Aces square off against Chiefs at Mbombela Stadium, in Nelspruit, on Friday evening.
“It’s very exciting and it should be a great challenge,” Barker, who was appointed by the rookies during the off-season, said on Wednesday.
“We were very fortunate to sign some quality players but Friday night is going to be really tough.”
“The pressure on the champions is to make sure you’re in the running for trophies,” Baxter said.
“But the real pressure is on the people who spend loads of money because a failure in that respect means that much more.
“Teams who succumb to pressure are teams who put themselves under pressure, but our players are fired up and we’re looking forward to the new season.”