The team will be up against Stellenbosch in their first clash at the UJ Stadium.
Having reached the semifinals for the last two years, but getting no further, coach Werner Janse van Rensburg said they were now concentrating on the challenge ahead.
He added that success was all about taking your opportunities.
“That’s the way you have to play to get into finals,” he said. “We’ve learned harsh lessons in the last two years.”
He added that constant changes in the squad meant teams started each tournament on a new footing.
“In this competition you will never have the continuity that comes with a settled squad of 30 to 35 players with whom you can work over a period of years,” he said. “Your squad changes significantly each year.”
However, the UJ mentor added that they had achieved some sort of balance between experience and youth. Their squad may include nine players who have featured in two or more Varsity Cup competitions.
Referring to the early start, he said their planning was going as well as could be expected.
“You won’t get it to be perfect at this stage of the year, but we are doing the best we can with the time at our disposal.
“We had a training camp from January 5 to 7 and then had a match of three 20 to 25-minute periods against Wits on Monday.
“On Thursday we play Shimlas (Free State University) in Kroonstad in a match of three 30-minute periods.”