Swans v Giants
Swans v Giants

The 2013 NAB Cup will open with four local derbies outside Victoria, while Collingwood, Essendon and Western Bulldogs will kick-off proceedings in Melbourne.

The pre-season competition will continue with the 2012 format next year, which sees the league's 18 teams split into six groups of three for the opening round over two weekends.

The Magpies, Bombers and Bulldogs will play round-robin games against each other at Etihad Stadium on February 15.

West Coast, Fremantle and Geelong meet the following day at Patersons Stadium, with Adelaide, Port Adelaide and St Kilda scheduled at AAMI Stadium on February 17.

Richmond, Melbourne and North Melbourne get week two underway at Etihad Stadium on February 22, followed the next day by Gold Coast, Brisbane and Hawthorn at Metricon Stadium.

Greater Western Sydney welcome Carlton and Sydney to Blacktown International Sportspark on February 24 - 139 days after the Swans clinched the 2012 premiership.

Rounds two and three feature full-scale games, with Essendon set to take on Richmond in Wangaratta on March 2.

The Bombers were supposed to face St Kilda in the Victorian country town in February this year, but abandoned the match after they controversially opted to make the 240km journey by aircraft and were unable to land due to poor weather conditions.

Other regional games will be played at Renmark (South Australia), Alice Springs (Northern Territory), Townsville (Queensland), Wagga Wagga (New South Wales) and Northam (Western Australia).

Melbourne host St Kilda in the first NAB Cup game to be played at Casey Fields on March 9, while Geelong will play their remaining two matches at Simonds Stadium following their journey to Perth.

The NAB Cup grand final will be held on either March 15 or 16.


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