NRL 2021 Draw: Queenslanders welcome back Magic Round in 2021
NRL 2021 Draw: Queenslanders welcome back Magic Round in 2021

Nightmare draw: Kevvie faces baptism by fire

Queensland's three NRL clubs have been handed differing fortunes in 2021 while fans have plenty to smile about with the return of Magic Round.

The NRL announced Magic Round will be back next year for the blockbuster weekend at Suncorp Stadium in May, while Origin has been shifted back to its traditional winter timeslot.

Kayo is your ticket to the best sport streaming Live & On-Demand. New to Kayo? Get your 14-day free trial & start streaming instantly >

Queenslanders can rejoice as the NRL’s Magic Round is set to return in 2021. Picture: AAP.
Queenslanders can rejoice as the NRL’s Magic Round is set to return in 2021. Picture: AAP.

Kevin Walters will kickstart his NRL coaching career on home soil with Brisbane's opening three games to be played in Queensland, kicking off with a blockbuster against recent hoodoo team Parramatta.

A brewing grudge match with the Titans will be the highlight of Round Two before heading back to Suncorp Stadium to host the Bulldogs the following week.

Brisbane then go on to play one of the most challenging draws in the competition, facing seven of this year's finalists twice in the one season.

It's better news for their fans though, with a more family-friendly draw offering five games on a Saturday or a Sunday afternoon at Suncorp Stadium.



Broncos CEO Paul White welcomed the decision to play more daytime footy at home.

"Our loyal Broncos members and fans have been asking for more weekend games for a number of years now, and we are delighted that the 2021 draw delivers a range of games on Saturday and Sunday," White said.

"All five of the weekend games are at the right time for families to get to and from Suncorp Stadium before it gets too late - it will be great to see plenty of kids back for some daytime NRL footy back in Brisbane and we have affordable membership options available for families."


It's a different story for new Cowboys coach Todd Payten, who will receive a baptism by fire for their season opener, against last year's grand finalists Penrith down on their home soil.

However, after another season to forget for North Queensland, their 2021 campaign shapes as one of the more favourable draws in the NRL.

Along with Newcastle, the Cowboys face the least number of top eight sides from this year while their travel schedule in the opening half of the season appears more manageable.

The Cowboys will only leave Queensland three times in the first 14 rounds, travelling only to Penrith, Leichhardt and New Zealand in that time.

"We received our wish to host an Anzac Round game, which allows us to play our part in commemorating Anzac Day in Townsville, which is such a proud garrison city," Cowboys CEO Jeff Reibel said.

"From a football perspective, we're really happy with the two-week blocks in home and away games and we also only have one five-day turnaround."


Meanwhile, the Titans face a blockbuster start to their 2021 campaign, starting off with a trip to New Zealand in the opening round.

Back-to-back grudge matches against the Broncos and then the Cowboys will follow as the Titans look to become Queensland's best NRL club again.

They will then play 12 games against a top eight side, with a difficult month to finish the year against the Rabbitohs (sixth), Storm (premiers), Knights (seventh) and the Warriors (10th).

Despite a star-studded line-up at the Gold Coast next year, the Titans will also only play six prime time matches on free-to-air television.

Originally published as Nightmare draw: Kevvie faces baptism by fire