This infusion of youth is offset by the departure of Andy Saull to Newcastle Falcons, while the vastly-experienced Carlos Nieto has retired along with South Africa's 2007 World Cup-winning captain, John Smit, who has been appointed Chief Executive of the Natal Sharks.
For their part, Connacht look to have done a shrewd piece of business by persuading Waikato Chiefs Super Rugby-winning captain, Craig Clarke, to make the move from New Zealand to the west of Ireland, and his arrival is supplemented by All Muldowney's switch from the Exeter Chiefs. Both new recruits will be asked to fill the boots of Irish international second row, Mike McCarthy, who has joined Leinster Rugby.
On the back of a frustrating 2012/13 season in Europe, Toulouse have not surprisingly dipped their toe in the player market with Hosea Gear (Otago Highlanders), Joe Tekori (Castres Olympique), Chiliboy Ralepelle and Jano Vermaak (both Blue Bulls) among the club's high-profile signings.
Jean Bouilhou (Pau), Luke Burgess (Melbourne Rebels), Jean-Baptiste Poux (Bordeaux-Begles) and Gary Botha (Blue Bulls) have all moved on from Stade Ernest-Wallon, while Yannick Jauzion has retired following an outstanding career for club and country.
Zebre, who will open their Heineken Cup with a daunting fixture in Toulouse on 11 October, have added the former All Black and Waikato Chiefs scrum-half, Brendon Leonard, to their ranks.