Walcha will make their New England return against Barbarians after the competition moved another step closer to kick-off with the release of the draw.
After a club trial weekend on July 18, the 2020 competition will get underway on July 25 and see the newcomers (Rams) make the trip up to Armidale in the opening round, Tamworth host St Alberts and Robb begin their title defence against Armidale.
The Rams, who were part of the New England competition before joining Central North, are one of two additions to the first grade competition for this season.
Glen Innes are also stepping up to the top grade after playing third grade for the previous two seasons. Their first game will be at home against Robb in round two.
Each team will play each other once before a three-week finals series culminating in a September 26 grand final.
As well as Albies, the Magpies will also host Glen Innes on August 8 and Barbarians in the final round. Walcha will meanwhile welcome Albies on August 8, Tamworth on August 15 and Glen Innes on August 22.
"The finalisation of a New England Rugby competition format for 2020 is an exciting step forward, " New England president David Clifton said.
"We are excited to have seven clubs participating in first grade for the first time in over 20 years."
All seven have signalled an intent to play first and second grade this season, while all bar Walcha will participate in the women's competition.
The zone has experienced a renewed interest in rugby as a result of the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on some of the other sporting codes - the Central North, Group 19 and Group 4 competitions were all abandoned - with all the clubs reporting an increase in numbers.
Off the back of that the management committee is also evaluating the possibility of running a third grade competition and is currently liaising with the clubs around player numbers.
The NERU has also been working collaboratively with clubs to ensure that operation of training and match fixtures adhere strictly to COVID-19 guidelines, and is hopeful that with the continued easing of restrictions there will be provision for spectators to attend games.