NRL fans treated to blockbuster double-headers in 2018

Postado Outubro 09, 2017

Across the space of a few hours on April 7, the Wests Tigers will take on Melbourne Storm at Mt Smart, before the Warriors face the North Queensland Cowboys later that evening.

Premiers Melbourne will open their title defence against Canterbury on March 10 with the bill also featuring a clash between Souths and the Warriors.

The NRL had already announced the first round of the 2018 premiership would include two matches at the new Perth Stadium, which could potentially be the first top-level games in any code to be staged at the soon-to-open 60,000-seat venue.

NRL CEO Todd Greenberg said the allocation of four double-headers was a direct effect of the NRL "having more control over the premiership schedule" at the expiration of an agreement requiring greater consultation with telecast networks.

As foreshadowed by Fairfax Media in August it will be the first back-to-back matches in Sydney since 2013 when semi-finals between Cronulla and the Cowboys and Manly and the Sydney Roosters were held on the one day at Allianz Stadium.

It will be the first time in the history of the NRL four double-headers have been a part of the schedule.

However, it means that the Warriors won't stage a home match outside Auckland in 2018, and the double header will be a separate ticket, not included in the 11 game season membership.

"We have had significant success with double headers at Suncorp Stadium in recent seasons and this is a natural progression". There are hopes for a crowd in the range of 45,000 for the NRL's venture to the new stadium in Perth.

Round 1: South Sydney v Warriors; Canterbury v Melbourne at Perth Stadium, March 10.

- Melbourne Storm v Gold Coast Titans and Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles v Brisbane Broncos at Suncorp Stadium in Round 10 on Saturday, May 12.

The event has taken months to put together, and the support of Auckland Council's events arm ATEED, as well as the Tigers (who agreed to bring one of their home games to Auckland) was vital.