Saturday will be an historic day for Peterborough rugby as a city team plays in a Level Four match for the very first time.
The big game takes place at Solstice Park, Bretton, as Peterborough Lions entertain Wharfedale from North Yorkshire in a National League Division Two North fixture.
Kick-off is 3pm and Lions chairman Andy Moore is urging the people of Peterborough to get behind his team.
He said: “We’ve put so much into reaching this level and are determined to make a go of it. To do that we’re obviously going to have to win our home games and good support gives the players a tremendous lift.
“So come down and have a look at us. You’ll see a marvellous standard of rugby and we’ve got all the trimmings to match - beer, burgers and banter.”
Wharfedale, whose president is former England star John Spencer, the current RFU president, will be well supported as they strive to get back to Level Three. After 20 years in the third tier, they were relegated from National League One in 2016.
The Lions will go into battle with a much-changed squad from last season.
They’ve recruited heavily during the summer and director of rugby Simon Moyle is delighted with the new intake.
He said: “We are determined to stay in the National League so have signed a lot of talented young players who will serve us well not only for next year but for a few years to come.
“It’s probably going to be the youngest squad in the division but the players are all hungry for success.
“They all want to be here and fit into the way we want to play the game.
“Once again we’ll be playing the expansive brand of rugby which served us so well last year.
“I think we’ll surpise a few teams with our gameplan.”
The Lions’ one and only pre-season friendly took place in Wales last weekend when they took on the might of Merthyr, the reigning Welsh League champions.
The result was a whopping 86-7 in Merthyr’s favour but Moyle was quick to stress the result wasn’t important.
“Going all that way to play a team that effectively play two levels higher than us served its purpose. We drew many, many positives from the trip.
“There was nothing in it for half an hour. We were competitive and they respected us and we earned that respect by playing well.
“It was only in the second half when they were able to bring on fresh legs that they ran away with it. We had 18 players and I think they used 29.
“We also didn’t pick up any injuries which shows our strength and conditioning work during the summer has been right.”
New scrum-half Franco Perticaro, who was shipped in all the way from Argentina, scored the Lions consolation try.
The Lions will pick from a near full-strength squad for Saturday’s opener. The only absentees will be Tom Gulland and Ashley Hill through work commitments.
National League Two North: Peterborough Lions v Wharfedale.
Midlands Division One East: Oundle v Old Northamptonians, Peterborough v Northampton Old Scouts.