Leaks reveal 16-year first in 2022 NRL draw

The NRL will announce the draw for the 2022 season fixture on Tuesday morning, but juicy details have already been revealed.

The Bulldogs — and coach Trent Barrett — have emerged as the big losers for the 2022 NRL season draw to be announced on Tuesday morning.

Details about the season’s fixtures have been leaked in recent weeks with The Australian revealing the Bulldogs face a nightmare start to the season that could leave Barrett fighting to save his job.

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The Bulldogs face the top four teams from 2021 — Manly, South Sydney, Penrith and Melbourne — from Round 3 to Round 6, making their opening two games against North Queensland and Brisbane must-win.

The potential of a 0-6 start to the season would be a hammer blow to Barrett’s job security after the rebuilding club won just three games in 2021.

“It’s going to be some mixed news for Trent Barrett and his new-look Canterbury side,” The Daily Telegraph’s Michael Carayannis told SEN 1170 Breakfast.

“They’ve got a pretty tough draw, they open up against the Cowboys and Broncos, which isn’t too bad.

“But their next month of football between Round 3 and Round 6, the play against every side that featured in the top four this year.

“So, that’s a rough start as the wooden spooners.

“They need to win, they open the season against North Queensland and Brisbane so they can’t be 0-2.

“It’d be a lean six weeks for the Bulldogs.”

The Broncos, however, have emerged as one of the big winners for the 2022 season draw — on the back of surprise assessment from bookmakers expecting the club to return to play finals football next year.

Their draw reportedly includes a headline detail of a Sunday meeting with North Queensland at Suncorp Stadium in Round 3 — the teams’ first Sunday clash at Suncorp in 16 years.

The Broncos have endured the worst period in the club’s history in recent years, but with a series of key signing, including halfback Adam Reynolds, the club now sits as a very real chance of making the top eight with the TAB listing them as a $2.75 chance of playing in the finals.

The Dragons, however, have been listed as $51 shots to win the 2022 Grand Final — the worst season-starting odds in the club’s history.

The Broncos’ kind draw is expected to confirmed on Tuesday as a massive win for coach Kevin Walters, who is also under pressure to get the club back into the top half of the table next year.

Here is what the NRL world knows about the NRL 2022 season draw before the official release:

— The Bulldogs play Melbourne, Penrith, South Sydney and Manly from Rounds 3-6.

— Seven of the Broncos’ first 10 games will be played in Brisbane.

— The season will open with a blockbuster battle between Penrith and Manly at BlueBet Stadium on Thursday, March 10.

— Brisbane will play South Sydney on Friday, March 11, in a blockbuster between Reynolds and his former Rabbitohs teammates.

— The 2022 State of Origin series will begin at Stadium Australia on June 8. Origin II will be played at Perth’s Optus Stadium on Sunday, June 26. The series concludes with Game 3 being played at Brisbane’s Suncorp Stadium on July 13.

— Magic Round will be headlined by a salivating clash between Melbourne and Penrith — a rematch of their preliminary final.

NRL 2022 season Round 1 (AEDT)

Thursday, March 10

Panthers vs Sea Eagles, 8.05pm at BlueBet Stadium

Friday, March 11

Raiders vs Sharks, 6pm at GIO Stadium

Broncos vs Rabbitohs, 8.05pm (AEDT) at Suncorp Stadium

Saturday, March 12

Roosters vs Knights, 3pm at SCG

Warriors vs Dragons, 5.30pm (AEST) at Sunshine Coast Stadium

Tigers vs Storm, 7.35pm at CommBank Stadium

Sunday, March 13

Eels vs Titans, 4.05pm at CommBank Stadium

Cowboys vs Bulldogs, 6.15pm (AEDT) at Queensland Country Bank Stadium

Originally published as Details leaked about 16-year first in 2022 NRL draw

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