|NRL All-Star game|
|Sat 13 Feb||World All Stars vs. Indigenous All Stars||Suncorp Stadium||08:00||Live|
|Telstra Premiership Round 1|
|Thu 03 Mar||Eels vs. Broncos||Pirtek Stadium||09:05||Live|
|Fri 04 Mar||Sea Eagles vs. Bulldogs||Brookvale Oval||09:05||Live|
|Sat 05 Mar||Raiders vs. Panthers||GIO Stadium||04:00||Live|
|Sat 05 Mar||Tigers vs. Warriors||Campbelltown||06:30||Live|
|Sat 05 Mar||Cowboys vs. Sharks||1300SMILES Stadium||08:30||Live|
|Sun 06 Mar||Roosters vs. Rabbitohs||Allianz Stadium||05:00||Live|
|Sun 06 Mar||Titans vs. Knights||Cbus Super Stadium||07:30||Live|
|Mon 07 Mar||Storm vs. Dragons||AAMI Park||08:00||Live|
|Telstra Premiership Round 2|
|Thu 10 Mar||Panthers vs. Bulldogs||Pepper Stadium||09:05||Live|
|Fri 11 Mar||Broncos vs. Warriors||Suncorp Stadium||09:05||Live|
|Sat 12 Mar||Raiders vs. Roosters||GIO Stadium||04:00||Live|
|Sat 12 Mar||Rabbitohs vs. Knights||ANZ Stadium||06:30||Live|
|Sat 12 Mar||Eels vs. Cowboys||Pirtek Stadium||08:30||Live|
|Sun 13 Mar||Sharks vs. Dragons||Shark Park||05:00||Live|
|Sun 13 Mar||Storm vs. Titans||AAMI Park||07:30||Live|
|Mon 14 Mar||Tigers vs. Sea Eagles||Leichhardt Oval||08:00||Live|
|Telstra Premiership Round 3|
|Thu 17 Mar||Cowboys vs. Roosters||1300 Smiles Stadium||09:05||Live|
|Fri 18 Mar||Bulldogs vs. Eels||ANZ Stadium||09:05||Live|
|Sat 19 Mar||Knights vs. Raiders||Hunter Stadium||06:30||Live|
|Sat 19 Mar||Panthers vs. Broncos||Pepper Stadium||08:30||Live|
|Sat 19 Mar||Titans vs. Tigers||Cbus Super Stadium||10:30||Live|
|Sun 20 Mar||Warriors vs. Storm||Mt Smart Stadium||03:00||Live|
|Sun 20 Mar||Dragons vs. Rabbitohs||Sydney Cricket Ground||05:00||Live|
|Mon 21 Mar||Sea Eagles vs. Sharks||Brookvale Oval||08:00||Live|
|Telstra Premiership Round 4|
|Fri 25 Mar||Rabbitohs vs. Bulldogs||ANZ Stadium||05:00||Live|
|Fri 25 Mar||Broncos vs. Cowboys||Suncorp Stadium||09:05||Live|
|Sat 26 Mar||Raiders vs. Titans||GIO Stadium||06:30||Live|
|Sat 26 Mar||Roosters vs. Sea Eagles||Allianz Stadium||08:30||Live|
|Sun 27 Mar||Dragons vs. Panthers||WIN Stadium||06:00||Live|
|Mon 28 Mar||Warriors vs. Knights||Mt Smart Stadium||04:00||Live|
|Mon 28 Mar||Tigers vs. Eels||ANZ Stadium||06:00||Live|
|Mon 28 Mar||Sharks vs. Storm||Shark Park||09:00||Live|
|Telstra Premiership Round 5|
|Thu 31 Mar||Sea Eagles vs. Rabbitohs||Brookvale Oval||10:05||Live|
|Fri 01 Apr||Titans vs. Broncos||Cbus Super Stadium||10:05||Live|
|Sat 02 Apr||Storm vs. Knights||AAMI Park||05:00||Live|
|Sat 02 Apr||Tigers vs. Sharks||Campbelltown||07:30||Live|
|Sat 02 Apr||Cowboys vs. Dragons||1300 Smiles Stadium||09:30||Live|
|Sun 03 Apr||Roosters vs. Warriors||Central Coast Stadium||05:00||Live|
|Sun 03 Apr||Eels vs. Panthers||Pirtek Stadium||07:00||Live|
|Mon 04 Apr||Bulldogs vs. Raiders||Belmore Ground||10:00||Live|
|Telstra Premiership Round 6|
|Thu 07 Apr||Broncos vs. Dragons||Suncorp Stadium||10:50||Live|
|Fri 08 Apr||Rabbitohs vs. Roosters||ANZ Stadium||10:50||Live|
|Sat 09 Apr||Eels vs. Raiders||Pirtek Stadium||06:00||Live|
|Sat 09 Apr||Warriors vs. Sea Eagles||Mt Smart Stadium||08:30||Live|
|Sat 09 Apr||Panthers vs. Cowboys||Pepper Stadium||10:30||Live|
|Sun 10 Apr||Sharks vs. Titans||Shark Park||05:00||Live|
|Sun 10 Apr||Knights vs. Tigers||Hunter Stadium||07:00||Live|
|Mon 11 Apr||Storm vs. Bulldogs||AAMI Park||10:00||Live|
|Telstra Premiership Round 7|
|Thu 14 Apr||Sea Eagles vs. Eels||Brookvale Oval||10:50||Live|
|Fri 15 Apr||Cowboys vs. Rabbitohs||1300 Smiles Stadium||10:50||Live|
|Sat 16 Apr||Titans vs. Dragons||Cbus Super Stadium||06:00||Live|
|Sat 16 Apr||Bulldogs vs. Warriors||Westpac Stadium||08:30||Live|
|Sat 16 Apr||Broncos vs. Knights||Suncorp Stadium||10:30||Live|
|Sun 17 Apr||Raiders vs. Sharks||GIO Stadium||05:00||Live|
|Sun 17 Apr||Tigers vs. Storm||Leichhardt Oval||07:00||Live|
|Mon 18 Apr||Roosters vs. Panthers||Allianz Stadium||10:00||Live|
|Telstra Premiership Round 8|
|Fri 22 Apr||Broncos vs. Rabbitohs||Suncorp Stadium||10:50||Live|
|Sat 23 Apr||Bulldogs vs. Titans||ANZ Stadium||06:00||Live|
|Sat 23 Apr||Raiders vs.Tigers||GIO Stadium||08:30||Live|
|Sat 23 Apr||Cowboys vs. Eels||1300 Smiles Stadium||10:30||Live|
|Sun 24 Apr||Sharks vs. Panthers||Shark Park||07:00||Live|
|Mon 25 Apr||Knights vs. Sea Eagles||Hunter Stadium||05:00||Live|
|Mon 25 Apr||Dragons vs. Roosters||Allianz Stadium||07:00||Live|
|Mon 25 Apr||Storm vs. Warriors||AAMI Park||10:00||Live|
|Telstra Premiership Round 9|
|Thu 28 Apr||Rabbitohs vs. Tigers||ANZ Stadium||10:50||Live|
|Fri 29 Apr||Eels vs. Bulldogs||ANZ Stadium||10:50||Live|
|Sat 30 Apr||Panthers vs. Raiders||Carrington Park||06:00||Live|
|Sat 30 Apr||Roosters vs. Knights||Allianz Stadium||08:30||Live|
|Sat 30 Apr||Sea Eagles vs. Cowboys||Brookvale Oval||10:30||Live|
|Sun 01 May||Warriors vs. Dragons||Mt Smart Stadium||03:00||Live|
|Sun 01 May||Titans vs. Storm||Cbus Super Stadium||05:00||Live|
|Sun 01 May||Sharks vs. Broncos||Shark Park||07:00||Live|
|Telstra Premiership Round 10|
|Thu 12 May||Dragons vs. Raiders||Jubilee Oval||10:50||Live|
|Fri 13 May||Eels vs. Rabbitohs||Pirtek Stadium||10:50||Live|
|Sat 14 May||Panthers vs. Warriors||AMI Stadium||06:00||Live|
|Sat 14 May||Storm vs. Cowboys||Suncorp Stadium||08:30||Live|
|Sat 14 May||Sea Eagles vs. Broncos||Suncorp Stadium||10:30||Live|
|Sun 15 May||Knights vs. Sharks||Hunter Stadium||05:00||Live|
|Sun 15 May||Tigers vs. Bulldogs||ANZ Stadium||07:00||Live|
|Mon 16 May||Titans vs. Roosters||Cbus Super Stadium||10:00||Live|
|Telstra Premiership Round 11|
|Thu 19 May||Rabbitohs vs. Dragons||ANZ Stadium||10:50||Live|
|Fri 20 May||Cowboys vs. Broncos||1300 Smiles Stadium||10:50||Live|
|Sat 21 May||Tigers vs. Knights||Campbelltown||06:00||Live|
|Sat 21 May||Warriors vs. Raiders||Yarrow Stadium||08:30||Live|
|Sat 21 May||Sharks vs. Sea Eagles||Shark Park||10:30||Live|
|Sun 22 May||Panthers vs. Titans||Pepper Stadium||05:00||Live|
|Sun 22 May||Bulldogs vs. Roosters||ANZ Stadium||07:00||Live|
|Mon 23 May||Eels vs. Storm||Pirtek Stadium||10:00||Live|
|Telstra Premiership Round 12|
|Fri 27 May||Broncos vs. Tigers||Suncorp Stadium||10:50||Live|
|Sat 28 May||Dragons vs. Cowboys||WIN Stadium||11:30||Live|
|Sun 29 May||Raiders vs. Bulldogs||GIO Stadium||07:00||Live|
|Mon 30 May||Knights vs. Eels||Hunter Stadium||10:00||Live|
|Telstra Premiership Round 13|
|Fri 03 Jun||Raiders vs. Sea Eagles||GIO Stadium||10:50||Live|
|Sat 04 Jun||Warriors vs. Broncos||Mt Smart Stadium||06:00||Live|
|Sat 04 Jun||Cowboys vs. Knights||1300 Smiles Stadium||08:30||Live|
|Sat 04 Jun||Storm vs. Panthers||AAMI Park||10:30||Live|
|Sun 05 Jun||Roosters vs. Tigers||Allianz Stadium||07:00||Live|
|Sun 05 Jun||Rabbitohs vs. Titans||nib Stadium||09:30||Live|
|Sun 05 Jun||Bulldogs vs. Sharks||ANZ Stadium||10:00||Live|
|Telstra Premiership Round 14|
|Thu 09 Jun||Broncos vs. Raiders||Suncorp Stadium||10:50||Live|
|Fri 10 Jun||Tigers vs. Rabbitohs||ANZ Stadium||10:50||Live|
|Sat 11 Jun||Knights vs Warriors||Hunter Stadium||06:00||Live|
|Sat 11 Jun||Eels vs. Titans||TIO Stadium||08:30||Live|
|Sat 11 Jun||Roosters vs. Storm||Allianz Stadium||10:30||Live|
|Sun 12 Jun||Sea Eagles vs. Panthers||Brookvale Oval||07:00||Live|
|Mon 13 Jun||Dragons vs. Bulldogs||ANZ Stadium||07:00||Live|
|Mon 13 Jun||Sharks vs. Cowboys||Shark Park||10:00||Live|
|Telstra Premiership Round 15|
|Fri 17 Jun||Rabbitohs vs. Eels||ANZ Stadium||10:50||Live|
|Sat 18 Jun||Dragons vs. Storm||WIN Stadium||10:30||Live|
|Sun 19 Jun||Warriors vs. Roosters||Mt Smart Stadium||07:00||Live|
|Mon 20 Jun||Titans vs. Sea Eagles||Cbus Super Stadium||10:00||Live|
|Telstra Premiership Round 16|
|Fri 24 Jun||Panthers vs. Rabbitohs||Pepper Stadium||10:50||Live|
|Sat 25 Jun||Knights vs. Dragons||Hunter Stadium||06:00||Live|
|Sat 25 Jun||Sharks vs. Warriors||Shark Park||08:30||Live|
|Sat 25 Jun||Bulldogs vs. Broncos||ANZ Stadium||10:30||Live|
|Sun 26 Jun||Titans vs. Raiders||Cbus Super Stadium||05:00||Live|
|Sun 26 Jun||Storm vs. Tigers||AAMI Park||07:00||Live|
|Mon 27 Jun||Cowboys vs. Sea Eagles||1300 Smiles Stadium||10:00||Live|
|Telstra Premiership Round 17|
|Thu 30 Jun||Roosters vs. Bulldogs||Allianz Stadium||10:50||Live|
|Fri 01 Jul||Broncos vs. Storm||Suncorp Stadium||10:50||Live|
|Sat 02 Jul||Warriors vs. Titans||Mt Smart Stadium||06:00||Live|
|Sat 02 Jul||Tigers vs. Panthers||ANZ Stadium||08:30||Live|
|Sat 02 Jul||Sharks vs. Eels||Shark Park||10:30||Live|
|Sun 03 Jul||Raiders vs. Knights||GIO Stadium||05:00||Live|
|Sun 03 Jul||Rabbitohs vs. Cowboys||Barlow Park||07:00||Live|
|Mon 04 Jul||Sea Eagles vs. Dragons||Brookvale Oval||10:00||Live|
|Telstra Premiership Round 18|
|Fri 08 Jul||Eels vs. Roosters||Pirtek Stadium||10:50||Live|
|Sat 09 Jul||Bulldogs vs. Tigers||ANZ Stadium||10:30||Live|
|Sun 10 Jul||Panthers vs.Sharks||Pepper Stadium||07:00||Live|
|Mon 11 Jul||Raiders vs. Cowboys||GIO Stadium||10:00||Live|
|Telstra Premiership Round 19|
|Fri 15 Jul||Dragons vs. Titans||Jubilee Oval||10:50||Live|
|Sat 16 Jul||Sea Eagles vs. Warriors||nib Stadium||08:30||Live|
|Sat 16 Jul||Rabbitohs vs. Broncos||ANZ Stadium||10:30||Live|
|Sun 17 Jul||Knights vs. Storm||Hunter Stadium||05:00||Live|
|Sun 17 Jul||Panthers vs. Eels||Pepper Stadium||07:00||Live|
|Mon 18 Jul||Roosters vs.Sharks||Allianz Stadium||10:00||Live|
|Telstra Premiership Round 20|
|Thu 21 Jul||Cowboys vs. Bulldogs||1300 Smiles Stadium||10:50||Live|
|Fri 22 Jul||Broncos vs. Panthers||Suncorp Stadium||10:50||Live|
|Sat 23 Jul||Raiders vs. Warriors||GIO Stadium||06:00||Live|
|Sat 23 Jul||Titans vs. Eels||Cbus Super Stadium||08:30||Live|
|Sat 23 Jul||Storm vs. Roosters||AAMI Park||10:30||Live|
|Sun 24 Jul||Sharks vs. Knights||Shark Park||05:00||Live|
|Sun 24 Jul||Dragons vs. Tigers||ANZ Stadium||07:00||Live|
|Mon 25 Jul||Rabbitohs vs. Sea Eagles||Allianz Stadium||10:00||Live|
Join Sam and George Burgess (Rabbitohs), Luke Burgess (Sea Eagles), Joe Burgess (Roosters ), James Graham ( Bulldogs), Gareth Widdop, Mike Cooper (St. George) and Josh Hodgson (Raiders) down under for a feast of Rugby League from the greatest stage in the world.
- Every game from every round live and HD* (206 matches) exclusive to Premier Sports in the UK. *Sky Customers can access HD Premier Sports.
- Every game from the play-offs.
- Grand Final live and exclusive.
- State or Origin series (Queensland v New South Wales) best of 3 live and exclusive.
- The award winning NRL Footy Show every Thursday evening duing the season.
- Monday Night with Matty John and Sterlo on the Couch weekly shows added for 2016.
- NRL Auckland Nines live with 18 hours of coverage over 2 days.
- Anzac Test Match between Australia and New Zealand.
- NRL Full-time, the round up program will air every Tuesday evening.
- Rugby League Back Chat every 2 weeks hosted by Dave Woods.
- Inside Broncos documentaries following one of the biggest teams in the NRL.
Also don't forget SKY platform customers have the option to create a free account on our online Premier Player to catch up on any missed action or watch live away from the Sky box.
The NRL Footy Show airs every Thursday evening on Premier Sports during the NRL season
PREMIER SPORTS ANNOUNCES COVERAGE OF
THE NRL FOOTY SHOW
MULTI-AWARD WINNING WEEKLY SHOW WILL COMPLIMENT EXCLUSIVE COVERAGE OF THE NRL AND STATE OF ORIGIN IN 2015.
Premier Sports, operating exclusively on SKY channel 428 and Virgin 551 in the UK have today announced they are to begin airing the 8 time Logie award winning NRL Footy Show during 2014.
The renowned sports variety show has been running since 1994 and is produced by the Nine Network in Australia each week during the season. UK subscribers to Premier Sports will be able to enjoy a mix of panel humour, news and features that focus on the best Rugby League competition in the world each Thursday evening ahead of coverage of every game from every round of the NRL. The programme is presented by ex-league stars Paul Vautin and Darryl Brohman who are joined by former test cricketer Michael Slater in front of a live studio audience.
Richard Sweeney, General Manager of Premier Sports commented, “It is great that the Footy Show will once again be available to viewers in the UK. Since we began covering the NRL in 2010 it has been one of the most requested additions asked for fans of the greatest game. We are delighted to be able to complement and enhance further our exclusive wall to wall coverage of all 213 NRL and State of Origin games in 2014 with this superbly produced show.
Glenn Pallister, Executive Producer of the NRL Footy Show commented, “We are thrilled that our show will once again be broadcast in the UK. We know it has a great following, and we hope we gain a whole new legion of Footy Show fans…who knows – if someone will have us, we may even have to come over and do a show in the UK!”
Endemol Worldwide Distribution are the international distributors of the NRL Footy Show.
Premier Sports is available via SKY, Virgin and online via the Premier Player. Please visit www.premiersports.tv for more information
NRL MEDIA RELEASE
Friday, 27 November 2015
2016 NRL TELSTRA PREMIERSHIP SCHEDULE
The NRL has today released the 2016 NRL Telstra Premiership Schedule, which is designed primarily to benefit supporters.
In a first for the game, every match in every round will be broadcast live.
Following the landmark broadcast rights deal, which was announced this afternoon, the 2016 NRL Telstra Premiership season will see matches scheduled on Thursday nights in 18 of the 26 rounds.
But importantly, there will be no increase in the amount of five-day turnarounds.
And NRL Head of Football Todd Greenberg announced today that early-season blockbusters had been deliberately scheduled in family-friendly timeslots.
They include Sam Burgess’s return for South Sydney against traditional rivals Sydney Roosters in Round 1 on Sunday afternoon, as well as premiers North Queensland’s season-opener, which will be played on Saturday, March 4 against fellow finalists Cronulla.
Other highlights of the 2016 schedule include:
- Kieran Foran’s Parramatta Eels opening the season on Thursday, March 3, against grand finalists Brisbane Broncos at Pirtek Stadium, followed up with another home match against the Cowboys in Round 2.
- The Grand Final rematch between North Queensland and Brisbane on Good Friday at Suncorp Stadium.
- An ANZAC Round which will include traditional blockbusters St George Illawarra v Sydney Roosters and Melbourne v Warriors on ANZAC Day.
- A Saturday night double header at Suncorp Stadium in Round 10, featuring Storm v Cowboys and Sea Eagles v Broncos.
Mr Greenberg also stressed that player welfare was a strong consideration through negotiations with broadcasters Channel Nine and Fox Sports.
“We wanted to ensure both fans and players benefited from the schedule,” Mr Greenberg said. “Importantly, we worked hard to ensure there was no increase in five-day turnarounds following feedback from the players.
“We will also see some huge blockbusters over the opening rounds of the Premiership at family-friendly times.
“We targeted Sunday afternoons in Sydney to ensure more people were able to see some of our biggest clashes over the opening few months of the competition.
“We worked with the broadcasters and Cowboys to ensure the club got its wish of a Saturday night game in Round One rather than a traditional Thursday night for the Premiers – to ensure their fans who travel long distances are rewarded and given the opportunity to see their team open up their premiership defence.
“And Good Friday will see the traditional South Sydney-Bulldogs match as well as the grand final rematch between Brisbane and North Queensland.
“We will also be taking the game across the full breadth of Australia and New Zealand – we will see matches in Darwin, Perth, Bathurst, Cairns, Gosford as well as Christchurch, Wellington and for the first time New Plymouth.
THE NOT TO BE MISSED NRL GAMES IN 2016!
10. Sharks v Dragons – Round 2, Shark Park, Sunday March 13
There's nothing like a local derby and fans won't have to wait long for a resumption in the battle of Sydney's southern beaches. The Red V head to the Shire in Round 2 knowing home ground counts for plenty when these two meet (each thrashed the other in their respective home games last season). Meanwhile Dragons junior Jack Bird – snatched by Cronulla in a major coup last year – is reportedly in Paul McGregor's sights for a return to the 'Gong in the near future, adding plenty of extra spice to an already tantalising match-up.
9. Knights v Sea Eagles – Round 8, Hunter Stadium, Monday April 25
This 2pm game will be the first in a triple treat of Anzac Day football, but all eyes will be on the first head-to-head meeting between one time master and apprentice Nathan Brown and Trent Barrett. Brown is back as a head coach in the NRL at Newcastle after an impressive stint over in the Super League – that following a less successful one as Dragons mentor when he was in charge of some former teammates. They included Barrett, and Brown's now-infamous slap to Barrett's face in an attempted fire-up gone wrong may be water under the bridge to the two men but will be cause for plenty of interest among fans and media. Barrett will be desperate to get one over his former coach and teammate in what will be just his eighth game as a first grade coach. Meanwhile Trent Hodkinson, who made his name on the northern beaches, will be just getting into his stride in red and blue and hoping to stake a claim for the imminent Origin campaign.
8. Roosters v Warriors – Round 5, Allianz Stadium, Sunday April 3
Roosters prodigal son Roger Tuivasa-Sheck returns with a new-look Warriors outfit. The 2015 Dally M fullback of the year is the one that got away for Trent Robinson's men, upsetting their succession planning strategy in order to return to his native New Zealand on a deal the Tricolours just couldn't match. He'll be up against a host of very close mates in this homecoming, while he and fellow high-profile recruit Issac Luke will be expected to be the final keys in the puzzle to turning the Warriors from a hot-and-cold danger side to genuine contenders. It's the major – but not the only – subplot in what will be the very first 2pm kick-off of the year with early rounds featuring a host of late afternoon and evening games.
7. Raiders v Wests Tigers – Round 8, GIO Stadium, Saturday April 23
The Raiders were an absolute blessing to the neutral NRL fan in 2015, featuring in a huge number of thrilling finishes and memorable matches. While their heartrate-elevating finishes to games (there were agonising late losses as well as miraculous wins) won't have boosted the life expectancies of their diehard fans, they certainly provided top shelf entertainment throughout the year.
Arguably none of their efforts was more outrageous than that sunny Sunday afternoon at Leichhardt in Round 7 when they let the Tigers explode to a 22-0 lead before five unanswered tries saw them run out 30-22 winners. The return bout was memorable for different reasons as the Tigers took a win from Canberra's home ground in a spiteful game best remembered for Dave Shillington being sent off for an attempted head-butt on Aaron Woods.
The Tigers have recruited former Canberra NYC premiership winner Michael Chee Kam as well as 2015 Raiders forwards Joel Edwards while one of Canberra's best last year was Tigers discard Blake Austin, who will be looking to continue to pile the misery on his former club. Add in the subplot of James Tedesco's contractual about-face in 2014 and there is no shortage of reasons to mark this one down in the calendar.
6. Panthers v Sea Eagles – Round 26, Pepper Stadium, date TBA
Not a regular entrant on our 'most anticipated clashes' lists, this meeting between two clubs at opposite ends of Sydney's geography got a whole lot more interesting in 2016 with the arrival on Sydney's northern beaches of former Penrith assistant Trent Barrett as Manly head coach. He's brought with him Penrith and New Zealand star Lewis Brown and premiership-winning hooker Api Koroisau, as well as reserve playmaker Isaac John.
Although the sides will face off at Brookvale in Round 14, Barrett's return to Penrith will be closely watched by Panthers fans, as will the efforts of several former Panthers in his ranks, as the youthful squad of mountain men hope their club has made the right decisions around recruitment and retention in their playing and coaching ranks.
5. Storm v Warriors – Round 8, AAMI Park, Monday April 25 (Anzac Day)
Last year's epic five-game Anzac Day rugby league marathon had just about everything – except for this now-obligatory clash between the Warriors and the Storm. This year's draw is richer for the return of this always memorable clash that pits a Storm side studded with Kiwi stars up against a host of their Test teammates from the Auckland-based club on a day that marks a significant day in the calendars of both countries and reminds of the sacrifices made by soldiers from both sides of the Tasman. They split the spoils one apiece last year but the Warriors will be hoping the addition of New Zealand Test stars Roger Tuivasa-Sheck and Issac Luke will boost their win rate in 2016.
4. Rabbitohs v Bulldogs – Round 4, ANZ Stadium, Friday March 25 (Good Friday)
The past two seasons have seen these two clubs who share the same home ground forge an intense rivalry. From Souths rampaging home over the top of the Dogs in the 2014 Grand Final to the ongoing all-English rivalry between Dogs skipper James Graham and the Bunnies' Burgess cohort to the at-times spiteful but nevertheless enthralling Good Friday clash last year, you just know there is going to be plenty of feeling in this one. It's no accident these sides are meeting again in a Good Friday extravaganza in a match no fan should miss.
3. Sea Eagles v Eels – Round 7, Brookvale Oval, Thursday April 14.
Otherwise known as "Kieran Foran's return to Brookvale".
The sheer volume of foot traffic between Sydney's northern beaches and western suburbs adds plenty of spice to what is already a long-standing rivalry. With former Manly assistant Brad Arthur at the helm, Parramatta last year lured out long-serving Manly junior Anthony Watmough. He joined Manly 2011 premiership winner David Gower and they are this year joined by arguably the biggest recruit of the lot, star five-eighth and Sea Eagles junior Kieran Foran – as well as hot property Clint Gutherson and forward James Hasson. Manly meanwhile are skippered by former Eels prodigy Jamie Lyon and feature Sea Eagle-turned Eel-turned Sea Eagle Darcy Lussick.
With Manly's strong finish to 2015 after a horror start eventually coming unstuck at the hands of an Eels side who had already trounced them in Round 1, an argument could be made the Eels cost Geoff Toovey's men a spot in the 2015 finals. With new coach Trent Barrett and a host of new recruits, this maroon and white squad is bursting at the seams with possibilities. In fact, along with the Warriors it could be argued no other team has recruited as well as Manly and Parra and what better way to strut their stuff than against traditional cross-town rivals.
2. Roosters v Rabbitohs – Round 1, Allianz Stadium, Sunday March 6
The oldest rivalry in the NRL is also one of the fiercest and it will be on again as soon as Round 1 2016. Headlines will be dominated by the return of prodigal son Sam Burgess to the cardinal and myrtle and while his first outing will be of enormous interest to not only Rabbitohs fans but league fans across the country, there is plenty more at stake here.
These two foundation clubs have shared some epic battles both across the past century-and-a-bit as well as in recent years. Both will be unhappy with how their 2015 seasons ended; 2014 premiers the Rabbitohs were bundled out in awful fashion by the Sharks in the opening week of the finals after a disappointing close to the season while 2013 premiers the Roosters claimed a third straight minor premiership before a shock opening week finals loss to the Storm set them on the back foot for a preliminary final loss to the Broncos.
This Sunday afternoon blockbuster will be arguably the most hotly-anticipated of all the mouth-watering Round 1 fixtures.
1. Broncos v Cowboys – Round 4, Suncorp Stadium, Friday March 25 (Good Friday)
There are few clashes in any season that carry more fervour than the Grand Final 'rematch'. For all the inevitable talk of revenge, an early-season win over your grand final tormenters carries only the most hollow satisfaction. But for the resurgent Broncos this first clash will be a chance to reassert some dominance over their upstart little brothers from up north. For four-time Dally M Medallist Johnathan Thurston and his triumphant Cowboys, it will be a chance to add more bragging rights over a Broncos side they believe they have the measure of and claim a big scalp early in the title defence.
Few will have forgotten just how entertaining the meetings between these two proud Queensland clubs were last year. A Round 3 trouncing at the hands of Brisbane had local media blasting the sorry 0-3 Cowboys. They then found their mojo and squared the ledger in Round 10 with a 31-20 win. The two clubs fought out the most entertaining and memorable clash of the finals at Suncorp in a 16-12 win by Brisbane before matching that and so much more in one of the most pulsating and memorable Grand Finals of all time, famously stolen late by a Kyle Feldt equaliser on the final siren and a Thurston golden point field goal.
Whatever happens, there will be plenty of extra feeling in a meeting that is never short on passion and one that will have not only fans of both clubs but every neutral licking their lips in anticipation.