The National Rugby League (NRL) today released the 2022 Telstra Premiership schedule which highlights the return of clubs to their home towns, regional locations and celebrates the game’s fiercest rivalries.
Reigning Premiers, the Penrith Panthers will kick-off the 2022 season against the Manly Warringah Sea Eagles in a Thursday night blockbuster followed by Adam Reynolds debuting for the Brisbane Broncos against his former club and 2021 Grand Finalists the South Sydney Rabbitohs on Friday night.
The 2022 season will herald:
- The exciting potential homecoming match for the Warriors in Auckland against Premiers Penrith Panthers in Round 15 – the first match in New Zealand since 2019.
- The Melbourne Storm’s return to AAMI Park for the first time in 9 months for a Round 2 Blockbuster against the South Sydney Rabbitohs.
- The third Magic Round in Brisbane, delivered by KFC, featuring all matches at Suncorp Stadium, and with a Queensland-based team featured on each of the three days in Round 10.
- Back-to-back marquee rounds in Easter (Round 6) followed by ANZAC Round (Round 7), the latter featuring matches in Sydney, Brisbane, Townsville, Newcastle and Melbourne.
- An equal record number of regional fixtures, with matches to be played in Darwin, Dubbo, Wagga Wagga, Coffs Harbour, Bathurst, Mudgee, Tamworth, Sunshine Coast, Bundaberg and Mackay.
- The Craig Fitzgibbon-led Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks returning to PointsBet Stadium in Round Two against Parramatta Eels
- The all Queensland-derby, Brisbane Broncos against North Queensland Cowboys, shifting to daytime for the first time in 16 years, in Round Three.
- The Grand Final rematch – Penrith Panthers against South Sydney Rabbitohs – on Friday night in Round Four.
- The return of Indigenous Round, Harvey Norman Women In League Round, Beanies For Brain Cancer and the creation of a new Multicultural Round
A bumper Rugby League calendar will kick off officially with the Harvey Norman Rugby League All Stars fixtures on Saturday, February 12.
The 2022 Ampol State of Origin dates have also been confirmed:
- Game One in Sydney on June 8
- Game Two in Perth on June 26
- Game Three in Brisbane on July 13.
- Women’s State of Origin will be played on Friday 24 June.
NRL Chief Executive Andrew Abdo said the schedule celebrated the return of clubs to their heartlands.
“The 2022 schedule celebrates the tribalism of our biggest rivalries back in their home towns,’’ he said.
“It is wonderful to be scheduling matches in NSW, ACT and Victoria again after the relocation in 2021 and we’re confident we will see the homecoming of the Warriors to New Zealand.
“Fans will be back at games right across the country and this schedule takes the Telstra Premiership to 20 cities and towns to maximise the opportunity for rugby league fans to watch their heroes live in person.”
Mr Abdo thanked the NRL’s broadcast partners Channel Nine, Fox Sports, Sky Sports New Zealand and Telstra for their ongoing partnership and support in growing the game. He also thanked the Clubs and the RLPA for their involvement and support in the draw process.
“Keeping the competition going in 2021 was a team effort. Our partners have supported us throughout. In 2022 we have a great deal to look forward to but as always we will be ready to adapt and adjust our plans should the need arise,” Mr Abdo said.
The NRL Telstra Premiership Finals series will begin on September 9 and culminate with the Grand Final on Sunday, October 2, 2022.
The full NRL Telstra Premiership 2022 schedule can be found at https://www.nrl.com/draw/