Brumbies skipper Allan Alaalatoa says each game in the Super Rugby AU competition will feel like a final, starting with their round one clash with Melbourne in Canberra on Saturday night.
With Wallabies jerseys as well as state pride on the line, competition in the five-team smash derby, which replaces the globe-trotting regular Super tournament, is expected to be intense.
"Every game in this comp is going to be a final and it will give everyone an opportunity to push for higher honours," Alaalatoa said on Friday.
"(Wallabies coach) Dave Rennie has said he's going to pick on form and you're playing in a comp where you're versing the best in the country so that's where you want to challenge yourself.
"This comp is great for the Wallabies selectors to get a real look at the talent we have in Australia."
Before any fireworks on the pitch, Alaalatoa ribbed his good mate, Rebels and Wallabies playmaker Matt Toomua, who will notch his 100th Super Rugby cap after starting his career in Canberra.
Toomua's match-up with Brumbies youngster Noah Lolesio will be a highlight, with Rennie saying he was excited to see the two Test No.10 contenders go at it.
"I almost thought he was on holiday because he's been down at Federal golf course every day this week," Alaalatoa said of Toomua.
"I hope he's applied the same amount of time to his kicking because he's going to need that."
The Brumbies will field an all-Wallabies front-row including Alaalatoa, while the Rebels will be hoping their Test-laden backline gives them an edge.
Brumbies fullback Mack Hansen will make his Super Rugby starting debut while other new faces include Rebels lock Michael Stolberg, who joined Melbourne after already playing against them and the Brumbies with the now defunct Sunwolves outfit.
The Canberra side were runaway leaders ahead of the Rebels in the Australian conference before the March shut-down after seven rounds, with all teams starting the new competition on zero points.
Australian Associated Press