Cooper Cronk eyes off the NRL trophy as question marks still hang over his fitness.
Cooper Cronk eyes off the NRL trophy as question marks still hang over his fitness.

NRL Grand Final 2018 schedule

ONE of the closest NRL seasons on record will come to a conclusion tonight as what is expected to be a sellout crowd at ANZ Stadium witnesses the battle of the capital cities - the Sydney Roosters versus the Melbourne Storm.

It's been a huge grand final week particularly with Billy Slater's judiciary hearing and Cooper Cronk's fitness under the microscope.

Need to know when kick off is or when Gang of Youths hit the stage for pre-match entertainment? We've got you covered.

Young Roosters fans are pumped.
Young Roosters fans are pumped.

PRE-MATCH SCHEDULE

1:15pm - ANZ Stadium gates open

1:35pm - NRL Women's Premiership Grand Final - Brisbane Broncos Vs Sydney Roosters

3:40pm - NRL Intrust Super State Championship - Canterbury Bulldogs Vs Redcliffe Dolphins

6:30pm - Pre-game show begins - retirement parade followed by Gang of Youths performance

7:20pm - NRL Grand Final kick-off - Sydney Roosters Vs Melbourne Storm

 

After surviving his judiciary hearing, Clive Churchill medal favourite Billy Slater is send off by Storm fans.
After surviving his judiciary hearing, Clive Churchill medal favourite Billy Slater is send off by Storm fans.

WHEN DOES THE NRL GRAND FINAL START?

The NRL Grand Final is scheduled to kick off at 7:20pm.

WHO WILL BE THE NRL GRAND FINAL ENTERTAINMENT?

ARIA award-winning alternative rock group Gang of Youths will headline the NRL's pre-match entertainment.

The Sydney five-piece had three songs in the 2017 Triple J Hottest 100 list.

Last year, the NRL had US rapper Macklemore play and the league trumpeted the return of homegrown talent when announcing Gang of Youths.

"After the success of last year's entertainment, we wanted to go back a slightly different genre - just a great Aussie rock show from one of the best young bands in the business," NRL Chief Commercial Officer Andrew Abdo said at the time.

"Gang of Youths are relevant, they're homegrown, they're contemporary, and they are renowned for producing one of the best live shows going around.

"This year's act will showcase the best in Australian music talent and youth culture, with one of a new breed of local artists making significant headway both here and overseas.

"The fact that they are rugby league fans is also a bonus."

The band members are fans of rugby league as frontman Dave Le'aupepe is a Rabbitohs supporter.

Gang of Youths stand with the Roosters’ Luke Keary and Storm’s Cameron Munster ahead of NRL grand final.
Gang of Youths stand with the Roosters’ Luke Keary and Storm’s Cameron Munster ahead of NRL grand final.

RETIRING PLAYERS HONOURED

From 6:30pm, the NRL will also have its parade for retiring players with seven members of the 300-game club farewelling the game.

Johnathan Thurston (North Queensland Cowboys), Luke Lewis (Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks), Simon Mannering (Warriors), Chris Heighington (Newcastle Knights) and Sam Thaiday (Brisbane Broncos) will be part of the tribute.

Billy Slater and Ryan Hoffman, who are in the Melbourne Storm squad for the Grand Final, will also be acknowledged.

Other players who will be part of the Retiring Players Class for 2018 are: Jonathan Wright (Manly Warringah Sea Eagles), Peter Wallace, Tim Browne (Penrith Panthers), Antonio Winterstein (North Queensland Cowboys), Beau Scott (Parramatta Eels), Jacob Lillyman (Newcastle Knights), Joseph Paulo (Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks), Brenton Lawrence (Gold Coast Titans), Jason Nightingale (St George Illawarra), Frank-Paul Nuuausala (Sydney Roosters) and Jason Clark (South Sydney Rabbitohs).

 

WHO WILL SING THE NATIONAL ANTHEM?

The National Anthem will be sung by Samantha Jade.

 

HOW TO GET TO THE GROUND?

All tickets to the NRL Grand Final include return travel on Sydney trains, regular bus services and Sydney Olympic Park Major Event Buses, Sydney ferries services and Light Rail services.

Direct train services from east and west to Olympic Park will run every 10-15 minutes from approximately 1pm.

Sydney Olympic Park Major Event Buses begin running from 11.50am and 12.30pm, depending on the route.