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Rivalries and intrigue headline round three draw for NRL restart

Bitter modern-day rivalries, another chapter of the book of feuds and the chance for revenge on four fronts headline the next two rounds of the 2020 Telstra Premiership season.

After two months of uncertainty due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the next two rounds of the NRL season were announced on Friday with a focus around starting with a bang in a treat for players, fans and broadcasters across the game.

Brisbane's first opportunity to exact revenge for their 58-0 loss to the Eels in last year's finals series will arrive in a fortnight with the mouth-watering clash to showcase the restart of the 2020 season.

The Broncos will host the Eels on Thursday, May 28, at a venue in Queensland after the state government approved travel across its borders earlier this month.

The clash will be followed on Friday by an all-Queensland derby between the Cowboys and Titans before Latrell Mitchell lines up against the Sydney Roosters in a match almost two months in the making.

South Sydney and the premiers were due to meet in round three in March in the original draw and will now resume hostilities against their bitter rivals.

On Saturday, May 30, the Warriors - who have relocated to NSW due to Trans-Tasman travel restrictions - clash against the Dragons. The fixture will mark veteran hooker Issac Luke's first game against his former teammates.

Cronulla and Wests Tigers will face off in a grudge match after the Sharks ended the joint venture's playoff hopes in the final round of the regular season last year.

Melbourne meet 2019 grand finalists Canberra, who came from behind in the finals to beat the Storm in week one on their way to the big dance.

Unbeaten sides Penrith and Newcastle will clash on Sunday afternoon, followed by Manly and Canterbury.

The Panthers-Knights clash will be a mixed one for both clubs with NSW star Nathan Cleary, who tallied a club record 34 points against the Knights last start, missing through NRL-imposed suspension, while Kalyn Ponga will serve a week for a shoulder charge incident in round two.

Venues are yet to be allocated for each game, however, it is confirmed matches will be held across NSW and Queensland.

A "home" team will be given for each match with no double headers or venue clashes expected on each game day.

Where the Broncos, Cowboys or Titans are listed as the home team for a match, the game will be played at a venue in Queensland, with the remaining games for that round played in NSW.

Round 3 top 5 fixtures

The Warriors' home fixtures will be played at venues in NSW with the NRL looking to finalise the exact locations once all biosecurity protocols and measures are in place during the next 24-48 hours.

In round four, the NRL has locked in the annual Queen's Birthday clash between the Dragons and Bulldogs on Monday, June 8.

The Broncos will open the round with a clash against the Roosters at a venue in Queensland.

Round four will feature three matches played in Queensland with the Broncos, Cowboys and Titans all hosting clubs from NSW.

Round 4 top 5 fixtures

Round 3: Thursday 7.50pm Broncos vs Eels, Friday 6.00pm Cowboys vs Titans, Friday 7.55pm Roosters vs Rabbitohs, Saturday 3.00pm Warriors vs Dragons, Saturday 5.30pm Sharks vs Tigers, Saturday 7.35pm Storm vs Raiders, Sunday 4.05pm Panthers vs Knights, Sunday 6.30pm Sea Eagles vs Bulldogs.

Round 4: Thursday 7.50pm Broncos vs Roosters, Friday 6.00pm Panthers vs Warriors, Friday 7.55pm Storm vs Rabbitohs, Saturday 5.30pm Eels vs Sea Eagles, Saturday 7.35pm Cowboys vs Sharks, Sunday 4.05pm Raiders vs Knights, Sunday 6.30pm Titans vs Tigers, Monday 4.05pm (Queen’s Birthday) Bulldogs vs Dragons.

Acknowledgement of Country

Melbourne Storm respect and honour 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.