The Canberra Raiders will open their 2017 season against the North Queensland Cowboys in Townsville on Saturday, March 4, before hosting an epic grudge match against the Cronulla Sharks in Round Two at GIO Stadium. 

Starting the season off against both of the most recent premiers presents the Raiders with one of their toughest starts to a season in recent memory.

Sunday afternoon football will make an early appearance in Round Three, when the Raiders host the Wests Tigers in the popular 4pm timeslot. 

In the first eight rounds the Raiders have five home games, including a 6pm Friday night game against the Manly Sea Eagles in Round Eight. 

A stretch of five away games in six matches follows, including a return to Carrington Park in Bathurst to take on the Panthers. 

Following Round 14, the Raiders will not travel until Round 21, with blockbuster home games against the Broncos, Cowboys and Storm in a critical part of the season. The two byes also fall in this period. 

Matches against the Panthers in Round 24 and Knights in Round 25 will round out the Raiders home campaign for the year, before returning to AAMI Park to battle the Storm in the regular season finale.

Canberra Raiders 2017 NRL Draw

On paper, the draw appears extremely testing for the Raiders, playing each of the five teams that finished in the top six in 2016 twice. 

Four of the Raiders first 20 games will be shown on Channel 9. Fox Sports will be broadcasting every match live. 

In the first 20 rounds the Raiders will have one five-day turnaround, three six-day turnarounds and 13 seven-day or longer turnarounds. 

As per previous years, dates and times for the final six rounds of the season will be confirmed midway through 2017. 

Tickets for the Raiders 2017 home games will go sale in February. A Raiders membership is the most affordable way to attend games in 2017, with ticketed packages starting from just $60. Visit weareraiders.com.au to view packages and sign up now! 

To view the full 2017 NRL draw visit NRL.com