Two double headers will headline the updated schedule for Round 18 of the NRL Telstra Premiership after the relocation of NSW and ACT teams to Southeast Queensland.
Match-ups from the original Round 18 schedule will remain the same, but the locations for four games have changed.
The updated schedule will feature two double headers, on Friday at Cbus Super Stadium and Sunday at Suncorp Stadium. The Melbourne Storm will also return to AAMI Park on Saturday night.
“We have moved as quickly as possible to provide certainty to our Clubs, fans and partners,” NRL Chief Executive Andrew Abdo said.
“Two double headers across the weekend is an exciting outcome for our fans in Queensland, it gives them an opportunity to see four teams at one venue, in one day.
“I’m particularly pleased that Storm fans, who have been starved of rugby league, will have the opportunity to watch the Storm take on the Knights live at AAMI Park on Saturday night.
“I’d like to thank all Club staff and players for their monumental efforts so far.
“We are continuing the biggest logistical operation our game has ever faced, moving teams and families into their Southeast Queensland hubs over the coming days. We hope to ensure as little disruption to the Clubs and to the competition as possible.
“I’ also like to acknowledge the support of the Queensland Government for their guidance and efforts to support the relocation of our matches, as well as the Victorian Government who will be allowing the Storm to play at AAMI Park.”
The schedule announcement comes alongside confirmation of hubs in Southeast Queensland for the 12 relocated teams:
- Gold Coast (Bulldogs, Eels, Rabbitohs, Raiders, Warriors)
- Brisbane (Dragons, Sharks, Wests Tigers)
- Sunshine Coast (Knights, Panthers, Roosters, Sea Eagles)
The updated Round 18 Schedule is as follows:
FRIDAY, JULY 16
Titans v Eels, Cbus Super Stadium (Fox), 6pm
Sea Eagles v Dragons, Cbus Super Stadium (Nine/Fox), 8.05pm
SATURDAY, JULY 17
Raiders v Sharks, Cbus Super Stadium (Fox), 3pm
Cowboys v Roosters, QCB Stadium (Fox), 5.30pm
Storm v Knights, AAMI Park (Fox), 7.35pm
SUNDAY, JULY 18
Warriors v Panthers, Suncorp Stadium (Fox), 1.50pm
Broncos v Tigers, Suncorp Stadium (Nine/Fox), 4.05pm
Rabbitohs v Bulldogs, Cbus Super Stadium (Fox), 6.15pm
Clubs relocated to the Gold Coast is made possible with the support of the City of Gold Coast and their Sport Business and Attraction Program.
Gold Coast Mayor Tom Tate said the city had a long history supporting rugby league.
“Our support for the league goes back decades in this city and we are honoured to be able to help the NRL keep season 2021 alive,’’ he said.
“The deal to secure a ‘home base’ for the clubs, their support staff and administrators came through the exceptional work of our City Sport Attraction program. We can always make it happen.”