Central North and New England are set to resume their long-standing rivalry next month.
The two zones will play a trial game as a curtain raiser to the Super Rugby clash between the NSW Waratahs and Bulls in Tamworth on March 21.
Once a regular occurrence, it will be the first time the Kookaburras and Lions have faced each other for a few years and will be a great opportunity for local fans to see the region's best players, along with some international stars, in action.
New England zone director of coaching Luke Stephen sees the game as a good launching pad for the 2020 representative season.
"New England and Central North is one of the great rivalries in Country Rugby, being able to showcase this in front of hopefully a large crowd is a great honour for the players who are lucky enough to be selected," he said.
Central North president Tony Byrnes said it will be a good chance for Central North Representative Coordinator Paul King "to show off his stars".
King said it is exciting for the Kookaburras to have the chance to lock horns with their old foes again.
"It's good to resume a rivalry, that's always a healthy thing," he said.
They are still in the process of assembling a squad, but King expects to have "a fairly strong squad" both for the clash with the Lions and the Country Championships, which will be held in Tamworth over the June long weekend.
"At the moment we are in the process of contacting all the players looking to play," King said.
"We're trying to use as a genuine trial."
So far the response has been encouraging.
"Most of the players are really positive with it. They're looking forward to having the trial match," he said.
Four-time premiership-winning Pirates mentor Mat Kelly has taken on the Kookaburras coaching reins.
"He'll be a real asset for us," King said.
The Kookaburras will be looking to go one better after finishing runners-up in the Richardson Shield last year.
It was King's first year in the role and he said they will take some lessons away.
"We'll set up training a bit differently to what we did last year," he said.
The plan at this stage is to get together for a camp probably about the fifth round of the competition, which would be around a month out from the championships.
The large area the zone covers doesn't make it easy to train regularly. It is a four-and-a-half hour trip from the most western club, Moree, to the most eastern club in Scone.
"We'll be looking to draw from every club in the zone," King said.
"Every club has players that have the right to be there."
The trial will kick-off at 5.45pm with the Super Rugby fixture following at 7.45pm.