Here is all you need to know about the Parramatta Eels' 2021 Telstra Premiership draw.
Teams they play twice
Broncos, Bulldogs, Panthers, Rabbitohs, Raiders, Roosters, Sea Eagles, Storm, Wests Tigers
- Download a PDF of the NRL draw
- The 2021 Telstra Premiership draw
- Download full draw or your team's schedule to your calendar
Teams they play once
Cowboys, Dragons, Knights, Sharks, Titans, Warriors
Thursday – 3, Friday – 7, Saturday – 7, Sunday – 6, Monday – 1
5 days – 0, 6 days – 8, 7+ days – 15
Parramatta's season opens at Suncorp Stadium against a Brisbane side they've dominated in recent times before a run of four straight Bankwest Stadium games against the Storm, Sharks, Wests Tigers and Dragons.
Five key match-ups
Broncos (Round 1, Suncorp Stadium; Round 7, TIO Stadium): If the Eels want to prove they are still on an upward trajectory after two seasons of strong performances and limp finals exits, they'll want to start strong – particularly against a side they face twice and will be expected to beat.
The Broncos are the away side for the Eels' Darwin trip in 2021 which falls in round seven (a meeting that would have happened last season if not for the COVID-19 pandemic) so if Parramatta can claim four points from these two meetings it will provide a solid foundation for their season.
Wests Tigers (Round 4, Bankwest Stadium; Round 14, Bankwest Stadium): The now-traditional Easter Monday clash against the Tigers was one of many fixtures sadly missed last season because of the shut-down but is back in 2021 and always generates plenty of interest from fans of both clubs.
Two years ago Bankwest was christened on an Easter Monday with a 51-6 Eels thrashing to the delight of delirious home fans and the Blue & Gold faithful would happily take a repeat dose.
Eels' top five tries of 2020
Sea Eagles (Round 11, Bankwest Stadium; Round 22, Lottoland): Rivals from the time they entered the competition together in 1947, Parra v Manly clashes never fail to entertain.
With three wins apiece in the past three years, battles have see-sawed and last year was no different with one controversial win apiece. Parramatta's captain and coach both came to the club from Manly while mature-age rookie Andrew Davey switched sides to Brookvale in the off-season.
Rabbitohs (Round 12, ANZ Stadium; Round 21, Bankwest Stadium): No club did more damage to the Eels' 2020 campaign than South Sydney. The Eels started to go off the boil mid-season but were still eking out wins until they were rocked 38-0 at home by the Bunnies in round 16 - their worst loss at their new home ground.
Parra fans don't need to be reminded about the semi-final at the same venue, in which their team dominated the first half and totally collapsed in the second as Wayne Bennett's men ensured the Eels' season ended at the same stage for the second straight year.
Panthers (Round 16, Panthers Stadium; Round 25, Bankwest Stadium): The battle of the west is important to both clubs and always among the most hotly anticipated by fans and players.
There are no shortage of former Panthers in the Eels line-up in the likes of Reagan Campbell-Gillard, Waqa Blake, Maika Sivo, Will Smith, Michael Oldfield and potentially Bryce Cartwright, and the signings have been occasionally acrimonious.
Apart from the grand final, the Eels were the only other team to beat Penrith in 2020 and with the second meeting coming in the final round of the regular season there could be high stakes leading into the play-offs.
The Eels have repeat games against all five of their fellow top-six teams from last year so there's no shortage of challenges in their 2021 draw.
They will certainly be battle-hardened come finals time if they get there with five of them in the space of seven weeks (along with Manly and the Cowboys) from round 19 to 25, including both 2020 grand finalists in the final two weeks of the regular season.
Better. Faster. Stronger.
And another thing ...
The second iteration of Magic Round pits the Eels against the Warriors - after suffering one of their worst losses in living memory - a 64-10 drubbing against the Storm - at the inaugural Magic Round in 2019, Parra will be hoping this trip to Suncorp ends with a much different result.
You can download the full 2021 Premiership draw or your team’s schedule directly to your calendar with eCal. Download it now.