While history and form favour the side who struck gold for a record 27th time last year, the defending champions are taking nothing for granted in their opening match on Monday.
“We expect to come under heavy fire in our first round clash against Eastern Province,” said team manager, Jaco du Plessis.
“Eastern Province earned a hard-fought promotion last year and we expect them to come out guns blazing. I believe they will throw everything at us in that first match to sound a warning to the other teams.”
Marco Steyn and David Meyers were mainstays for the triumphant side who marched to an unbeaten victory at Westlake Golf Club last year.
The pair will return for duty alongside fellow 2014 team members Andi Dill, Darin de Smidt, Matthew Spacy, as well as Jason Viljoen, a member of the 2013 team, while Ryan Dreyer and Basil Wright completes the line-up.
“Ryan made his SA Inter-Provincial debut in 1988 and he brings a wealth of experience to the team, while Basil makes his debut in the premier SA Inter-Provincial,” Du Plessis said.
“However, Basil played for Central Gauteng in the last two Challenge Cup Team Tournaments and at Under-23 level and has a great record in these events.
“A lot of people under estimated our team last year, thinking our players were too young, but we surprised them. What pulled it through for us was a team that played for each other.
“There were no egos or agendas and everyone batted for each other and this year’s team has the same attitude. We have had a couple of practice sessions and the guys clicked well and formed a tight unit in quick time. There is no batting order in this team.
“Ryan and Basil are both great individual competitors, but they fit nicely into the set-up. Everyone plays for the team and I’m confident we’ll put up another good show this year.
“We just need to have a solid start from the start, to get the momentum going.”
Western Province, who fell an agonising half point short in the title bid last year, will be looking for a fast start against Ekurhuleni, while Boland and Southern Cape will go head-to-head in the first round of foursomes and singles.
Meanwhile a great scuffle is expected in the B-Division’s battle for promotion.
Gauteng North’s relegation last year marked only the fourth time in the history of the prestigious event that the defending champions were left holding the wooden spoon.
The 2013 champions will face Limpopo, Free State will start their campaign against KwaZulu-Natal and Mpumalanga will go up against North West Province in the first round.