IT has the potential to become another entertaining Hastings rivalry and Wauchope Thunder coach Marc Minor is aiming just for that.
The Thunder will play in its first trial game tomorrow against the Hastings Valley Vikings.
Minor admitted it was going to be an uphill battle for Thunder to match it with last year's Upper Mid North Coast premiers but said the long term plan was to create a rivalry akin to that between the Vikings and the Port Macquarie Pirates.
"That would be the ultimate goal," he said.
"It would bode well for rugby across the valley to have three strong teams.
"We hope to see that in the future and it would be a good thing for all three clubs."
Minor said the plan was already in action with the club investing in their junior ranks.
"If we're going to be competitive in the future with the likes of the Vikings and the Pirates its going to come down to our juniors," he said.
"And we've really put a strong emphasis in them already."
The Vikings will be without 12 of its first grade regulars who will be away on representative commitments.
Minor was still weary when it came to taking on a predominantly reserve grade team.
"They have a really handy reserve grade side, they won their competition too last year," he said.
"They'll have a lot of experience and that's one of the area's we're probably lacking the most.
"We have a lot of guys who will be playing their first game ever."
It will be the Thunder's first of three tough trials before the competition proper kicks off on April 11.
The following week Wauchope will host Barraba and the week after it will play the Pirates.
The Thunder's coach said there was a method to his madness in booking in trial games against strong opposition.
"You don't get better by playing weaker teams," he said.
"We want to work out our weaknesses so we can cover those bases so by the time our comp starts we can give it a good shake."
Vikings coach Andrew Kable confirmed 12 regular players would be missing from the line-up tomorrow.
"It will be they're first hit out of the year," he said.
"It will be good playing against a team from a different competition but still as close as Wauchope."