NAB Cup imposes a travel load on rival interstate teams

THE 2013 NAB Cup will be started by Collingwood, Essendon and the Western Bulldogs (pictured) in a round-robin series at Melbourne's Etihad Stadium on Friday, February 15.

Following the release of the draw yesterday, round one matches are to be played over two weekends.

Geelong has drawn the short straw and will travel West to play Fremantle and West Coast on the first Saturday, and St Kilda heads to Adelaide to play the Crows and Port Adelaide on the Sunday.

On the second weekend, Richmond, Melbourne and the Kangaroos will play at Etihad on the Friday, Hawthorn, Brisbane and the Suns meet on the Gold Coast on the Saturday and Carlton, GWS and Sydney will do battle in Bankstown on the Sunday.

Matches will be spread across the country in round two, with North Melbourne taking on the Suns in Townsville, Brisbane heading to Wagga to play the Giants, and Melbourne meeting Port in Renmark.

In round three the Bulldogs will head to Northam to play Fremantle, and West Coast travels to Alice Springs to take on Port. The grand final will be played on either Friday, March 15, or the following day.