Attention switiches to the Heineken Cup this weekend as the European game seeks to capitalise on its rare pre-eminence in the world game.
The English clubs, so disappointing last year, will be targeted as their French counterparts, with Toulouse and Stade Francais to the fore, attempt to keep the cup south of the Channel.
Munster and Leinster should both go well for Ireland while Edinburgh seem the likeliest of the Scottish teams to make a breakthrough and the quarter finals for a first time north of the border.
Treviso, as ever, will hassle teams in Italy but maybe the most fascinating apsect of the cup will be the impact of the Welsh regions, making their debut in place of the great club names in the sport.
Llanelli Scarlets are effectively the same team and look strong again. With just three losses from 22 games at Stradey Park, they have the foundations to push for qualification from a tough group including Northampton and a meaty Agen unit.
Wales had a splendid World Cup and fans of the sport will be crossing their fingers. If one or two of the Welsh teams make an impact it will only the interest and excitement surrounding the game.
The regionalisation of the Welsh clubs will be fascinating. If the merger of Neath and Swansea into the Ospreys AND Pontypridd and Bridgend into the Celtic Warriors click, the Welsh could really build on their good performance at the World Cup.
Anyone with a love of the game and its history will be hoping for an upsurge west of the Severn and in that spirit, I will tip either Llanelli, Munster or Wasps as this year's European champions... that's three teams with the kibosh put on them!
It all starts on Sky Sports with Llanelli against the Saints. It should be a fantastic match and a fantastic tournament.