NRL fans will have to wait until round four in 2014 for a rematch of this year’s classic grand final.
The league released the 2014 fixture list on Wednesday, with the Sydney Roosters not hosting Manly until a Friday night meeting on March 28 at Allianz Stadium.
The season opens on a Thursday night with the Roosters against South Sydney on March 6 at ANZ Stadium.
Brisbane’s star recruit Ben Barba will be back at his old stomping ground a day later when Canterbury take on the Broncos at the Sydney Olympic stadium.
The clash is the first of 10 consecutive Friday night games for the Broncos, one of the Nine Network’s surest winners when it comes to TV ratings.
The NRL will introduce a new themed match in round five, with St George Illawarra up against South Sydney at the SCG in a battle between the two teams with the most premierships.
The league also hopes to make the Easter Monday match between Parramatta and the Wests Tigers an annual fixture.
The Eels start their four-year agreement with the Northern Territory government in round 22, when Darwin will be the scene of new Canberra coach Ricky Stuart’s first meeting with his former club.
Canterbury will play two `home’ games away from Sydney next year, in Perth against Melbourne on March 29 and against the Warriors in Hamilton on May 18.
“This is a draw that has been built around fans,” NRL head of football Todd Greenberg said in a statement.
“Wherever you look over the 26 competition rounds there are just great contests.”