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Dragons back-rower Tariq Sims.

Here is all you need to know about the St George Illawarra Dragons' 2019 Telstra Premiership draw.

Teams they play twice: Cowboys, Rabbitohs, Knights, Bulldogs, Sea Eagles, Roosters, Eels, Sharks, Titans.

Teams they play once: Broncos, Warriors, Storm, Raiders, Panthers, Wests Tigers.

Day-by-day breakdown: Thursday - Four, Friday - Three, Saturday - Six, Sunday - Ten, Monday – One.

Five-day turnarounds: 3 (Rd 2, Rd 7, Rd 18).

Kick-off: St George Illawarra will have their mettle tested in the opening month of the season with just one match at home against the Rabbitohs at Kogarah in round two. They also have a couple of trips to Queensland to face the Cowboys and Broncos plus a round-four assignment in Newcastle.

Five key matches

Souths (Round 2, Jubilee Oval): The Dragons lead 16-2 with 10 minutes remaining in the first meeting between the sides. The Rabbitohs got back to 16-12 before the Red V held on. In the second meeting - just five rounds later - the Bunnies proved far too good as they scored a 24-10 win. Both sides expect to be in the battle for top four spots in 2019.

Five key matchups of the Dragons' 2019 draw

Sharks (Round 11, WIN Stadium): Any year in which the Dragons can claim two wins over their southern Sydney rivals is a good one for their fans. In 2017 they scored two wins over them in the space of five weeks. A narrow 20-16 win in round two was followed by a comprehensive 40-20 victory at WIN Stadium. That was their third-highest scoring output in any game in 2018.

Roosters (Round 7, SCG): The Dragons had the measure of the Roosters in their Anzac Day clash, coming away with a 24-8 win. But the Roosters were still finding their feet. When the teams met again in round 20, the Roosters scored a strong 36-18 win. Will this year's showdown be closer affair?

NRL Telstra premiership draw 2019

Eels (Round 8, Western Sydney Stadium): The low point of the Dragons 2018 campaign came in their 40-4 loss to the Eels in round 22. The 40-4 hammering came from a Parramatta side that entered that round in 16th spot on the premiership ladder. Dragons players will not have forgotten that night. In the first meeting between the sides in 2018, St George Illawarra ran out 20-18 winners at WIN Stadium.

Brisbane (Round 3, Suncorp Stadium): This is one team the Dragons will have left 2018 with fond memories of. They scored a comprehensive 34-12 win in the first match of the Telstra Premiership season before ending Brisbane's year with a 48-18 hammering in the first week of the finals.  

Toughest stretch: Rounds 7-11. The Dragons have four straight games away from their regular home venues from round seven, kicking off against premiers Sydney Roosters at the SCG and taking in the Warriors at Suncorp for Magic Round plus a “home” game at Mudgee against the Knights before a Kogarah clash against local rivals Cronulla.

And another thing: The Dragons take a home game to picturesque Glen Willow Stadium in Mudgee for the second time after a successful outing there against Canberra last season. This time it will be the Knights getting their first taste of the venue in round 10.

Acknowledgement of Country

National Rugby League respects and honours the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.

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