The Kempsey Cannonballs will field a full strength side for their season opener against the reigning champions Coffs Harbour Snappers at Crescent Head this Saturday.
The fixture will also see Cannons juniors Cooper Gray and Caedan Allan make their first grade debuts.
Cooper, 18, plays hooker while Caedan, 17, will line up as scrumhalf.
"Cooper and Caedan are Cannons juniors and were a part of the Under-18s premiership side last year," Cannonballs coach Carl Thurgood said.
"They have earned their starting spots with impressive pre-seasons."
Cooper and Caedan are Cannons juniors... they have earned their (first grade) starting spots with impressive pre-seasons.Cannonballs coach Carl Thurgood
The juniors will be joined by an almost identical team to the one which dominated the Armidale Barbarians in the Cannonballs' only pre-season match.
Thurgood is hopeful the stability will help to develop the combinations.
"The side is shaping up really nicely, we have been working hard on continuing to build those combinations at training and focusing on the areas we identified as needing improvement leading into the season," he said.
"We have no injury concerns which is a positive start to the year."
Kempsey will face a tough task in their first outing, as they are up against the defending champions.
"Coffs were the 2018 premiers, they are well drilled and have been strong for many seasons now," Thurgood said.
"We expect them to be no different this year and after a loss in round one they will be eager to get their season off the ground.
"We will have to be well disciplined and match their intensity from the start."
While the Cannonballs are ready for the challenge, Thurgood admits the side faces an up hill battle after missing round one.
"Having a bye round one can be difficult with the other sides having a game under their belt," Thurgood said.
"But we've been working hard on the way we want to play rugby this year and I believe if we can execute come Saturday that we can get our season off to a winning start."
Kempsey will be forced to endure another stagnant start to the season.
After having a bye for the opening round, the side will be in action this Saturday before the competition takes a break for the Easter long weekend.
The Cannons will then return to action the following week as they travel to Port Macquarie to face the Pirates.
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