Saturday night simulcast clash in Round 24 between the last two Premiers, North Queensland Cowboys and Cronulla at 1300Smiles Stadium;
• A Round 25 Saturday night simulcast clash between premiership heavyweights Cronulla and Sydney Roosters at Southern Cross Group Stadium;
• Cooper Cronk’s final home regular-season match for Melbourne Storm, against their 2016 Preliminary Final opponents Canberra, on Saturday night in Round 26;
• A clash on the final Sunday of the regular season between Sydney rivals St George Illawarra and the Bulldogs at ANZ Stadium.
NRL CEO Todd Greenberg said the final six rounds would provide some crucial match-ups which would ultimately decide the make-up of the top eight as well as the minor premiership.
"The competition is already incredibly tight but we know that it will only get tighter the closer we get to the finish line," Mr Greenberg said.
"As always this will be a competition which will keep us all guessing until the very last round and the very last match."
There will be a total of 25 five-day turnarounds in 2017, compared to 43 in 2016.
For the full schedule for the final six rounds, please visit nrl.com
For tickets to the NRL Telstra Premiership, please visit nrl.com/tickets