The Warriors will again begin their home campaign with an Eden Park blockbuster when they face the Sonny Bill Williams-bolstered Sydney Roosters in their second-round NRL match.

The March 16 encounter was confirmed on Friday as the NRL released a breakthrough draw which, for the first time, features the kick-off times and dates for all matches in the first 20 rounds of the regular season.

Specific details for the remaining six rounds will be released after round 16.

In another highly anticipated match, the Warriors will meet last year's beaten grand finalists Canterbury-Bankstown in the ninth round at a yet-to-be-confirmed venue outside Auckland on May 11.

The club's remaining 10 home games will all be played at Mount Smart Stadium, beginning with an Easter Monday clash against North Queensland on April 1.

The scheduling of the match against the Des Hasler-coached Bulldogs outside Auckland has come about as the NRL seeks to have more games played away from traditional home venues.

Other matches have been confirmed in centres in Australia as far flung as Darwin, Mackay and Mudgee.

Another game will be played in Perth next year and once again the Warriors will be involved, with the South Sydney Rabbitohs taking their 17th-round "home" game to Western Australia on July 7.

When the Warriors met Manly at Patersons Stadium this year, the match attracted a crowd of more than 20,000, the vast majority supporting the New Zealand-based side.

The Warriors start the regular season on the road against Parramatta on March 9 and also finish away from home against St George Illawarra, but new head coach Matthew Elliott doesn't have any issues.

"The key aspect is the fixed nature of the schedule for the first 20 rounds," he said.

"It's critical. It makes such a huge difference for us in terms of preparation and planning, especially given the travel demands we face."

NZ Newswire

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