The ACT Brumbies will unleash fury on each other before they turn their attention to the Melbourne Rebels, coach Dan McKellar declaring jerseys are on the line in a selection battle on Friday.
The Brumbies will play an intra-squad match at their University of Canberra headquarters before they begin the countdown for the rebooted Super Rugby AU competition.
The contest will be the best way for starting hopefuls to press their claims for a spot in the round-one team next week when the Brumbies meet the Canberra-bound Rebels.
The Rebels will arrive in the capital on Friday morning after being forced to leave Melbourne more than a week before the game because of coronavirus concerns in Victoria.
But the round-one opponents will be the furthest thing from the Brumbies minds when they square off with each other to impress McKellar.
The coach has to find a way to fit Tom Wright, Solomone Kata and Andy Muirhead into two wing spots, the back-row competition is intense and locks will be under pressure after COVID-19 squad changes.
"The expectation is that it's game intensity," McKellar said. "It's an opportunity for players to push their case for selection.
"They boys just want to play rugby. Training is important, but it gets to a point where you just want to play. I'm getting the feeling amongst the players now, they're keen to rip in.
"Guys put their hands up at the start of the year and others have done it in training. It's going to be tough to pick a team, but competition in the whole squad is good and everyone will be used.
"We've worked hard as a group for four or five weeks together, now it's about fine-tuning to make sure we're in a good position for 7.15pm next Saturday night."
Leading Australian referee Angus Gardner was due to oversee the session, but he will no longer attend after doing something similar for the Rebels.
Instead, Canberra referee Rueben Keane will take charge as the Brumbies trial the law variations set to be introduced next week.
Second-rowers Nick Frost (foot) and Caderyn Neville (ankle) have been ruled out of the first game because of injury, while Blake Enever has signed a deal in England less than a week after being released from his Brumbies deal.
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The injuries and Enever's departure opens the door for Ben Hyne to restart his Brumbies career as the third lock with Murray Douglas and Darcy Swain.
In the back line, Wright started to show his class before the competition shutdown in March and was picked in a players of national interest Wallabies squad. But Kata and Muirhead have been just as impressive, giving McKellar a wing headache.
There was speculation a player strike could threaten the opening games of the new domestic competition after players were asked to take pay cut for the rest of the year. The NRl faced a similar standoff when it relaunched its season in May.
The players are pleading for Rugby Australia to finalise the code's long-term future to give them certainty, with a mooted trans-Tasman competition for 2021 and beyond yet to be locked in.
But all games are expected to go ahead, with officials confident a deal will be agreed to.
"Hopefully we can let people focus on what's being done on the field and the exciting talent we've got around the country. There's plenty of it," McKellar said.