The Western Force may be without veteran fullback Cameron Shepherd, but they will still field eight internationals in their run-on side that will face a very inexperienced Brumbies outfit to Canberra on Friday.
The Brumbies will field a very youthful side, with six debuts.
And Force coach Richard Graham named a matchday 22 that features nine potential club debutants when they head to Canberra.
However, it is the experience they will have at their disposal - despite the absence of Shepherd - that will be their biggest asset in the opening round of Super Rugby action.
Shepherd, who featured in last week's loss to the Reds, has been ruled out with a leg strain.
His spot in the run-on side has been taken by Alfie Mafi, with former scrumhalf James Stannard named at flyhalf - following the pre-season departure of Willie Ripia.
Former skipper Nathan Sharpe has recovered from his calf complaint and will partner Toby Lynn in the second row, with regular lock Sam Wykes (hamstring) ruled out.
Sharpe dominated the line-out the last time he was in Canberra and will again be looking to give the Western Force an advantage in the forwards alongside Wallaby back row trio of David Pocock, Matt Hodgson and Ben McCalman as well as capped props Pek Cowan and new recruit Salesi Ma'afu.
Marquee wing and Fijian International Napolioni Nalaga will be one to watch having previously dominated the French Top 14 competition with Clermont. In his four seasons in France Nalaga picked up a 'Top 14 Player of the Year' award as well heading the try scorers list twice.
Other players in line to make their Western Force debut include Lynn at lock and outside centre Winston Stanley, who have been named in the starting XV, while hooker Elvis Taione, and youngsters Phoenix Battye (lock), Angus Cottrell (flank), Ben Seymour (flyhalf) and Sam Wara (outside back) are on the substitutes' bench.
Sam Wykes will miss after being unable to shake a hamstring strain in time for the match.
Following 15 weeks of intensive pre-season preparations the coach, Graham, said his side is eager to make a strong statement as competition points go on the line for the first time in 2012.
"We've drawn a line in the sand and the most important thing for us is our start to the game this Friday," Graham said.
"There is huge excitement and anticipation. We've been going now in pre-season for three and a half months and the boys are really keen to get started.
"Every week the expectation is that you perform at your very best and give yourself a chance to win, that's certainly the expectation we've got on each other heading into this match.
"The only way you gain experience is by playing. We have a lot of confidence in the players we've selected, they've all had a chance to get a run in the pre-season matches and are determined to make the most of their opportunities," Graham said.
"For a guy like Phoenix, he has been in our programme for 12 months and played really well in Samoa during last year's post season tour. The same goes for Angus who has come in this pre-season and shown he can perform at this level."
Western Force: 15 Alfie Mafi, 14 Nick Cummins, 13 Winston Stanley, 12 Rory Sidey, 11 Napolioni Nalaga, 10 James Stannard, 9 Brett Sheehan, 8 Ben McCalman, 7 David Pocock (captain), 6 Matt Hodgson, 5 Nathan Sharpe, 4 Toby Lynn, 3 Salesi Ma'afu, 2 Nathan Charles, 1 Pek Cowan.
Replacements: 16 Elvis Taione, 17 Kieran Longbottom, 18 Phoenix Battye, 19 Angus Cottrell, 20 Justin Turner, 21 Ben Seymour, 22 Sam Wara.
Date: Friday, February 24
Venue: Canberra Stadium, Canberra
Kick-off: 19.40 (08.40 GMT)
Referee: Bryce Lawrence (New Zealand)
Assistant referees: Andrew Lees (Australia), James Leckie (Australia)
TMO: Matt Goddard (Australia)
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