Former Ulster and Ireland flanker Chris Henry will take charge of his boyhood club Malone for the first time as they travel to Banbridge on the opening weekend in Division One of the SONI Ulster Rugby Premiership.
Henry replaced Paddy Armstrong in the Gibson Park hot-seat during the close season.
“I’m very much looking forward to it, like any rugby team you are glad to see the back of pre-season,” said Henry.
“All the hard work has been put in and now you want to go out and see if there is progress.
“Banbridge have had a warm-up game against a Scottish touring side so we’re bracing ourselves that they will come out the blocks.
“ We purposely didn’t have any warm-up games because of the length of the season and now it’s time to see if we can front up and get ourselves match ready very quickly.
“Fitness is definitely something we want to see, we want to see bucket-loads of energy; training has been tough and the guys have really bought into what we have done,” he added.
“The guys have put in a lot of hard work so hopefully they can be rewarded at the weekend.”
Bann also changed head coaches in the summer with Mark McDowell now in charge.
Elsewhere in Division One Queen’s - buoyed by their Dudley Cup win last week over Trinity - travel to Eaton Park to face Ballymena (2pm).
Ballynahinch start the defence of their title at newly-promoted Rainey.
In Division Two, former Schools Cup winning captain Michael Lagan starts in the front row for Belfast Harlequins as they welcome Bangor to Deramore.
Armagh are on the road at City of Derry and Omagh clash with Dungannon.