Richmond will play back-to-back Friday night matches at the MCG as part of the AFL’s fixture announcement today.

The blockbuster clashes are against the current ladder leaders the Western Bulldogs (Round 7) and Geelong (Round 8) in what will be the Grand Final rematch.

Both clashes will start at 7.50pm and be broadcast live on Channel 7, FOX FOOTY and Kayo.

Richmond will host the Western Bulldogs at the MCG for the first time since the final round of 2018.

AFL Executive General Manager Broadcasting and Clubs Travis Auld said the rolling fixture provided flexibility in the scheduling of matches as the AFL continues to release timeslots in smaller blocks, having regard to the ongoing Covid uncertainty.

“We are off to a fantastic start to the 2021 season, so many storylines are starting to play out and so many more are yet to be written,” Mr Auld said.

“A flexible fixturing approach has provided us with an opportunity to optimise our scheduling of primetime slots in each round. The clubs featured in the next block have been strongly influenced by their form in the early part of the season.”

AFL Head of Broadcasting and Scheduling Marcus King said the confirmation of dates and times of the fixture in smaller blocks will continue for the short term, as the league tries to balance providing certainty for fans and clubs.

“As a community we are still navigating through the effects of the Covid pandemic and releasing dates and times of matches in smaller blocks helps to provide certainty for fans wanting to attend matches,” Mr King said.

“The dates and times were formulated having regard to current government advice and border restrictions and we believe we have been able to deliver an attractive fixture for fans both in venue and watching around the country.”

Richmond will host Geelong at the MCG in Round 8 in a re-match of the 2020 AFL Grand Final.

The AFL will aim to release Rounds 9 & 10 post Round five.

Round seven

Friday, April 30
Richmond v Western Bulldogs at the MCG, 7.50pm AEST

Saturday, May 1

Collingwood v Gold Coast at the MCG, 1.45pm AEST
Adelaide v GWS Giants at Adelaide Oval, 1.40pm ACST
St Kilda v Hawthorn at Marvel Stadium, 4.35pm AEST
Sydney v Geelong at the SCG, 7.25pm AEST
Brisbane v Port Adelaide at the Gabba, 7.25pm AEST

Sunday, May 2
North Melbourne v Melbourne at Blundstone Arena, 1.10pm AEST
Essendon v Carlton at the MCG, 3.20pm AEST
West Coast v Fremantle at Optus Stadium, 2.40pm AWST

Round eight

Friday, May 7
Richmond v Geelong at the MCG, 7.50pm AEST

Saturday, May 8
GWS Giants v Essendon at Giants Stadium, 1.45pm AEST
Gold Coast v St Kilda at Metricon Stadium, 2.10pm AEST
North Melbourne v Collingwood at Marvel Stadium, 4.35pm AEST
Melbourne v Sydney at the MCG, 7.25pm AEST
Port Adelaide v Adelaide at Adelaide Oval, 7.10pm ACST

Sunday, May 9
Hawthorn v West Coast at the MCG, 1.10pm AEST
Western Bulldogs v Carlton at Marvel Stadium, 3.20pm AEST
Fremantle v Brisbane at Optus Stadium, 2.40pm AWST