The Celtic League kicks off again this weekend and fans are preparing for another nine months of rough and tumble rugby.
Last seasons competition proved to be the tightest yet, with three teams - the Scarlets, Ulster, and the Dragons all capable of winning the title up to the final day of the season.
As it was it was the Scarlets that lifted the coveted trophy, and now have the challenge of defending their title.
Last season was disrupted by the World Cup and Six Nations, but this term, there is just one weekend of fixture clashes, ensuring the top class international players from the Celtic Nations will have more of a impact in the competition this year.
In the opening round of matches, the Scarlets face the Borders, who they did the double over last season with a 36-20 win at Stradey and a thumping 41-8 win at Netherdale.
Wales' summer tourists Dafydd Jones and Dwayne Peel on the bench for their Celtic League opener up in Scotland.
Coach Gareth Jenkins says he was keen to respect Wales' wishes and rest them but felt under pressure when other regions picked their internationals.
Vernon Cooper is on the bench, giving Bryn Griffiths a run at lock.
'We're not many short of our full squad so we've selected strong and got the team we want,' said Jenkins.
"It's about getting the balance right between regional responsibility and developing international players.'
Jenkins has included Asila Havili at wing, and the former Warrior is expected to link well with experienced centre partnership of Tal Selley and Mathew Watkins in the centre. Gareth Bowen starts at outside half throne following the departure of Stephen Jones to Montferrand.
Borders: 15 Gareth Morton 14 Stuart Moffat 13 Calum MacRae 12 Ally Davidson 11 Nikki Walker 10 Charlie Hore 9 Chris Cusiter 8 Mark Blair 7 Wayne McEntee 6 Scott Gray 5 Colin Stewart 4 Scott MacLeod 3 Bruce Douglas 2 Steve Scott 1 Paul Thomson (Captain) 16 Ross Ford 17 Matt Parr 18 Geoff Cross 19 Andy Rennick 20 Brendan McKerchar 21 Alistair Warnock 22 Jon Steel
Scarlets: G Evans; A Havili, T Selley, M Watkins, S Finau; G Bowen, M Phillips; I Thomas, M Rees, J Thiel, B Griffiths, C Wyatt, S Easterby (capt), G Thomas, S Quinnell.
Replacements: J Davies, C Hawkins, V Cooper, D Jones, A Powell, D Peel, A Thomas.