North to play ‘Pies in opening AFL round

North Melbourne will host Collingwood on Easter Sunday in one of the highlights of the AFL’s opening round next season.

The league have released the details of round one, which they had already said would be spaced over two weekends.

North’s upset 30-point win in round 21 was their first win over the Magpies in five clashes and a crucial result for the Kangaroos on the way to a finals berth.

Preliminary finalists Adelaide will host Essendon in the season opener on Friday night, March 22.

Fremantle and West Coast will play their western derby the following day, the only other match on the first weekend.

The Easter long weekend will start with the now-traditional Carlton-Richmond clash in round one, to be held on Thursday night at the MCG.

It will mark Mick Malthouse’s first game in charge on the Blues for premiership points.

The Saturday will feature the Western Bulldogs hosting Brisbane, Gold Coast at home against St Kilda and Sydney opening their premiership defence against cross-town rivals GWS.

Easter Sunday will feature North playing Collingwood at Etihad Stadium and Melbourne hosting Port Adelaide at the MCG.

Losing grand finalists Hawthorn will renew their fierce rivalry against Geelong on Easter Monday – also April Fool’s Day.

The Hawks have not beaten the Cats since the 2008 grand final.

* All Offers and Promotions posted in this article excludes NSW residents.
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