Waikato face a tricky away trip to Rotorua International Stadium where they must tackle early ITM Cup leaders Bay of Plenty on Tuesday.
The Mooloo Men are aiming to bounce back in a hurry after losing at home to Taranaki five days ago.
Waikato started the season promisingly enough thanks to their opening win against current Ranfurly Shield holders Southland, but crashed to the 'Naki in Hamilton.
Last year's finalists also lost fly-half Stephen Donald - who contributed all of his side's points against the Stags - to injury in their last outing, but should have the discarded All Black back for Friday's cross-over clash against Tasman.
The short turnaround of matches means Waikato can ill-afford another defeat, despite only losing one from two thus far in a compressed campaign.
Freezing temperatures won't make it any easier for Chris Gibbes' troops, with the weather forecast for the next two nights set to fall below zero.
Gibbes has made 10 changes to his starting XV, which sees veteran flanker Marty Holah, number eight Rory Grice, scrum-half Tawera Kerr-Barlow and wing Declan O'Donnell all given the evening off.
Ben May comes in at loosehead prop, Chris Middleton at lock while Jack Lam, Zak Hohneck and Alex Bradley form an all-new loose forward trio. Former All Black number nine Brendon Leonard and fly-half Trent Renata partner up for Waikato's new halfback combination.
The Steamers, meanwhile, have made a few changes of their own - particularly in the pack - with Tuesday's starters including flanks Tanerau Latimer and Luke Andrews, neither of whom were in the Bay of Plenty's matchday 23 over the weekend.
"We haven't played in Rotorua for a while and they're two from two so they're on fire," said Gibbes.
"They love to shift the ball as you saw on Saturday afternoon [in a 38-17 home win over North Harbour at Mt Maunganui] and they can score length-of-the field tries.
"It's going to be a good old battle between two old foes," he said.
Bay of Plenty: 15 Toby Arnold, 14 Lelia Masaga, 13 Phil Burleigh, 12 Steve Kefu, 11 Ben W Smith, 10 Daniel Waenga, 9 Jamie Nutbrown, 8 Colin Bourke (c), 7 Tanerau Latimer, 6 Luke Andrews, 5 Culum Retallick, 4 Leon Power, 3 Josh Hohneck, 2 Daniel Perrin, 1 Tristan Moran.
Replacements: 16 John Pareanga, 17 Pingi Tala'apitanga, 18 Sam Cane, 19 Luke Braid, 20 Taniela Moa, 21 Chris Noakes, 22 Lance MacDonald/Nick McCashin, 23 Bronson Murray.
Waikato: 15 Tim Mikkelson, 14 Frank Halai, 13 Jackson Willison, 12 Rena Schuster, 11 Henry Speight, 10 Trent Renata, 9 Brendon Leonard, 8 Alex Bradley, 7 Zak Hohneck, 6 Jack Lam, 5 Toby Lynn, 4 Chris Middleton, 3 Nathan White, 2 Aled de Malmanche, 1 Ben May.
Replacements: 16 Marcel Cummings-Toone, 17 Toby Smith, 18 Romana Graham, 19 Matt Vant Leven, 20 Malcolm Barnes, 21 Sam Christie, 22 Save Tokula, 21 Latu Talakai.
Referee: Mike Fraser