Round one AFL fixture for 2017 released

The first round fixture of the 2017 AFL season has been released, with Essendon's banned players to return on Saturday night against Hawthorn at the MCG.

Both Essendon and Hawthorn will likely field very different teams for the first game of the new season, with the Hawks losing - and gaining - some big names in this year's trade period.

At Essendon, players such as Jobe Watson, Dyson Heppell, Michael Hurley and Cale Hooker will be looking to make their return from suspension by the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

As expected, Carlton and Richmond will open the season on Thursday night at the MCG, on March 23.

If selected, Travis Cloke will face his former team in his very first game as a Western Bulldog, when Collingwood and the reigning premiers meet at the MCG on Friday night.

Melbourne's newest recruit Jordan Lewis, formerly of Hawthorn, will be looking to make his debut for his new club against St Kilda at Etihad Stadium on Sunday.

Another Hawthorn veteran who will be wearing new colours in 2017, Sam Mitchell, will likely be in the West Coast side to face North Melbourne at Etihad Stadium on Saturday.

It will be a Q-Clash at Metricon Stadium on Saturday night to open the season for the competition's two Queensland clubs, while the Swans will host Port Adelaide at the SCG and Adelaide and GWS will go head-to-head at the Adelaide Oval on Sunday.

Fremantle will host Geelong to close out the round on Sunday.

THE ROUND ONE FIXTURE

Thursday, March 23
Carlton v Richmond, MCG

Friday, March 24
Collingwood v Western Bulldogs, MCG

Saturday, March 25
Sydney Swans v Port Adelaide, SCG
North Melbourne v West Coast, Etihad Stadium
Gold Coast v Brisbane Lions, Metricon Stadium
Essendon v Hawthorn, MCG

Sunday, March 26
Adelaide v Greater Western Sydney, Adelaide Oval
St Kilda v Melbourne, Etihad Stadium
Fremantle v Geelong, Patersons Stadium

This story Round one AFL fixture for 2017 released first appeared on Brisbane Times.