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Blockbuster matches, Saturday afternoon games and stand-alone Thursday and Friday night clashes in the final round are among the highlights of the last six rounds of the 2013 Telstra Premiership draw released today.

In an exciting countdown to the Telstra Premiership Finals Series:

The top-of-the table Rabbitohs will feature in a host of Friday night blockbusters, including against the Storm in Melbourne (Rd 22), the Sea Eagles at Gosford (Rd 23), the Bulldogs at ANZ Stadium (Rd 24) and the Roosters in the final round (Rd 26) at ANZ Stadium;

There will be stand-alone Thursday and Friday night matches on Channel Nine in a thrilling final round of action as teams fight to secure top eight positions;

The Raiders and Dragons will each host Saturday afternoon matches featuring a 3pm kick-off.

Whether you are attending matches or watching on television, there are some real highlights for fans in the lead-up to the finals, NRL General Manager of Football Operations, Mr Nathan McGuirk, said today.

There are great matches every week on both free to-air and subscription television and I would like to thank Channel Nine and Fox Sports for their assistance in the draw process.

McGuirk said the inclusion of Saturday afternoon provided an opportunity to include additional family-friendly time-slots as the excitement builds towards the finals series.

At this stage we are not considering making Saturday afternoon football an ongoing part of the NRL match schedule, Mr McGuirk said.

There is, however, a curiosity both on our part and of our broadcasters to see how fans respond to the time-slot, both in terms of game-day attendance and TV ratings.

Acknowledgement of Country

The New Zealand Warriors honour the mana of the Indigenous peoples of Aotearoa, Australia and the Pacific. We acknowledge the traditional kaitiaki of the lands, elders past and present, their stories, their traditions, their mamae and their mana motuhake.

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