The Otago Spirit will have its first couple of games at home, but it may have to play away from Dunedin in its opening game of the season.
There will be six burly blokes patrolling the sidelines this weekend as part of the Otago Rugby Football Union’s push to promote positive sideline behaviour.
Sam Anderson-Heather will captain the Otago side this year — but he may not be the skipper in every game he plays.
Otago has signed three players for the coming year but says it is still looking for local players to fill spots in the squad.
Ideas ranging from a club of origin game to creating more sports hubs have been floated as a way to keep players engaged in rugby.
Otago has retained a couple of front rowers and a couple of backs for the upcoming Mitre 10 Cup season.
Otago's Ricky Jackson and Vilimoni Koroi have been named in the New Zealand under-20 team for next month's Oceania Rugby Championship in Australia.
Central Otago appears to be caught between a rock and a hard place as the region is booming at one end and just keeping its head above water at the other.
Coryn Huddy has spent eight years as a key figure at Forsyth Barr Stadium - now he will manage one of the teams that plays at it.