Melbourne and Western Bulldogs will meet in the 2021 Toyota AFL Grand Final. Picture: AFL Media

THE 2021 Toyota AFL Grand Final between Melbourne and the Western Bulldogs starts at 5.15pm AWST (7.15pm AEST) on Saturday, September 25.

After another season ravaged by COVID complications, the decider will once again be held outside of Melbourne with this year's showpiece to be held at Optus Stadium after it was at the Gabba in 2020.

And it will again kick off in the evening in what promises to be an amazing spectacle under lights.

For the Demons, it will be their first Grand Final since 2000 as they look to end a 57-year premiership drought, while the Dogs are hunting their second premiership in six seasons after their historic 2016 triumph.

As the higher-ranked team, minor premier Melbourne will wear its navy blue and red jumper with navy home shorts and red socks in the decider.

The Bulldogs will wear their royal blue home jumper and white shorts in a move that will prove popular with traditionalists.

How to watch the Grand Final

Fans in Australia can watch the game on TV on Channel 7, via 7Plus on compatible Smart TVs or on the AFL Live Official App on mobile and tablet devices. Fans outside Australia can catch the game via Watch AFL. Check out the full broadcast guide here.

Starting times for those watching around Australia

AWST (local): 5.15pm – WA
ACST: 6.45pm - SA, NT
AEST: 7.15pm – ACT, NSW, QLD, TAS, VIC

Starting times for those watching around the world

United Kingdom: 10.15am, Saturday
Europe: 10.15am, Saturday (western); 12.15pm, Saturday (eastern)
USA: 2.15am, Saturday (west coast); 5.15am, Saturday (east coast)
Dubai: 1.15pm, Saturday
New Zealand: 9.15pm, Saturday
Thailand: 4.15pm, Saturday
Japan: 6.15pm, Saturday
Bali: 5.15pm, Saturday

Who is performing at the Grand Final?

The Telstra AFL Pre-Match Show will feature a host of local Western Australian artists including alternative singer-songwriter John Butler, Fremantle’s ARIA-award winning alternative rock band Eskimo Joe, guitar-slinging multi-award-winning artist Abbe May, critically acclaimed musician Stella Donnelly, multi-award-winning duo Gina Williams and Guy Ghouse and sisters Donna Simpson and Vikki Thorn from much-loved Australian Folk-Rock group The Waifs.

Men at Work’s lead singer and successful solo artist Colin Hay will also feature in the Telstra AFL Pre-Match Show as well as proud Yolngu man, rapper and Young Australian of the Year, Danzal Baker OAM - known as Baker Boy.

LET ME ENTERTAIN YOU (L-R): Amy Manford, Kav Temperley, Abbe May, WA Premier Mark McGowan, David Templeman (Minister for Culture and the Arts), Ian Kenny Gina Williams, Guy Ghouse. Picture: AFL Photos

The Telstra AFL Half-Time Show will feature hometown favourites and popular contemporary rock band Birds of Tokyo alongside the West Australian Symphony Orchestra who will entertain fans in a spectacular performance under lights. 

In addition, September favourite Mike Brady AM will conduct a special performance remotely from Melbourne.

The Welcome to Country will be conducted by proud Noongar man of the South-West region Richard Wally OAM, while the Australian national anthem will be performed by Perth-born Musical Theatre Star and leading lady of Phantom of the Opera, Amy Manford.

Umpires revealed

This year's decider is in safe hands with Matt Stevic preparing to umpire his eighth Grand Final in a row (and ninth overall) alongside fellow experienced field umpire Brett Rosebury (ninth Grand Final) and first-timer Jacob Mollison

Medal and Cup presenters

After winning the 2006 Norm Smith Medal as part of West Coast's triumph, Andrew Embley will hand over the 2021 edition of the medal given to the player judged best on ground. 

The Norm Smith Medal is traditionally presented by a previous winner, with Port Adelaide enforcer Byron Pickett doing the honours last year. 

West Coast premiership coach John Worsfold will present the Jock McHale to the winning coach, while Eagles great Glen Jakovich is the Premiership Cup Ambassador. 

Club legends Chris Grant and Garry Lyon have been nominated by Western Bulldogs and Melbourne, respectively, to present the premiership cup to this year's winning team.

Andrew Embley and John Worsfold will present the Norm Smith Medal and Jock McHale Medal at the 2021 Grand Final. Picture: AFL Photos

Who's in the Grand Final Sprint?

The 2021 Colgate AFL Grand Final Sprint will have a local flavour with eight Fremantle and West Coast to compete for glory on Grand Final day at Optus Stadium. The Eagles will be represented by Jack Petrecculle, Liam Ryan, Josh Rotham and Tom Cole, while Liam Henry, Andy Brayshaw, Luke Ryan and Ethan Hughes are running for the Dockers.

Luke Ryan and Josh Rotham will compete in this year's Grand Final Sprint. Picture: AFL Photos

Match day running sheet



4:22pm WST / 6:22pm EST

Welcome to Country
Dr Richard Walley

4:29pm WST / 6:29pm EST

Telstra AFL Pre-Match Entertainment Performance 
Abbe May
Baker Boy
John Butler, Stella Donnelly, Vikki Thorn, Donna Simpson, Gina Williams and Guy Ghouse
Eskimo Joe
Colin Hay and all performers

4:46pm WST / 6:46pm EST

Telstra AFL Pre-Match Entertainment Concludes

4:50pm WST / 6:50pm EST

rebel activation

4:55pm WST / 6:55pm EST

Umpires enter arena / Delivery of match footballs to Umpires

4:58pm WST / 6:58pm EST

Western Bulldogs enter arena / Team photo

5:01pm WST / 7:05pm EST

Melbourne enter arena / Team photo

5:10pm WST / 7:10pm EST

Premiership Cup Arrival – Glen Jakovich delivers Premiership Cup to Presenters Garry Lyon and Chris Grant (team line up)

5:11pm WST / 7:11pm EST

National Anthem, Amy Manford

5:13pm WST / 7:13pm EST

Two Sirens – Toss of Coin

5:15pm WST / 7:15pm EST

2021 Toyota AFL Grand Final Commences


Timings below are approx.

5:45pm WST / 7:45pm EST

Quarter Time

5:46pm WST / 7:46pm EST

Colgate Grand Final Sprint

5:51pm WST / 7:51pm EST

Second Quarter Commences

6:21pm WST / 8:21pm EST

Half Time

6:29pm WST / 8:29pm EST

Telstra AFL Half Time Entertainment Performance – Birds of Tokyo accompanied by WA Symphony Orchestra

6:48pm WST / 8:48pm EST

Third Quarter Commences

7:18pm WST / 9:18pm EST

Three Quarter Time

7:25pm WST / 9:25pm EST

Fourth Quarter Commences

7:55pm WST / 9:55pm EST

Final Siren - 2021 Toyota AFL Grand Final Concludes

8:06pm WST / 10:06pm EST

Post-Match Presentation / Team Photo


How to follow the Grand Final on and the AFL Live Official App

- Live coverage throughout the day including full match centre with all the stats and video highlights
- The latest weather information straight from the Bureau of Meteorology
- Latest pictures from our photographers
- All the news from the game including comprehensive match report, player ratings and in-depth interviews with players and coaches

What happens if scores are level at full-time?

1. There is a six-minute break
2. Teams change ends
3. Three minutes of additional time shall be played, plus time-on
4. At the end of the first additional time period, the siren will sound and teams will immediately change ends without a break
5. The ball will be bounced (or thrown up) in the centre and a further three minutes of play (plus time-on) will commence
6. At the conclusion of this period, the siren will sound and the team with the highest score is declared the winner
7. If scores are still tied, steps 2-7 are repeated until a result is determined.
Interchange cap: Clubs shall receive 10 interchanges for each two three-minute periods. Any leftover interchanges from each period of Additional Time would not carry over into a subsequent period.
Runners: Runners may access the playing arena after a goal or a significant stoppage in play (eg. a stretcher is called). Runners are also permitted to access the playing arena at the conclusion of each three minute (plus time-on) period of Additional Time as players are changing ends.