The Penrith Panthers are willing to put themselves at a disadvantage just for the right to host the opening game of the NRL Finals series, declaring their desire to kick things off - even though the NRL hasn’t yet put a fixture list together.

This is despite the fact that two of Penrith's three possible Week 1 opponents – the Parramatta Eels and Melbourne Storm – would have an extra two days to prepare for the clash, given they meet in the first game of Round 25 on Thursday night.

The Panthers have already secured a charter flight to take the team home immediately following their game against the North Queensland Cowboys in Townsville on Saturday evening, in an attempt to minimise the effects of a quick turnaround.

“We’ve got to get a charter flight, otherwise we wouldn’t get back from Townsville until Sunday,” Panthers Group chief executive Brian Fletcher told the Sydney Morning Herald.

“I think the football department is still comfortable if we’re scheduled to play Friday night.”

It’s also likely that the Panthers will send a squad to Townsville without a number of key personnel, with local Penrith journalist Peter Lang reporting the club will rest 13 players for the clash.

Halfback Nathan Cleary is still suspended until the finals begin, while forward Spencer Leniu and dummy-half Apisai Koroisau are likely to be given a break after they picked up minor niggles against the Warriors.

There’s also a possibility the Panthers could meet the Cowboys two weeks in a row, if Melbourne can beat the Eels and an undermanned Panthers side can still get the job done in Townsville.