The release of the 2015 National Rugby League draw has thrown up some mouth-watering clashes to look forward to next season. There are a number of big name players who will take on former team mates, a rugby league extravaganza on Anzac Day and games taken to all parts of the country.
The return of Saturday afternoon matches is a key feature with 14 matches scheduled for the time slot during the first 20 rounds. Channel 9 will feature live matches on Sunday afternoons during the regular season in a big boost for television audiences who had been forced to watch the match on delay.
The season kicks off on Thursday, March 5, 2015 when Wayne Bennett’s second tenure as Brisbane Broncos coach begins when his side hosts the South Sydney Rabbitohs at Suncorp Stadium.
In round 2, the Penrith Panthers/Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks match will take place at Carrington Park in Bathurst, the first of a number of premiership games to be played around the country; in round thirteen the Rabbitohs and New Zealand Warriors will clash at NIB Stadium in Perth, the Bulldogs will return to Belmore Sports Ground for the first time since 1998 for their match against the Sharks in round 20 and in round 22 the Eels and Panthers will play at TIO Stadium in Darwin.
The Grand Final rematch takes place in round 5 when the Rabbitohs and Bulldogs clash at ANZ Stadium,and the traditional Anzac Day match between the Roosters and Dragons is part of a 5-game marathon in round 8 with matches in Auckland, Melbourne, Brisbane, Sydney and Newcastle.
There are a few players running out in new jerseys in 2015 adding to the intrigue of the new season. Anthony Watmough faces his former team mates in the opening-round match between the Eels and Sea Eagles, while Brett Morris, re-united with twin brother Josh at club level for the first time since 2008, plays his former club the Dragons in round 6 at ANZ Stadium in what shapes as a great game.New Zealand Warriors recruit Ryan Hoffman will have to wait until round 18 to play the Storm.
State of Origin takes place at ANZ Stadium on May 27, the Melbourne Cricket Ground on June 17 and Suncorp Stadium on July 8. With NSW breaking their 8-year drought in 2014 excitement surrounding the series will be at an all-time high.
The finals begin on September 11, with the Grand Final taking place on October 4.