Clash with Swans could force Roosters to move games to Gosford
THE Sydney Roosters could be forced to take some of their 2019 home games to Gosford due to potential clashes with the AFL after the NRL’s draw was released on Thursday.
The Roosters have five home games allocated to the SCG – including four in the first eight rounds – but another five are scheduled as TBA as the league waits on the AFL schedule given the Sydney Swans have priority over their traditional home ground.
It comes on the same day Parramatta secured an agreement with the new $300-million Western Sydney Stadium, with the Eels set to open the ground against the Wests Tigers on Easter Monday.
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Round 1 fixtures released0:00
NRL: The round 1 fixtures of the NRL have been published by The Daily Telegraph.
If the Roosters are unable to play any games at the SCG, it’s anticipated the defending premiers will move games to the Central Coast where they are already locked in to play one game against North Queensland in round 17.
The NRL has been working with the AFL on the matter.
“The complexity of the fact that the SCG is host to the Swans as well, the AFL draw hasn’t been finalised,” NRL chief commercial operator Andrew Abdo said.
“We expect those games to be played at the SCG, but if there is a clash on an event we can’t control, there will be an opportunity for the Roosters to play the games elsewhere.”
The season will open in Melbourne for the first time since 2009 when they host Brisbane, while the Storm face the Sydney Roosters in a grand final rematch on Good Friday in round six.
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The NRL has slated in 17 Sydney derbies on Sunday afternoons, while there will be less 6pm games on Fridays in big stadiums in the city.
Magic round is also a new inclusion, with a full round to be played at Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane in May.
There is a slight increase on five-day turnarounds from last year, but they are more evenly spread out with no team receiving more than three in their draw.
“We have some blockbuster games in the early rounds of the premiership as well as the final rounds,” NRL chief executive Todd Greenberg said.
“Sundays in Sydney have been another focus for us.
“The new Western Sydney Stadium is a game changer and the opening match between the Eels and the Wests Tigers should be a wonderful occasion.”
Originally published as Clash with Swans could force Roosters to move games to Gosford
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