21/04/2024

Penrith Panthers looking to win four premierships in a row. (Image: Penrith Panthers/website)

The NRL 2024 season promises an exciting and challenging journey for all teams, with a meticulously crafted schedule that presents unique challenges for each club.

The 2024 NRL season will first kick off on March 2 at Allegiant Stadium, Las Vegas, for the double-header between the Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles and South Sydney Rabbitohs and Sydney Roosters and Brisbane Broncos, in what will be a historic day for both the NRL and the sport of rugby league.Β 

Key Dates

All Stars Game: February 16, Queensland Country Bank Stadium, Townsville

The NRL Telstra Premiership consists of themed rounds, which include:

Multicultural Round (Round 3) March 21-24

Anzac Round (Round 8) April 25-28

Magic Round (Round 11) May 17-19

Indigenous Round (Round 12) May 23-26

Beanie for Brain Cancer (Round 15) June 13-16 

Women in League Round (Round 22) August 1-4

This season, no team will have more than three five-day turnarounds, with the number declining from 30 in 2023 to 26 in 2024. 

Origin 2024 Dates

Game One: Wednesday, June 5, Accor Stadium

Game Two: Wednesday, June 26, Melbourne Cricket Ground

Game Three: Wednesday, July 17, Suncorp Stadium

Under 19’s Origin: Thursday, June 20, Leichhardt Oval

Brisbane Broncos: Running it back

The Brisbane Broncos’ schedule for the 2024 season reveals a mix of strategic planning and demanding stretches. With two trips to Sydney within eight rounds, coupled with three consecutive road games, the Broncos have a similar draw to what they had last season. The runners-up have 14 games against the bottom half of the table and 14 games at Suncorp.

In their first 12 games, the Broncos will play seven games at Suncorp Stadium, and have home games in the last three rounds of the season, having byes in rounds 13, 16 and 24.

The Grand Final rematch in Round 3 after the Vegas trip adds intensity, while facing two Vegas trip teams, having to get accustomed back to the usual NRL schedule ways.

The longest road trip against the Titans and Broncos in Queensland ensures an easy journey being in familiar territory. The Broncos club plays the Cowboys, Dolphins, Eels, Panthers, Storm and Titans twiceΒ in 2024.

What is also worth noting is their turnaround between games:

5 Days: once

6 Days: four times

7 Days: eight times

8 Days: five times

9 Days: once

11 Days: once 

11+: 2 x 13-day turnarounds and a 15-day turnaround

Canterbury Bankstown Bulldogs: Road Warriors

The Bulldogs’ schedule highlights multiple two-round trips on the road, making them road warriors in the season.

Notable clashes with the Rabbitohs on Good Friday and Eels on the Queen’s Birthday will continue as normal in the NRL schedule.

Turnarounds between games present a mix, with an emphasis on six-day intervals. Byes in rounds 8, 15, and 19 offer respite, and the team must strategically navigate these breaks to maintain performance.

They will be playing the Cowboys, Dragons, Eels, Manly, Raiders, Roosters and Warriors twice throughout the season.

Turn around between games:

6 Days: nine times 

7 Days: six times

8 Days: four times

9 Days: once

10 Days: once

11+ Days: three times with their byes (one 12-day, 13 day & 15-day turnarounds)

North Queensland Cowboys: Quick Turnarounds

The Cowboys’ schedule showcases a Queensland-centric focus, having an extended stay in Queensland during Round 8-12 after taking three trips to Sydney in the first seven rounds. Quick turnarounds with 10 six-day intervals demand efficient recovery strategies.

The North Queensland Cowboys will face the Broncos, Bulldogs, Dolphins, Panthers, Raiders, Sharks, Tigers, and Titans twice, having recent close and back-and-forth contests with most of these clubs in recent years.

Turn around between games:

5 Days: one time

6 Days: 10 times

7 Days: three times

8 Days: three times

9 Days: three times

11+ Days: 16 days with a bye in round 16, one 15-day turnaround with a bye in round 19 and a 12-day turnaround with a bye in round 25.

Dolphins: Sophomore Season

This season for the Dolphins consists of facing a unique set of challenges in their sophomore season.

The latest club to join the league will have a homestay in Queensland in the first six weeks of the competition.

They will also replace the Broncos as the team that takes on the Eels in the yearly match in Darwin. Byes in Rounds 3, 14, and 18 provide intermittent breaks around the middle of the season and Origin period.

They also will face the Bulldogs in Bundaberg and take a trip to Perth to verse the Roosters in the back half of the season.

They will play the Broncos, Cowboys, Dragons, Knights, Storm, Tigers, Titans and Warriors twice and will have multiple road trips heading from Queensland to Sydney and back home.

Turnarounds between games:

5 Days: two times

6 Days: four times

7 Days: seven times

8 Days: two times

9 Days: three times

10 Days: two times

11 Days: one time with a bye (their bye in round 18)

11+ Days: twice with their byes (13 days including bye in round 3, 12 days including bye in round 14) 

St George Illawarra Dragons: Time for change

The Dragons’ are also another club with a lot of quick turnarounds.

With their schedule including byes in Rounds 11, 16, and 20, their breaks come at key junctures in the course of the season. The Anzac Day game against the Roosters is the only Anzac Day game continuing tradition.

Big winners of the draw, with 20 of their games played in NSW. Their turnaround between games is worth observing, with quick turnarounds occurring much more than extended periods.

If the Dragons continue their mediocre level of play, it could hurt them even more despite the changes they have desperately made.

Turnaround between games:

5 Days: one time

6 Days: eight times

7 Days: five times

8 Days: two times 

9 Days: three times

10 Days: one time

11+ Days: 15 days (including bye in round 20), 14 days (including bye in round 16), 12 days (including bye in round 11)

Parramatta Eels: Premiership or Bust

The Eels’ 2024 schedule brings significant changes from the previous season. Not facing a difficult and controversial start like 2023, they will have a mix of high-quality teams and the bottom half of the ladder teams.

However, for the second year in a row, Parramatta have been dealt the same hand again around the added byes, playing five teams after they have had a week off.

The club has six-day turnarounds for three consecutive weeks, demanding resilience out of a team that can become hot and cold so quickly while encountering 12 top 8 teams from the previous season intensifying their road to winning the premiership.

The only club facing more top 8 teams from last season combined is the South Sydney Rabbitohs, with a total of 13 times.

The Darwin game will instead be with the Dolphins instead of the Broncos, with the Easter Monday and Queen’s Birthday games against the Tigers and Bulldogs respectively.

They will play the Broncos, Bulldogs, Panthers, Rabbitohs, Roosters, Sea Eagles, Storm and Tigers twice this season while having byes in rounds 9, 16 and 20.

Turn around between games:

5 Days: three times

6 Days: six times

7 Days: four times

8 Days: two times

9 Days: three times

11 Days: once

11+ Days: 2 x 14 days (including byes in Round 9 and 16), 13 days (including bye in Round 20)

Newcastle Knights: Building on 2023

The Knights’ season consists of a solid schedule for the club. It begins with an elimination finals rematch against Canberra in Round 1, setting the tone for a challenging start.

Facing top 8 finalists from the previous season in their first three of four initial rounds adds an intensity that they need to get better and aim to compete for stronger finishes to the end of the season.

They will play a total of 11 games against the top 8 finalists of the 2023 season. They will play the Bulldogs, Dolphins, Panthers, Raiders, Storm, Tigers, Titans, and Warriors twice in the year.

The club will have byes in rounds 12, and 16, which will be pivotal for the Knights’ performance.

Turn around between games:

5 Days: one time

6 Days: four times

7 Days: nine times

8 Days: three times

9 Days: two times

10 Days: one time

11+ Days: 15 days (including bye in Round 21), 13 days x 2 (including bye in Round 12 and 16) 

Penrith Panthers: Champions Face Tough Tests

As reigning champions for three consecutive years, the Panthers face a challenging start with their schedule with notable rematches.

They include the World Club Challenge in the pre-season and having rematches of the preliminary final, Battle of the West with the Eels and Grand Final rematch against the Broncos in their first three weeks to start the season.

They face the top 8 finalists from the previous season a combined 10 times.

To make things easier, they have five games outside NSW and 14 games against the bottom half of the table sides.

With byes in Rounds 6, 16, and 19, it should help with their intense start to the season. The Panthers play Broncos, Cowboys, Dragons, Eels, Knights, Rabbitohs, Sea Eagles, and Storm twice in 2024.

With the five-day turnarounds, they will once again play the Rabbitohs and Eels as they did in the 2023 season and also play the Broncos in these short intervals.

Turn around between games:

5 Days: three times

6 Days: four times

7 Days: seven times

8 Days: three times

9 Days: three times

11+ Days: 16 days (including bye in Round 19), 14 days x 2 (including bye in Round 6 and 16)

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South Sydney Rabbitohs: The Fight Back To The Top

The Rabbitohs’ schedule kicks off with the trip to Vegas and once they come back, they will have early encounters with quality teams.

They have no home games until round 4 and will face the Broncos and Manly from the Vegas trip in the first three weeks. In the first six weeks, the Bunnies will play a team each week that made the finals last season.

They will join the Anzac Day games, playing the Melbourne Storm, as the Warriors head home to host a game of their own on the day, and the Good Friday clash with the Bulldogs continues.Β 

Strategic byes in Rounds 7, 13, and 17 provide necessary breaks, and the Rabbitohs must manage varying turnarounds effectively, especially during crucial clashes.

They will also play the Broncos, Eels, Panthers, Roosters, Sea Eagles, Sharks, Storm and the Tigers twice. In terms of travelling on the road, the Rabbitohs have less travelling compared to last season, which helps the Bunnies in their load management of their star players like Latrell Mitchell, who suffered injuries in crucial periods of the season.Β 

Concerning the turnaround between games, their first six-day turnaround happens between the Titans clash in Round 14 and 2nd meeting with the Broncos in Round 15 (June 8-14). Their first five-day turnaround happens between the Sharks (Round 22) and the Storm clash (Round 23) (August 3-8).

Turn around between games:

5 Days: once

6 Days: three times

7 Days: eight times

8 Days: four times

9 Days: three times

11 Days: one time

11+ Days: 14 days (including bye in Round 13), 2 x 12 days (their byes in Round 7 & 17)

Canberra Raiders: New Era

The Raiders’ schedule starts with an Elimination Final rematch against the Knights, setting a competitive tone.

Despite being a new-look team without Jack Wighton at the club anymore, they will have early encounters with top 8 teams and also have byes in Rounds 10, 14, and 19, which will help in the direction of the club depending on results.

Repeat matches against specific teams, such as Bulldogs, Cowboys, Knights, Roosters, Sea Eagles, Sharks, Tigers and Warriors, add a layer of complexity to the Raiders’ journey.

Turn around between games:

5 Days: once

6 Days: five times

7 Days: six times

8 Days: four times

9 Days: four times

11+ Days: 14 days (including bye in Round 10), 13 days (including bye in Round 14), 12 days (including bye in Round 19)

Sydney Roosters: Vegas Challenge and Familiar Foes

The Roosters’ schedule begins with a Vegas trip, featuring a two-week turnaround before facing Manly.

Intense clashes against the Rabbitohs in Round 3 and key rematches throughout the season against the Broncos, Bulldogs, Dragons, Eels, Rabbitohs, Raiders, Sea Eagles and the Storm have been games to circle, particularly with the results of these head-to-head match-ups during the season and the cold stars the Roosters continue to have.

The greatest rivalry in the game will play their first of two matchups in round 3, with the semi-final rematch against the Melbourne Storm taking place in round 7.

A total of 10 times Easts will play against the top 8 finalists from last season. They will also have byes in the middle and last third of the season, occurring in rounds 14, 19 and 23.

Turn around between games:

5 Days: twice

6 Days: four times

7 Days: seven times

8 Days: four times

9 Days: twice

11+ Days: 14 days x 2 (Vegas period and a bye in round 23), 13 days x 2 (including bye in Round 14 & 19)

Manly Sea Eagles: Different Look

The Sea Eagles’ Vegas trip against the Rabbitohs and a return home clash with the Roosters set the tone for a challenging season.

They will also face the Eels twice within five weeks. The new coach in charge Anthony Seibold will face the Titans with former Manly coach Des Hasler for the first time in round 7, building anticipation for both teams, with the experienced team taking on the team with young stars.

They will play the Broncos, Dragons, Eels, Rabbitohs, Raiders, Roosters, Titans, and Warriors twice in the year. Byes in Round 13, 17, and 22 offer crucial breaks, and the Sea Eagles must navigate a mix of turnaround times effectively to maintain competitiveness.

Turnaround between games:

6 Days: seven times

7 Days: eight times

8 Days: three times

9 Days: once

11+ Days: 16 days (including bye in Round 13), 14 days x 3 (Vegas and byes in Round 17 and 22)

Cronulla Sharks: Can they get over the late-game hump?

The Sharks’ schedule includes nine matches against the top 8 teams from the previous season. They only play the bottom 4 teams twice this season.

They have their byes in Rounds 5, 16, and 20. The Sharks have one of the easiest draws and should be in the finals once again based on recent history with the same situation for the club.

They will also play the Bulldogs, Cowboys, Dragons, Raiders, Rabbitohs, Titans, Tigers and Warriors twice in the year.

Turnaround between games

5 Days: twice

6 Days: three times

7 Days: nine times

8 Days: four times

9 Days: twice

11+ Days: 2 x 15 days (including bye in Round 16 & 20), 13 days (including bye in Round 5)

Melbourne Storm: Staying healthy

The Storm’s schedule features a Prelim rematch in Round One and early encounters with top 8 teams.

Strategic byes in Rounds 4, 13, and 19 and key rematches add layers to their quest for success.

They face the top 8 teams in the first four games of the season and three of the top 4 teams in the first five rounds. Circle the calendar for the qualifying finals rematch versus Brisbane in Round 5 and the semi-final rematch against the Roosters in Round 7.

Melbourne will play the top 8 teams from the previous season a total of 12 times, a tough challenge for the preliminary finalists who need a stable season and everybody available and fully healthy.

Turn around between games:

5 Days: three times

6 Days: five days

7 Days: five days

8 Days: six days

9 Days: two times

11 Days: one time

11+ Days: 16 days (including bye in Round 13), 14 days (including bye in Round 19)

Gold Coast Titans: New Foundation

The Titans’ schedule is one of the more difficult draws given to the clubs.

With eight games in NSW, one in Auckland, and the on-the-road finishes is a strong way for the first season with Des Hasler at the helm to go down.

With early byes in rounds 2, 13 and 17, the Titans need to win the games that they should, as they blew the most 10+ point leads in the competition last season.

The Anzac round is different for the Titans, heading to New Zealand and the Warriors will host a game on a day when we commemorate those who fought for us. They will play the Broncos, Cowboys, Dolphins, Dragons, Knights, Sea Eagles, Sharks, and Warriors twice in the season.

Turn around between games:

5 Days: two times

6 Days: four times

7 Days: seven times

8 Days: five times

9 Days: two times

11+ Days: 14 days (Bye in round 2), 2 x 13 days (including bye in Round 13 & 17)

NZ Warriors: Stability is Key

The NZ Warriors embark on the 2024 season with a compelling schedule that includes key matchups and challenging turnarounds.

The Warriors have an Anzac Day clash at home against the Titans in Round 8.

They will have their Qualifying finals rematch against Penrith in the Magic Round and a semi-final rematch against Newcastle in Round 4, as well as their Preliminary Final rematch with the Broncos in Round 17.

To start the season, they will face four of the top 8 teams from the 2023 season in their first four matches, setting a challenging tone and exciting times with a roster that has turned themselves around and adding Roger Tuivasa-Sheck to their squad.

A dark side to the draw will be a stretch from rounds 6-8, playing three games within twelve days, and travelling to Australia in the middle.

The club has 11 seven-day turnarounds, which provide a relatively stable rhythm during the season, as well as two longer breaks of 13 days, coinciding with byes in Rounds 13 and 19.

Turn around between games:

5 Days: one time

6 Days: four times

7 Days: eleven times

8 Days: two times

9 Days: two times

10 Days: one time

11+ Days: 13 Days x 2 (with bye in Round 13 & 19)

Wests Tigers: New Opportunities

The Wests Tigers enter the 2024 season with a schedule marked by diverse venues, strategic byes, and intriguing matchups.

The Tigers hold the distinction of being the first team with a bye in the 2024 season, with curiosity on the new look Tigers building anticipation. Strategic byes in rounds 13 and 26 offer well-timed rest opportunities at the halfway and ending periods of the season.

The Tigers will showcase their skills at different venues, with five games at Leichhardt and five at Campbelltown. Notable matches include facing Penrith at Bathurst in Round 7, as well as a trip to Tamworth to take on the Newcastle Knights three rounds later.

A trip to Gosford in Round 20 for a clash against the Rabbitohs adds a coastal element to their schedule, as well as the tradition of the Easter Monday clash against the Eels in Round 4. The Tigers will participate in the Magic Round, facing the Dolphins in Round 11.Β 

They will play the Cowboys, Dolphins, Dragons, Eels, Knights, Raiders, Sharks and Souths twice in 2024.

The new-look Tigers will have six instances of six-day turnarounds and five instances of seven-day turnarounds.

Turn around between games:

5 Days: three times

6 Days: six times

7 Days: five times

8 Days: five times

9 Days: one time

10 Days: one time

11+ Days: 21 Days (from Feb pre-season game), 15 Days (with bye in Round 26), 14 Days (with bye in Round 13)

Turnarounds between games comparison

5-day turnaround:

  1. Parramatta Eels: 3 times
  2. Penrith Panthers: 3 times
  3. Melbourne Storm: 3 times
  4. Wests Tigers: 3 times
  5. Dolphins: 2 times
  6. Sydney Roosters: 2 times
  7. Cronulla Sharks: 2 times
  8. Gold Coast Titans: 2 times
  9. Brisbane Broncos: 1 time
  10. Newcastle Knights: 1 time
  11. South Sydney Rabbitohs: 1 time
  12. Canberra Raiders: 1 time
  13. New Zealand Warriors: 1 time
  14. Canterbury Bankstown Bulldogs: N/A
  15. North Queensland Cowboys: N/A
  16. St George Illawarra Dragons: N/A
  17. Manly Sea Eagles: N/A

6-day turnaround:

  1. North Queensland Cowboys: 10 times
  2. Canterbury Bankstown Bulldogs: 9 times
  3. Manly Sea Eagles: 7 times
  4. Parramatta Eels: 6 times
  5. St George Illawarra Dragons: 6 times
  6. Wests Tigers: 6 times
  7. Canberra Raiders: 5 times
  8. Melbourne Storm: 5 times
  9. Brisbane Broncos: 4 times
  10. Dolphins: 4 times
  11. Newcastle Knights: 4 times
  12. Penrith Panthers: 4 time
  13. Sydney Roosters: 4 times
  14. Gold Coast Titans: 4 times
  15. New Zealand Warriors: 4 times
  16. South Sydney Rabbitohs: 3 times
  17. Cronulla Sharks: 3 times

7-day turnaround:

  1. NZ Warriors: 11 times 
  2. Newcastle Knights: 9 times
  3. Cronulla Sharks: 9 times
  4. Brisbane Broncos: 8 times
  5. South Sydney Rabbitohs: 8 times
  6. Sydney Roosters: 8 times
  7. Manly Sea Eagles: 8 times
  8. Dolphins: 7 times
  9. Gold Coast Titans: 7 times
  10. Canterbury Bankstown Bulldogs: 6 times
  11. Canberra Raiders: 6 times
  12. St George Illawarra Dragons: 5 times
  13. Melbourne Storm: 5 times
  14. Wests Tigers: 5 times
  15. Parramatta Eels: 4 times
  16. North Queensland Cowboys: 3 times
  17. Penrith Panthers: N/A

8-day turnaround:

  1. Melbourne Storm: 6 times
  2. Brisbane Broncos: 5 times
  3. Gold Coast Titans: 5 times
  4. Wests Tigers: 5 times
  5. Canterbury Bankstown Bulldogs: 4 times
  6. South Sydney Rabbitohs: 4 times
  7. Canberra Raiders: 4 times
  8. Sydney Roosters: 4 times
  9. Cronulla Sharks: 4 times
  10. North Queensland Cowboys: 3 times
  11. Newcastle Knights: 3 times
  12. Penrith Panthers: 3 times
  13. Manly Sea Eagles: 3 times
  14. Dolphins: 2 times
  15. St George Illawarra Dragons: 2 times
  16. Parramatta Eels: 2 times
  17. NZ Warriors: 2 times

9-day turnaround:

  1. Canberra Raiders: 4 times
  2. North Queensland Cowboys: 3 times
  3. Dolphins: 3 times
  4. Parramatta Eels: 3 times
  5. South Sydney Rabbitohs: 3 times
  6. Newcastle Knights: 2 times
  7. Sydney Roosters: 2 times
  8. Cronulla Sharks: 2 times
  9. Melbourne Storm: 2 times
  10. Gold Coast Titans: 2 times
  11. New Zealand Warriors: 2 times
  12. Brisbane Broncos: 1 time
  13. Canterbury Bankstown Bulldogs: 1 time
  14. Manly Sea Eagles: 1 time
  15. Wests Tigers: 1 time
  16. St George Illawarra Dragons: N/A
  17. Penrith Panthers: N/A

10-day turnaround:

  1. Dolphins: 2 times
  2. Newcastle Knights: 1 time
  3. Melbourne Storm: 1 time
  4. Wests Tigers: 1 time
  5. Brisbane Broncos: N/A
  6. Canterbury Bankstown Bulldogs: N/A
  7. North Queensland Cowboys: N/A
  8. St George Illawarra Dragons: N/A
  9. Parramatta Eels: N/A
  10. Penrith Panthers: N/A
  11. South Sydney Rabbitohs: N/A
  12. Canberra Raiders: N/A
  13. Sydney Roosters: N/A
  14. Manly Sea Eagles: N/A
  15. Cronulla Sharks: N/A
  16. Gold Coast Titans: N/A
  17. New Zealand Warriors: N/A

11-day turnaround:

  1. Brisbane Broncos: 1 time
  2. Dolphins: 1 time
  3. Parramatta Eels: 1 time
  4. South Sydney Rabbitohs: 1 time
  5. Sydney Roosters: 1 time
  6. Melbourne Storm: 1 time
  7. Canterbury Bankstown Bulldogs: N/A
  8. North Queensland Cowboys: N/A
  9. St George Illawarra Dragons: N/A
  10. Newcastle Knights: N/A
  11. Penrith Panthers: N/A
  12. Canberra Raiders: N/A
  13. Manly Sea Eagles: N/A
  14. Cronulla Sharks: N/A
  15. Gold Coast Titans: N/A
  16. New Zealand Warriors: N/A
  17. Wests Tigers: N/A

11+ day turnaround:

  1. Sydney Roosters: 4 times
  2. Brisbane Broncos: 3 times
  3. Canterbury Bankstown Bulldogs: 3 times
  4. North Queensland Cowboys: 3 times
  5. St George Illawarra Dragons: 3 times
  6. Newcastle Knights: 3 times
  7. Penrith Panthers: 3 times
  8. South Sydney Rabbitohs: 3 times
  9. Canberra Raiders: 3 times
  10. Manly Sea Eagles: 3 times
  11. Gold Coast Titans: 3 times
  12. Wests Tigers: 3 times
  13. Dolphins: 2 times
  14. Parramatta Eels: 2 times
  15. Cronulla Sharks: 2 times
  16. Melbourne Storm: 2 times
  17. NZ Warriors: 2 times

The NRL pre-season challenge kicks off on February 15, 2024, where teams will compete in a challenge format before the regular season begins on March 2 in Las Vegas.

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