Dragons recruit Ben Hunt to meet Broncos in 2018 NRL opener

New colours: Dragons recruitn Ben Hunt will face former club Brisbane in round one. Picture: AAP Image/Darren England
New colours: Dragons recruitn Ben Hunt will face former club Brisbane in round one. Picture: AAP Image/Darren England

Ben Hunt will begin life in Dragons colours against his former club Brisbane in a blockbuster start to the NRL season at Kogarah in March.

The 2018 NRL draw was released on Thursday morning, confirming five games will played at WIN Stadium, as well as five at UOW Jubilee Oval, one in Mudgee and the annual Anzac Day showdown with the Roosters at Allianz Stadium.

A steel-town derby will kick-off the action in Wollongong this year, when the Dragons meet Newcastle at WIN Stadium on Sunday, April 1 at 4pm.

The Dragons will also play Cronulla, Manly, Parramatta and New Zealand in Wollongong.

It includes two Saturday games, one on Thursday, Friday and Sunday.

“On the back of the Dragons' recent announcement to play additional home games at our traditional venues in 2018, it is exciting to see that the NRL draw has delivered so many highly anticipated games for next season,” Dragons chairman Brian Johnston said.

“The development of the NRL draw is a complex process, as is the allocation of home venues, when you take into account such variables as venue availability, sequencing of games, visiting teams and scheduling.

“We have worked hard to deliver a quality balanced schedule for all members, partners and fans, providing match ups against a mix of quality Sydney-based and interstate teams across our traditional venues.

“Add our traditional Anzac Day game against the Roosters – the biggest club game on the NRL calendar each year – and our commitment to bring an NRL game to Mudgee this season, and we are genuinely excited at what next year will bring.”

  • DRAGONS DRAW

St George Illawarra fixtures at WIN Stadium in 2018

Round 4: Sunday, April 1 v Newcastle (4pm)

Round 6: Friday, April 13 v Cronulla (8pm)

Round 15: Saturday, June 16 v Manly (5.30pm)

Round 16: Thursday, June 28 v Parramatta (8pm)

Round 21: Saturday, August 4 v New Zealand (3pm)