2021 NRL Draw revealed – regional stadiums return
The NRL season draw for 2021 has been revealed, with games to be played at 27 stadiums around Australia and New Zealand, including several regional stadiums which will see the return of NRL action.
As announced earlier this week, the season will commence on March 11, with the reigning premiers Melbourne Storm hosting the South Sydney Rabbitohs at AAMI Park – the first game back in Melbourne since June 5, which was played in front of no crowd.
The NZ Warriors were scheduled to open the season at home and play in front of their fans for the first time since 2019, however the club has since announced it'll be based in Australia for at least the first four rounds, meaning their opening two home games have been relocated to Central Coast Stadium.
After a restructured 2020 season due to Covid-19 where games were restricted to certain venues and limited or no crowds, 2021 will see a number of regional stadiums return to the fold, while traditional themed rounds will also make a return.
A record 14 games will be played at 10 non-traditional stadiums around the country, to take the game to the people. Six country NSW towns plus Gosford, Sunshine Coast, Darwin and Perth will host matches.
After hosting the majority of Melbourne Storm’s home games in 2020, Sunshine Coast Stadium features twice, with home games for the Sharks and Rabbitohs. Mudgee’s Glen Willow Stadium hosts Manly v Titans, while the Wests Tigers will return to Scully Park in Tamworth. The Eels will return to Darwin’s TIO Stadium after missing out last season, and Perth’s HBF Park will see two games: Bulldogs v Storm and Roosters v Raiders.
The traditional Easter clashes are back with the Bulldogs v Rabbitohs on Good Friday at ANZ Stadium and the Eels v Wests Tigers at Bankwest on Easter Monday. Anzac Round falls in round seven with a triple-header of games starting with Wests Tigers v Manly at Bankwest Stadium, followed by games at the SCG and AAMI Park.
After missing out last season on hosting an Anzac Round match due to the two-month shutdown, Townsville gets to host an Anzac fixture with the Raiders to visit Queensland Country Bank Stadium on Saturday, April 24.
Magic Round returns in 2021, with all eight games in round 10 across three days at Brisbane’s Suncorp Stadium – with one Queensland team to headline each day’s action.
The 2021 NRL Grand Final is expected to be played on Sunday October 3 at ANZ Stadium, while State of Origin will return to a mid-season series next year, with games on June 9, June 27 and July 14. Venues are yet to be announced, but the MCG is in the mix for game one.
The full NRL draw can now be viewed on Austadiums – you can view the full round-by-round fixture here or visit a stadium events page to see fixtures integrated with other sports, or our new city pages to view games by location.