After a week off following the end of their Super Rugby Aotearoa season, which ended with a confidence building win over the Highlanders, Holland said there was no shortage of enthusiasm being shown.
“It does genuinely feel like a new competition to us and the fact that we get to front up against Australian opposition after more than a year has added to that,” he said.
“We have all wondered how we would shape up against them after that period of time not being able to play against some of our traditional rivals and now that opportunity is really close.
“We managed to have a bit of time off following that last game and the guys have come back together keen to get back into it.”
Holland has made several changes to the squad which last ran out at Sky Stadium, with Alex Fidow coming into the front row and Isaia Walker-Leawere joining the tight five.
The backline remains largely the same, the exception being at second five-eighth where Peter Umaga-Jensen will partner Billy Proctor.
There are some changes on the bench as well, with halfback Jonathan Taumateine and utility back Orbyn Leger named in the 23-man squad.
There is also a recall for lock Liam Mitchell and prop Tevita Mafileo.
“We have a number of guys in the squad who have continued to really put their hand up for selection right through our domestic season and we’ve now given some of them a chance again,” Holland added.
Kick off at the Sydney Cricket Ground is 9.45pm (NZ time).
The Hurricanes squad to face the Waratahs is:
1: XAVIER NUMIA
2: DANE COLES ©
3: ALEX FIDOW
4: JAMES BLACKWELL
5: ISAIA WALKER-LEAWERE
6: REED PRINSEP
7: DU’PLESSIS KIRIFI
8: DEVAN FLANDERS
9: LUKE CAMPBELL
10: RUBEN LOVE
11: SALESI RAYASI
12: PETER UMAGA-JENSEN
13: BILLY PROCTOR
14: JULIAN SAVEA
15: JORDIE BARRETT
RESERVES: ASAFO AUMUA, TEVITA MAFILEO, TYREL LOMAX, LIAM MITCHELL, BRAYDEN lOSE, JONATHAN TAUMATEINE, ORBYN LEGER, PEPESANA PATAFILO