With the 2017 NRL Draw now released, here's five of the games we're most looking forward to next season.

Round 3 - Sydney Roosters @ Pepper Stadium
7pm Saturday 18 March

The first home game of the year for the Panthers is always a special occasion. It will be a chance to introduce new signing James Tamou to the people of Penrith and give a small glimpse of what the Panthers may be capable of in 2017. Let's be honest, the Roosters were a bit of a shambles last season. With the repentant Mitchell Pearce and the recovered Jared Waerea-Hargreaves back on deck they'll pose a much sterner test.

Round 7 - Cronulla Sharks @ Pepper Stadium
4pm Sunday 16 April

The defending premiers (that club currently celebrating the milestone of their 51st season...) come to visit Pepper Stadium for some Sunday afternoon footy. The Sharks got the better of us both times we met in 2016, so it's well and truly time to hit back. Last season's spiteful Round 8 encounter at Southern Cross Group Stadium finished 20-18 and is remembered as the one that got away for the Panthers.

Round 8 - Parramatta Eels @ ANZ Stadium
3pm Saturday 22 April

With no home game against the Eels in 2017, the scene is set for the Battle of the West at ANZ Stadium. This is the rivalry that matters most. In the eternal words of Michael Jennings, "I don't hate the Parramatta players, just the team they represent." Who could forget Bryce Cartwright touching down to nick the result in the final seconds at Pirtek Stadium last season? Glorious. This time the Eels are back under the salary cap and could send former Panthers Suaia Matagi and George Jennings into battle.

Round 14 - Canberra Raiders @ Carrington Park, Bathurst
5.30pm Saturday 10 June

The Panthers will be desperate to rectify the disappointing finals display against Canberra which brought our 2016 season to an end. Perhaps they can draw inspiration from last season's thrilling clash in Bathurst, when Peter Wallace slotted the winning field goal. In any case it should be another classic showdown between two sides who play some of the most exciting rugby league in the competition.

Round 21 - Bulldogs @ Pepper Stadium
Date and time TBC

They stole our song and thought it would be amusing to tweet a picture of a Panthers flag in a bin. We responded by humiliating them on their home ground to send them packing from the 2016 Finals Series. Enough said.