The Central Districts Stags look a little wet behind the ears but coach Heinrich Malan says it's another chapter in the development of players.

"It's exciting. It's a good time for some of those lads to play on a fantastic venue in Queenstown where they can test their skills and technical side of their game," Malan said of the Devon Hotel-sponsored team who resume their four-day Plunket Shield campaign today against the Otago Volts.

With batsman Jamie How retired, Taranaki's Dean Robinson will open for CD, with 50-over MVP George Worker as captain.

Captain Kruger van Wyk is unavailable, with wife Zeanandi expecting their second child.


CHB batsmen Ben Smith is still injured, opening the way for Dane Cleaver, who will also take the gloves behind the stumps.

Allrounder Kieran Noema-Barnett hasn't fully recovered from injury, with Malan revealing he gallantly played in the Ford Trophy finals to ensure there was enough experience for the 2014-25 50-over champions.

"Tom Bruce will make his first-class debut on the back of good trophy games," he said of the Taranaki man who scored 88 runs against the Volts in the playoffs.

Spinner Ajaz Patel resumes with the departure of Marty Kain, and Hawke's Bay seamer Stevie Smidt will be hanging out for more game time.

"Marty isn't out of the running but Ajaz is the man in the seat," Malan said.

White-ball merchant Bevan Small, of Manawatu, will make his debut but packs similar domestic experience to Patel.

Ford Trophy record-breaking seamer Andrew Mathieson returns with Will Young, while Black Cap test seamer Doug Bracewell "picks himself".

The weather in Queenstown is hovering around wintry temperatures with rain but should start fining up from today.