Mark it down in the calendar as one of the most emotion-charged games of the 2018 NRL Telstra Premiership regular season.

With the NRL set to unveil next year's draw on Thursday morning, NRL.com can reveal Josh Reynolds' Wests Tigers will host Aaron Woods' Canterbury Bulldogs on Sunday, May 27.

The NRL has scheduled the Sydney blockbuster at ANZ Stadium in Round 12, which also doubles as the final match before NSW and Queensland select their teams for the opening game of the State of Origin series.

Both Woods and Reynolds, who have switched clubs in the off-season, must each wait three months before squaring off against their former team in 2018.

Woods' decision to link with the Bulldogs angered Tigers fans, however feelings towards the skipper improved over the course of the season given the amount of effort he put in during his final weeks at the club.

It was in complete contrast to the reaction surrounding Reynolds' deal with the Tigers, with many Bulldogs supporters voicing their frustration with the club over the defection of one of their favourite sons.

The Wests Tigers and Bulldogs meet twice in 2018 and their clashes are among several highly anticipated match-ups next season pinning high-profile recruits against their old clubs.

James Tedesco will don the Roosters jersey for the first time against the Tigers in the opening round, while Ben Hunt won't have to wait long to play against his old club either, with the Dragons drawn against the Broncos in the Thursday night season opener in Kogarah.

The NRL grand final has been locked in for September 30, with the regular season reduced from 26 rounds to 25.

There is also a standalone Origin weekend, with Game Two to be played in Sydney on Sunday, June 24. NRL clubs will also be given a bye at another point through the season.

Last season the NRL reduced the number of games in a round during the Origin period on six occasions, however the number of rounds affected by byes will be reduced to just two in 2018.

The number of five-day turnarounds has also been reduced.

The NRL has also moved to take advantage of the Easter long weekend in 2018, stretching the round over five days.

The NRL put the finishing touches on the 2018 schedule on Wednesday morning, which includes the re-introduction of Thursday night football for the Easter round.

This year's grand finalists, North Queensland Cowboys, will host Penrith Panthers in Townsville on Thursday, March 29 in a match televised on Channel Nine.

It will be played on the eve of the traditional Good Friday clash between South Sydney and Canterbury, which will be played at ANZ Stadium in Round 4.

The NRL will also play a night game on Easter Sunday before the Tigers and Eels do battle at ANZ Stadium on Easter Monday.

The official 2018 NRL Telstra Premiership draw will be released on the NRL Official App and NRL.com at 10.00am on Thursday.

This article first appeared on NRL.com.