The final positions in last year's Principality Premiership have been taken into account with the top club in each region earning home advantage - and in some cases a bye into the second round.
In the first round of play-off fixtures, Bridgend kick off proceedings on Friday night with a trip to The Gnoll to face Neath while on Saturday, Cross Keys host Newport and Swansea visit Aberavon. The final game of the weekend sees Llanelli host Carmarthen Quins at Parc y Scarlets.
It's an unusual start to the season but one which gives the clubs an opportunity to lay down a marker against Premiership opposition before competitive league action gets underway.
The winners of tonight's clash at The Gnoll will play either Swansea or Aberavon next week to determine the representative from the Ospreys region while Llandovery lie in wait for either Llanelli or Carmarthen Quins. The victors from the meeting between Cross Keys and Newport will take on Bedwas next weekend while this time next week, Pontypridd will host Cardiff to determine the Blues participant.
After playing just one pre-season fixture - a comfortable 38-0 victory against local rivals Bridgend Athletic, Bridgend are looking to explore some of their options against Neath.
"The first game is always a bit of an unknown," said their head coach Ben Rose.
"How have Neath prepared compared to us? I don't think anyone can answer that. All I know is that we have worked hard through pre-season and have become tighter as a coaching group, a squad and as a club.
"It's not the time to worry about the opposition. Instead, we plan to focus on ourselves, our performance and what we want to be like this season.
"It is the first game and a local derby so needless to say we are excited to take the field."
While Neath will be up a stiff test at the start of the new season, Bridgend have a good recent record at The Gnoll and will be determined to maintain it.
Jamie Murphy, whose performances for the Ravens last year saw him earn a contract with the Ospreys, starts at full back while Wales Under 20 wing Ashley Evans also features after some impressive performances at the recent Junior World Championship in France.
For Neath, a new coach and a number of summer signings mean it is an exciting time for the Welsh All Blacks. Only seven of the side who start tonight's game featured last year.
"There are many new faces at The Gnoll this season but we feel we have recruited strongly with some experienced heads joining plenty of young, hungry talent," said head coach Neil Edwards.
"As our supporters witnessed in last Friday's final preparation against Carmarthen Athletic, we have pace to burn in the back division and the 66-7 win underlined the fact that we are looking to get back to the kind of dynamic, all-action play for which Neath is famed.
"We want to win every game we play - Bridgend is the first test and we know they will pose a stern, early challenge to our ambitions."
Elsewhere, Cross Keys include two debutants in their side to face Newport. Aaron Bramwell and Reuben Tucker both start while hooker Darren Hughes and prop Luke Garrett will also make their first appearances for the club if they appear from the bench.
Their opponents Newport have been with a blow - new signing and captain Lee Beach side-lined with a knee injury suffered in the pre-season clash with Moseley.
In his absence, Adam Brown takes over the captaincy with Ethan Davies making his debut at fly-half. Young wing Ashton Hewitt, who was in scintillating form for Wales Under 18 on their recent tour of South Africa, is an interesting inclusion on the right wing.
British & Irish Cup fixtures:
Friday, August 30: Neath vs. Bridgend (KO 7.30pm)
Saturday, August 31: Cross Keys vs. Newport and Aberavon vs. Swansea (KO 2.30pm)
Sunday, September 1: Llanelli vs. Carmarthen Quins (KO 2.30pm)