Rugby officials hope law variations will transform the National Rugby Championship into a more attacking, free flowing contest as teams prepare for a new season.
Rugby Australia published game dates on Wednesday, with the Canberra Vikings to start their campaign with a clash against the Melbourne Rising on August 31.
It leaves a short turnaround between the end of Canberra's premier division finals series and the opening fixture, but coach Nick Scrivener is also trying to get his head around new laws.
The NRC will introduce a law to reward attacking kicks, similar to the 40-20 rules in rugby league, if teams kick from inside their own half and find touch inside the 22 metres. The attacking team will then get the ensuing lineout throw.
There will also be a change when teams are held-up over the line when trying to score a try. Instead of a five metre scrum, the defending team will restart play with a dropout from their own goal-line.
Scrivener says the rule changes will suit the team and that he is supportive of the move, but it will be a big test for the players.
MORE CANBERRA SPORT
"There are some new considerations that we have to think about and we don't have much time to do that," Scrivener said.
"It'll be about having a go, having a few tactics up your sleeve and to just see how it goes."
Scrivener has been working with Canberra club rugby and ACT Brumbies coaches to put together a squad, with three of the first four games to be played on the road.
"It's a tough start for us, Melbourne will be really good down in Melbourne and then Queensland who beat us last year up there. We do have to run home," Scrivener said
The squad has all but been finalised, but Wallabies World Cup selections will have a major impact on some Brumby availability.
The Wallabies squad will be named in August and any players on the fringes will be keen to get NRC game time in case they get an injury SOS to play at the World Cup.
"There are still some spots up for grabs, and the boys will be competing for those in the coming weeks," Scrivener said. We will have a strong, exciting squad."
CANBERRA VIKINGS NRC DRAW
August 31: Melbourne Rising v Canberra Vikings, Melbourne
September 8: Queensland Country v Canberra Vikings, Gold Coast
September 14: Canberra Vikings v Brisbane City, Canberra
September 21: Western Force v Canberra Vikings, Perth
September 28: Canberra Vikings v Fijian Drua, Canberra
October 5: Canberra Vikings v Sydney, Canberra
October 11: Canberra Vikings v NSW Country, Canberra