The captains of this year's Heieneken Cup teams line up at Murrayfield
The launch of the 14th Heineken Cup took place in Edinburgh on Monday, with the captains and coaches of the English, Welsh, Scottish and Italian sides taking to the Murrayfield turf, and eyeing a return for the final in May.
Over 17,000 tickets have been sold for the showpiece European occasion in the Scottish capital, and on the day that Scott Hastings was named as an Official Ambassador to the Heineken Cup Final, it was another great Scot who was eyeing European success at the end of the season.
Ian McGeechan, a former coach of the Scottish national side and current director of rugby at London Wasps, said he will be keeping an eye on more than just his own team's progress as Wasps chase a third title.
The Lions boss will pick his squad for the summer tour of South Africa based on the performances of the players at the very top level of competition and said: "The Heineken Cup will be the first real challenge for the players. You have to think differently in this tournament and I'll be watching all the games with great interest.
"The final will be another big occasion and a full Murrayfield would be quite special. With the new seeding system it's a very difficult tournament to call."
Leicester Tigers head coach Heyneke Meyer begins his first season of Heineken Cup rugby when his side welcome the Ospreys next Sunday, and the South African is fully aware of the importance of Europe's premier competition.
"We've got a long history in the Heineken Cup and one of the reasons I joined Leicester is because I'd love to win the Heineken Cup," said Meyer, who led the Bulls to Super 14 glory in 2007.
"There's a lot of pressure and expectation but we'll just focus on the first one and the rest will take care of itself. It would be unbelievable to win it but it's important to take it game by game and focus on the little things.
"What makes it so difficult is that there are no easy games and it's almost like a knockout competition. You need to win every single game and then go through the knock-out stages. It's a tough competition and you need to be at your best in every single game so I'm looking forward to that."
"In the last two or three years, the tournament has grown in stature, especially last season. Every game was on national TV in South Africa and there was a huge following. I think what makes it more special now is that a lot of South Africans are starting to play in the Heineken Cup. People do follow the players, they do follow the results and they realise that it's a great competition."
With more than 17,000 tickets already sold for the final, the long haul to Edinburgh starts with defending champions Munster hosting tournament newcomers Montauban on Friday night at the newly redeveloped Thomond Park.
Welsh players and management joined Deputy Minister for Sport Ken Skates at the Pierhead Building, Cardiff Bay earlier this week to reveal the Union's pioneering school-club hub initiative has been so successful the project will now almost double the scale of the original project.
The Scarlets, Newport Gwent Dragons, Cardiff Blues and the Ospreys look ahead to Judgement Day III which sees the Blues take on the Ospreys (2.30) and the Dragons tackle the Scarlets (4.45pm) at the Millennium Stadium tomorrow afternoon.
Ystradgynlais and Ynysddu played out a titanic struggle at Taffs Well in the SSE SWALEC Bowl semi-final. At the end of the game neither team could be separated after a 15-15 stalemate but Ystradgynlais go through on try count.
Blues strike first in JD III battle - Newport Gwent Dragons lock Andrew Coombs, WRU referee Dylan Llyr Jones and Cardiff Blues hooker Matthew Rees decide dressing room allocations for Judgement Day III
Wales Under 18 captain Calum Haggett has received a conditional offer to read Biomedical Science at St Anne's College, Oxford. WRU chairman Gareth Davies went to meet Calum and Coleg y Cymoedd Principal Judith Evans to wish him luck in his exams and pass on some of his personal experience.
Dodgy tattoos, carthorses, Avatar and soft chins are revealed by Wales Sevens players Tom Williams and Sam Cross as they profile the Wales Sevens squad taking part in Hong Kong this weekend in the latest round of the HSBC Sevens World Series.