The Shane Flanagan era officially begins in Round 1 as the Dragons seek a return to the finals for the first time since 2018.
There's a strong Queensland flavour to start the campaign, with their first three opponents coming from north of the border and the first fortnight of the season spent in the Sunshine State, before returning home for consecutive games at their suburban home grounds Netstrata Jubilee Stadium and WIN Stadium.
Teams they play twice
Three teams who played finals last year feature twice on the Dragons' schedule, with double doses of the Roosters, Sharks and Panthers to come. They also meet the Titans, Dolphins, Wests Tigers, Sea Eagles and Bulldogs both home and away.
Teams they play once
St George Illawarra avoid trips to North Queensland and New Zealand due to only having one game against the Cowboys and Warriors, who they play in Sydney. That is somewhat offset by their games against the Knights, Broncos, Storm and Raiders all being on the road. They also play the Rabbitohs and Eels only once.
- Thursday: 2 games (1 home, 1 away)
- Friday: 3 games (2 home, 1 away)
- Saturday: 10 games (5 home, 5 away)
- Sunday: 9 games (4 home, 5 away)
- 5 days: 1 game
- 6 days: 8 games
- 7+ days: 14 games
Only the one five-day turnaround for the Dragons with their Round 7 clash against the Warriors at WIN Stadium coming five days after their Sunday night game against Wests Tigers at Campbelltown in Round 6. Their longest turnaround is 15 days after their third and final bye – a potential point-of-difference for their Round 21 clash against the defending premiers Penrith.
- Round 1: v Titans (A)
- Round 2: v Dolphins (A)
- Round 3: v Cowboys (H)
- Round 4: v Sea Eagles (H)
Back-to-back games north of the border kicks things off, with games away against the Titans and Dolphins, before the Dragons return home to Netstrata Jubilee Stadium to play their third Queensland opponent in as many weeks. They round out their opening month by welcoming the Sea Eagles to Wollongong.
No Magic Round game for the Dragons this year as they sit out on the bye and instead prepare for a trip to Accor Stadium to face the Bulldogs in the opening game of Round 12, their final Thursday night game of the season.
State of Origin watch
A potential boost for the Dragons with their first clash against the Panthers coming in an Origin-affected Round 13, before they take on Wests Tigers the following week on Friday night – potentially limiting the number of players who back up. They have the bye in Round 16 before facing the Dolphins after Origin II. With players selected for Game Three unavailable, the Dragons face what's shaping as another 'Baby Broncos' outfit before having the bye in Round 20.
Can't miss game
Round 8 v Roosters, Thursday at Accor Stadium (H)
The last two editions of the annual ANZAC Day game between the Dragons and Roosters have been brilliant, with a field goal the difference in 2023 and just a two-point margin in 2022. Even when they have been struggling in recent seasons, St George Illawarra have lifted for ANZAC Day, and the contest rarely disappoints.