Coach Frank Hadden, pictured

Captain Todd Blackadder

In Phil Godman (Newcastle), Fergus Pringle, David Callam (Hawick), Alan MacDonald (Heriot's), Ander Monro (Heriot's)

Out Andy Dall (Gala), Carlo Di Ciacca, (GHA), Guy Perrett (Hawks), Ally Dickson, Ally Warnock (Borders), Graeme Burns (released), Ramin Mathieson (Boroughmuir), Tom McGee (Borders)

Key man Todd Blackadder, just like every other year their inspirational captain has been in Scotland

One to watch Hugo Southwell grabbed his chance of a full-time professional career last year and, now capped, will be hoping for a run at full back

Last season Tenth

Prediction Edinburgh are almost guaranteed to improve on last season's finishing spot because there are fewer sides. However, they will again be much more effective in the cup competitionsNINTH


Coach Mark McCall

Captain Andy Ward

In Kevin Maggs (Bath), Campbell Feather (Borders), Andy Kershaw (Saracens)

Out Ryan Constable, Tony McWhirter, Matt Sexton, Clem Boyd (all retired), Robbie Kempson (Northampton)

Key man Paddy Wallace is a gifted footballer who has looked good in his preferred role at stand-off

One to watch Quick winger Tommy Bowe made a huge impact on the Under-21 World Cup

Last season Second

Prediction With fewer Ireland call-ups than Leinster and Munster they are again the likeliest province to be in with a chance of silverwareSECOND


Coach Michael Bradley

Captain Andrew Farley

In Tom Tierney (Leinster), David Kelly (Buccaneers), Paul Warwick (Australia), James Downey (Clontarf), Niall O'Brien (Clontarf), Pieter Myburgh (GRAN Parma), David Sleman (Orrell)

Out Tim Allnut (retired), Warren O'Kelly, Dave Hewitt, Shane Moore (all released), Mike McCarthy (Newcastle), Damien Browne (Northampton)

Key man Eric Elwood still keeps them ticking over, but at 35, the veteran's influence has started to wane

One to watch Andrew Farley leads them for the first time today and as one of the younger players in this most under-resourced of Irish sides, it will be fascinating to see how much he can tap into Connacht's famed fighting spirit over the coming weeks

Last season Ninth

Prediction Short on real quality but have a much bigger squad than any of the Scottish sides, so should finish marginally ahead of themEIGHTH


Coach Hugh Campbell, pictured

Captain Jonny Petrie

In Andy Craig (Orrell), Kevin Tkaschuk (Oxford Uni/Birmingham), Kenny Logan (Wasps), Dan Turner (Canterbury), Jon Barclay (Dollar Academy), John Beattie (Aberdeen), Stephen Duffy (Hawks), James Eaddie (GHA), Colin Gregor (Watsonians), Fergus Thomson (Hawks)

Out Glenn Metcalfe (Castres), Jon Steel, Stuart Moffat (Borders), Joe Naufahu, Alan Bulloch (GHA), Rory McKay (Manly), Kenny Sinclair (Hawks), Simon Gunn (released), Roland Reid (South Africa), Mark McMillan (Leeds), Matt Proudfoot (released)

Key man Kevin Tkaschuk is the latest gnarled front-five forward recruited to try to encourage the Glasgow pack to provide consistent ball

One to watch Graeme Morrison emerged as a truly exciting talent on Scotland's summer tour of Australia. Many believe there is more to come from the midfield powerhouse

Last season Eleventh

Prediction Will hopefully have put together a competitive side come the European campaign, but it will be tough in the league againTENTH


Coach Declan Kidney

Captain Brian O'Driscoll

In Guy Easterby (Rotherham)

Out Matt Leek (retired), Aiden Kearney, Niall Breslin (both retired), Tom Tierney (Connacht)

Key man Brian O'Driscoll, when available, since he is the most gifted player on either side of the Irish Sea

One to watch Felipe Contepomi, pictured right, may have arrived as an established player, but after forgetting to register him in time for Europe last season, Leinster fans will be eager to see what he can do

Last season Eighth

Prediction Like Munster will suffer from Ireland calls so will be more dangerous in EuropeSIXTH


Coach Dai Young

Captain Martyn Williams

In Tristan Davies (Leeds), Freddie Tuilagi (Leicester), Robert Sidoli, Mark Lewis, Shaun James, Gethin Jenkins, Deinol Jones, Mat Nuthall, Nathan Budgett (Celtic Warriors), Kort Schubert (USA), Heino Senekal (SWD Eagles)

Out Peter Muller (Doncaster), Iestyn Harris (Rugby League), Jim Brownrigg (Bristol), Matt Allen (Bedford), Andy Moore (retired), Darren Compton (Bristol), Rob Appleyard (released), Donavan Van Vuuren (Doncaster RL)

Key man Robert Sidoli was an outstanding performer at the heart of the Warriors pack and should help Cardiff become much more effective

One to watch Kort Schubert looked a fine player at last year's World Cup and the American has a great desire to win

Last season Sixth

Prediction The glamour boys of Welsh rugby are perennial under-performers but have traded well and look to be packed with quality