The GIANTS will start a new era this weekend when their reserves team clashes with the Swans in a new-look VFL competition.

The two NSW clubs, and four from Queensland, will join 16 Victorian teams in the expanded league that is destined to be the second strongest competition in the country.

The Swans and GIANTS will open their VFL seasons at Tramway Oval (also known as Lakeside Oval) from 12pm on Saturday, before the two clubs' senior teams face-off a few hours later across the road at the SCG.

The VFL match is free and unticketed, so footy fans have extra reason to head there to watch a competitive local derby.

The crosstown rivals' reserves have warmed up for the VFL with five practice matches against each other during the pre-season, with the Swans claiming three wins to the GIANTS' two. 

But a first match with four VFL points on the line is sure to lift the contest to a higher and fiercer level.

"They belted us on the weekend, so we'll be fired up. It's going to be on this weekend," Zach Sproule, a GIANTS AFL-listed player, told

"Our fundamentals last weekend were a little sloppy, so that cost us. But we can fix that with better ball use and less turnovers."

The 22 VFL teams will each play 16 home and away matches across 19 rounds, giving players plenty of opportunity to test themselves against tough competition and perhaps press their claims to join an AFL list. 

Sproule expects the club lining up in the VFL will speed up his development as a tall, 197cm forward.

The 22-year-old debuted for the GIANTS in round 22, 2019 but had to wait until this year to play his second game, when he kicked two goals in the GIANTS' loss to Fremantle. 

"Enhancing the twos competition is awesome for everyone developing their footy, both AFL-listed and non-listed," Sproule said.

"I think I had my best pre-season yet, played round two which was nice, but I didn't perform the way I wanted to. Competition for spots is high, so I was dropped back to the twos," he said.

"I see the start of the VFL season as a big opportunity to develop my game, and keep pushing my teammates in the ones. It'll make sure I'm ready to step back in when I'm needed."

Saturday's match will be streamed live on Kayo Freebies from 12pm.