The four teams involved in Las Vegas will square off against each other over the opening three rounds of the season to provide consistency and balance to the draw.
The Rabbitohs will play against the Broncos at Suncorp Stadium in round two before taking on arch rivals the Sydney Roosters at Allianz Stadium in round three. The Sea Eagles will play the Roosters in round two and the Broncos in round three.
The Panthers, meanwhile, are open to missing the pre-season challenge – and forgoing a potential $100,000 in prizemoney – if it makes it easier to travel to England for the World Club Challenge.
The NRL is expected to announce their pre-season challenge draw as early as Friday, but Penrith officials confirmed they were unsure how their early season schedule would look.
Should they play against Wigan on February 24, they are happy to be excluded from the second edition of the pre-season tournament.
“If the World Club Challenge comes to fruition, we’re happy not to play a trial,” Panthers CEO Matt Cameron said.
- February 11: Rabbitohs v Sea Eagles on Central Coast
- February 16: Indigenous All Stars v Maori All Stars
Pre-season week one (February 15-18)
- Dogs v Storm at Belmore
- Sharks v Knights at Central Coast Stadium
- Manly v Roosters at Central Coast Stadium
- Warriors v Tigers at TBC
- Broncos v Cowboys at Mackay
- Dragons v Rabbitohs at Kogarah
- Eels v Raiders at Kogarah
- Dolphins v Titans at Sunshine Coast
Pre-season week two (February February 22-25)
- Sharks v Bulldogs at Cronulla
- Roosters v Rabbitohs at Cronulla
- Dragons v Tigers in Mudgee
- Manly v Broncos in Manly
- Titans v Eels in Ipswich
- Storm v Knights in Fiji
- Raiders v Cowboys in Queanbeyan
“We’re working with Wigan, NRL and Super League are in dialogue at the moment about the game, and we’re working on the premise we’ll be heading there.
“Our players who do not travel over will need a gamer but whether that’s an actual trial I’m not sure.”
Las Vegas-bound South Sydney and Manly will play a Sunday afternoon trial on February 11 on the Central Coast, six days before the Bunnies and St George Illawarra meet in the Charity Shield at Kogarah.
Parramatta and Canberra will play in the Charity Shield curtain-raiser. Canterbury host Melbourne on a Thursday night at Belmore in week one of the pre-season challenge. Clubs have been informed the Indigenous All Stars and Maori All Stars fixture will be held on February 16, a Friday night.
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