The Hawke's Bay Magpies have been hard at work this week preparing for what coach Mark Ozich thinks will be a bruising start to their National Provincial Championship campaign.
Ozich has selected his 23 players who will take on Taranaki in New Plymouth at 2pm on Saturday.
He said big victories over Heartland Championship opposition in the Magpies' preseason Ranfurly Shield defences somewhat glossed over a few cracks in their game that they have tried to address.
"Playing Counties [Manukau Steelers in Taupō] last week exposed us a little bit around our physicality and our detail," Ozich said.
"There's been a fair bit of work gone in this week to try and get up to speed."
The coach wants his team to be able to withstand the physicality Taranaki will attempt to exert on them and said two wins over the Bulls last season mean nothing now.
Having featured exclusively on the wing last year, Lolagi Visinia will start at fullback with Tiaan Falcon covering him and first five Lincoln McClutchie on the bench.
Visinia is no stranger to the 15 jersey though having spent time there early in his Super Rugby career with the Blues as well as with the Magpies this preseason.
"He's got the ability to play in any of the back three spots, so it's handy for us," Ozich said.
Since midfielder/wing Neria Fomai only recently joined the group from Manu Samoa's tour of New Zealand, the coach rewarded Anzelo Tuitavuki and Kienan Higgins for their good form and training with places on the wing and bench respectively.
Otherwise it's a fairly predictable lineup with Caleb Makene, Solomone Funaki and Brendon O'Connor still to return from injury.
New halfback Ereatara Enari is keen to impress having had few opportunities to play during the Crusaders' Super Rugby campaign.
"For me initially it's about getting back on the field and finding my feet again with game time," he said.
Enari said he wants to bring a lot of speed and tempo to the side as he finds his place in the Magpies' free-flowing structure:
"And just enjoy my rugby alongside them because they're a pretty awesome team to be around, great culture."
Hawke's Bay's exciting brand of rugby was certainly a drawcard for the 24-year-old who has been in the region for about a month.
"I'm just loving the small-town vibe," Enari said, noting the similarities with Gisborne where he grew up.
"Connecting with people in our community and seeing how excited they are for us."
Tickets for the game at Pukekura Park sold out on Thursday, with Taranaki fans keen to see their teams' first game at the venue in 76 years.
1. Pouri Rakete-Stones, 2. Ash Dixon (captain), 3. Joe Apikotoa, 4. Geoff Cridge, 5. Tom Parsons, 6. Marino Mikaele-Tu'u, 7. Gareth Evans, 8. Devan Flanders, 9. Ereatara Enari, 10. Lincoln McClutchie, 11. Anzelo Tuitavuki, 12. Danny Toala, 13. Stacey Ili, 14. Jonah Lowe, 15. Lolagi Visinia
Reserves: 16. Kianu Kereru-Symes, 17. Namatahi Waa, 18. Joel Hintz, 19. Bryn Evans, 20. Josh Kaifa, 21. Connor McLeod, 22. Tiaan Falcon, 23. Kienan Higgins
1. Reuben O'Neill, 2. Bradley Slater, 3. Michael Bent, 4. Tupou Vaa'i, 5. Josh Lord, 6. Findlamor Hoeata, 7. Tom Florence, 8. Pita Gus Sowakula, 9. Liam Blyde, 10. Jayson Potroz, 11. Kini Naholo, 12. Teihorangi Walden, 13. Daniel Rona, 14. Jacob Ratumaitavuki-Kneepkens, 15. Stephen Perofeta
Reserves: 16. Ricky Riccitelli, 17. Jared Proffit, 18. Kyle Stewart, 19. Jesse Parete, 20. Johnny Faleatagoa'i-Malase, 21. Shaan Waite, 22. Daniel Waite, 23. Vereniki Tikoisolomone