The St George Illawarra Dragons have today announced their fixtures for the upcoming 2018 NRL Telstra Premiership season.
The Dragons will open the NRL season on Thursday, March 8 – in what will be the first of Jubilee Oval's five home games – when star recruit Ben Hunt faces his old Brisbane Broncos team in a blockbuster affair.
Kogarah will also see the returns of the South Sydney Rabbitohs (Round 5 – Friday, April 6) and Wests Tigers (Round 18 – Sunday, July 15) for the first time since 2012. The Bulldogs will also end a five-season Jubilee Oval hiatus in Round 24 (Sunday, August 26).
WIN Stadium will get its first taste of its five home games scheduled for 2018 in Round 4 on Easter Sunday against Newcastle, in what will be the Knights' first game in Wollongong in seven years.
The Cronulla Sharks will quickly follow at WIN Stadium in Round 6 (Friday, April 13), before home games against long-time rivals Manly Sea Eagles and Parramatta Eels in Rounds 15 and 16 respectively.
"On the back of the Dragons' recent announcement to play additional home games at our traditional venues in 2018, it is exciting to see that the NRL draw has delivered so many highly anticipated games for next season," Dragons Chairman Brian Johnston said.
"The development of the NRL draw is a complex process, as is the allocation of home venues, when you take into account such variables as venue availability, sequencing of games, visiting teams and scheduling.
"We have worked hard to deliver a quality balanced schedule for all members, partners and fans, providing match ups against a mix of quality Sydney-based and interstate teams across our traditional venues.
"Add our traditional Anzac Day game against the Roosters – the biggest club game on the NRL calendar each year – and our commitment to bring an NRL game to Mudgee this season, and we are genuinely excited at what next year will bring."
The Dragons' recent commitment to the New South Wales town of Mudgee will see the club take their Round 11 (Sunday, May 20) clash against the Canberra Raiders to Glen Willow Regional Sports Complex.
As well as February's Charity Shield against the Rabbitohs, ticketing details for Round 11 are still to be finalised and will be communicated to all supporters as soon as possible.
All members will be provided with an exclusive pre-purchase window and receive discounts on tickets to the Mudgee games.
A specific Dragons Faithful Mudgee package will also be made available within the Red V Membership program, which today passed through 6000 members already signed up for the 2018 season.
The Dragons' traditional Anzac Day clash against the Sydney Roosters at Allianz Stadium will round out the club's complement of 12 home games for 2018.
Platinum, Full Season, Kogarah Upgrade and Wollongong Upgrade Members will have access to the biggest game of the NRL's regular season included in their package.
Kogarah and Wollongong Pass holders can upgrade to include Anzac Day in their membership for as little as $20.
The Dragons' only bye round will come in Round 13 ahead of Origin I, while there will be a standalone weekend for State of Origin II (Sunday, June 24). This will halt the NRL for a week and sees the competition reduce to 25 rounds as a result.
The Dragons 2018 home draw is as followed:
UOW Jubilee Oval, Kogarah
· Round 1 v Brisbane Broncos: Thursday, March 8 at 8pm
· Round 5 v South Sydney Rabbitohs: Friday, April 6 at 8pm
· Round 9 v Melbourne Storm: Sunday, May 6 at 2pm
· Round 18 v Wests Tigers: Sunday, July 15 at 4pm
· Round 24 v Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs, August 26 at 4pm
WIN Stadium, Wollongong
· Round 4 v Newcastle Knights: Sunday, April 1 at 4pm
· Round 6 v Cronulla Sharks: Friday, April 13 at 8pm
· Round 15 v Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles: Saturday, June 16 at 5:30pm
· Round 16 v Parramatta Eels: Thursday, June 28 at 8pm
· Round 21 v New Zealand Warriors: Saturday, August 4 at 3pm
Glen Willow Regional Sports Complex, Mudgee
· Round 11 v Canberra Raiders: Sunday, May 20 at 2pm
· Round 8 v Sydney Roosters: Wednesday, April 25 at 4pm
With seven of the Dragons' first eleven games in 2018 scheduled to be played at home, there's no better time to become a Red V Member.
In 2018, 75 per cent of our ticketed family membership packages are priced to include two children free.
That means for the price of two adults, you can bring the whole family, ranging from the three-game flexi memberships or for the whole season in its entire.
Belong, connect, commit and become a Red V Member today.