WESTERN Bulldogs midfielder Adam Treloar will have the opportunity to prove himself against former club Collingwood in a blockbuster Friday night clash in the opening round of the 2021 Toyota AFL Premiership Season. 

The Bulldogs could also unveil their No.1 pick in the 2020 NAB AFL Draft, Jamarra Ugle-Hagan, under lights when the clubs meet to open their seasons for the second straight year. 

Luke Beveridge's team will be out to atone for last year's clash after ruckman Brodie Grundy manhandled young opponent Tim English – who will be supported by Stef Martin in 2021 – in a 52-point thrashing.

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The Magpies, meanwhile, face the unfortunate scenario of paying a significant portion of Treloar's salary to play against them in their season-opener after pushing the contracted midfielder out during the Trade Period. 

The season will open with the traditional clash between Richmond and Carlton on Thursday, March 18 as the Blues seek to prove they are on the rise under David Teague. 

Sam Walsh gets a handball away against Trent Cotchin in last season's opener between the Blues and Tigers. Picture: AFL Photos

Key recruits Zac Williams and Adam Saad could be unveiled against the Tigers, who have won the season-opener for the past eight years and will unfurl their third flag in four seasons. 

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Rivals Essendon and Hawthorn will meet under lights on Saturday, March 20, with Ben Rutten going head-to-head with four-time premiership mastermind Alastair Clarkson in his first official game as Bombers coach. 

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Former Bomber and new Brisbane forward Joe Daniher, meanwhile, could debut for the Lions against Lance Franklin and Sydney, the team he appeared destined for 12 months ago before finally leaving Essendon as a restricted free agent. 

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It will be a baptism of fire on Saturday for Adelaide and No.2 pick Riley Thilthorpe if he is unveiled against Jeremy Cameron and Geelong, which will launch its quest for a premiership with a strengthened list that now also includes Isaac Smith and Shaun Higgins.  

On Sunday, new North Melbourne coach David Noble will lead his team for the first time against Port Adelaide

New coach David Noble will oversee North Melbourne for the first time against Port Adelaide. Picture: AFL Photos

The Power have also been boosted by recruits Aliir Aliir and Orazio Fantasia after sitting atop the AFL ladder for the entire 2020 home and away season before bowing out in a brutal preliminary final against Richmond. 

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Young Gold Coast star Matt Rowell will likely make his return against West Coast after a thrilling introduction to the top level ended with a shoulder injury in round five last season.

Melbourne will look to kickstart its season on a winning note against Fremantle at the MCG on Saturday afternoon, while Greater Western Sydney and St Kilda will do battle on Sunday.

Thursday, March 18

Richmond v Carlton, MCG, 7.25pm AEDT

Friday, March 19

Collingwood v Western Bulldogs, MCG, 7.50pm AEDT

Saturday, March 20

Melbourne v Fremantle, MCG, 1.45pm AEDT
Adelaide v Geelong, Adelaide Oval, 4.05pm ACDT
Essendon v Hawthorn, Marvel Stadium, 7.25pm AEDT
Brisbane v Sydney, Gabba, 6.45pm AEST

Sunday, March 21

North Melbourne v Port Adelaide, Marvel Stadium, 1.10pm AEDT
Greater Western Sydney v St Kilda, Giants Stadium, 3.20pm AEDT
West Coast v Gold Coast, Optus Stadium, 3.10pm AWST