Penrith will open the NRL season for the first time since 2004 when they take on Manly in a Thursday night blockbuster next March.
According to Nine Newspapers, the Panthers v Sea Eagles clash will be played on Thursday, March 10 at Panthers Stadium.
It will see superstars Nathan Cleary and Tom Trbojevic go head to head, if Cleary is cleared to play after off-season shoulder surgery.
It’s the first time Penrith have played in the opening game of the season since 2004 when they played Newcastle at Panthers Stadium, losing 20-14.
In other draw leaks coming through tonight, News Corp is reporting that Penrith will play South Sydney in a Grand Final re-match in Round 4.
It’s also been confirmed Origin I will be played in Sydney on Wednesday, June 8 followed by game two in Perth on Sunday, June 26 and game three in Brisbane on Wednesday, July 13.
Penrith and Melbourne will face-off in Magic Round.
The full NRL draw will be released later this week.
Troy Dodds is the Weekender’s Managing Editor and Senior Writer. He has more than 15 years experience as a journalist, working with some of Australia’s leading media organisations.