NRL Rd 6 - Eels v Wests Tigers
NRL Rd 6 - Eels v Wests Tigers

Where your NRL team will play home matches

Little used venues in Campbelltown and the Central Coast could play a pivotal role in rugby league's restart, with the grounds expected to host a number of matches.

The NRL is in the midst of finalising its matches for "home" games, with the venues still to be determined despite the next two rounds announced two days ago. The decision could mean the Sharks give up home ground advantage against the Tigers in round three, which Cronulla coach John Morris labelled "strange".

Bankwest Stadium will certainly be one major hub for games in Sydney, with Campbelltown and Central Coast Stadiums also being strongly considered.

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Warriors and Wests Tigers fans set up at Campbelltown Stadium. Photo: Mark Kolbe/Getty Images
Warriors and Wests Tigers fans set up at Campbelltown Stadium. Photo: Mark Kolbe/Getty Images

 

Bio-security protocols have ruled out Leichhardt Oval as a potential venue and Kogarah Oval was also being considered because of its proximity to the airport but that is now looking increasingly unlikely.

The Sharks have been sharing Netstrata Jubilee Oval with St George Illawarra this year, with their long-term base Points Bet Stadium unavailable as the nearby precinct undergoes a renovation. They play Wests Tigers on May 30 and could now face them at Campbelltown Stadium - one of the Tigers' home bases.

 

"That would come as a shock," Morris said. "We are just glad footy is back and the priority is that we are playing. Our mentality is we will play anywhere and anytime to get the game going.

"But it would be strange playing at Campbelltown given the few games that are played there. When you compared games at Leichhardt and Kogarah and the proximity of those venues with the airport, I would have thought they would have been more accessible.

Parramatta will be eager to get back to Bankwest Stadium. Photo: Matt Blyth/Getty Images
Parramatta will be eager to get back to Bankwest Stadium. Photo: Matt Blyth/Getty Images

"That's no disrespect to Campbelltown. I played plenty of games out there.

"Kogarah would be fantastic and we're still hopeful are able to play games there.

"It would be nice to have some sort of home games in the draw. There would be something amiss if we are the home team and playing at one of the Tigers home games."

Manly, Newcastle and the Warriors could play home games on the Central Coast - a venue that has only hosted six games in the past four years.

Campbelltown - with six games in two years - could host Canberra, Wests Tigers, Cronulla and St George Illawarra.

And Parramatta, Canterbury and Penrith may share Bankwest Stadium.

Given the Roosters have taken matches to Gosford, they could return to the venue, while the Rabbitohs were going to play games at Bankwest Stadium when ANZ Stadium gets redeveloped next month.

Central Coast Stadium doesn’t see enough NRL action. Photo: Tony Feder/Getty Images
Central Coast Stadium doesn’t see enough NRL action. Photo: Tony Feder/Getty Images

Melbourne have been given clearance from the Victorian government to host home matches - only needing the government to sign off on rival teams' fly-in and fly-out protocols to get the final green light.

Brisbane and the Gold Coast will play out of Suncorp Stadium and North Queensland are hopeful their new stadium in Townsville will be given the all-clear to play.

The NRL will assign clubs venues for matches.

Parramatta and Brisbane will have a distinct advantage playing at their true home base - albeit in front of empty stadiums.

The NRL's plan is to announce the venues this week before announcing the rest of the season draw on Thursday.

The NRL hinted to club bosses last Friday they would announce venues in seven-game blocks to allow for any easing of restrictions for crowds and travel, which could see the Warriors return to New Zealand. Under biosecurity measures they need exclusive use of the grounds while the NRL also weighs up the cost of the grounds.

Meanwhile, the Victorian government will not stop Canberra's non-vaccinated players from travelling to play the Storm in Melbourne in round three.

WHERE YOUR TEAM MAY PLAY

BANKWEST STADIUM

Parramatta: 83.3 per cent (10 wins from 12 games)
Canterbury: 66.6 per cent (two from three)
South Sydney: No wins from two games
Penrith: 50 per cent (One from two).

CAMPBELLTOWN SPORTS STADIUM
(SINCE 2010)

Wests Tigers: 52.6 per cent (20 from 38).
Canberra: 40 per cent (two wins from five).
Cronulla: 100 per cent (one from one).
St George Illawarra: No wins from one game

CENTRAL COAST STADIUM
(SINCE 2010)

Manly: 75 per cent (nine wins from 12 games).
Roosters: 28.6 per cent (two wins from seven games).
Newcastle: 33.3 per cent (One win from three games).
Warriors: 50 per cent (One win from two games).

Statistics from Fox Sports Lab

Originally published as Where your NRL team will play home matches