If you were to liken them to an animal: Chimp – always entertaining to watch. Doesn’t always like it when the shit is thrown back at them.
Prediction: 3rd (losing semi-finalists)
Always worth a watch: Niko Matawalu
If you were to liken them to an animal: Labrador – enthusiastic, will run all day for you, but rarely bites (unless playing Leinster at home).
An odd thing: Choosing three captains?
If you were to liken them to an animal: Bear – can maul anyone when on a whim, or may choose to hibernate for a few games in a row.
One to watch: Tyler Ardron
Prediction: 4th (losing semi-finalists)
If you were to liken them to an animal: Malnourished wolf – hungry, bordering on angry, something to prove to its lupine fellows. Should emerge as Rabo’s top dog.
Two to watch: Iain Henderson and the treatment table
Prediction: 1st (Winners)
Newport Gwent Dragons:
If you were to compare them to native tribespeople in a Daniel Day-Lewis film: Last of the Mohicans – capable of the odd scalp, but could lose its protagonists before long.
Worth a watch: Netani Talei
If you were to liken them to an animal: A Lion declawed – a harsh assessment for a top side, but almost any side on planet earth would suffer from the loss of Nacewa, Sexton and Schmidt. The replacements are a little on the bland side.
Worth a look: Jordan Coughlan in the centre
Prediction: 2nd (losing finalists)
If you were to liken them to an animal: Any type of abused circus animal, let’s say a zebre.
One to watch: The impending arrivals of Dan Carter and Richie McCaw should help.
Prediction: 12th (Honorary relegation)
If you were to liken them to a 90s TV show: Saved by the Bell: the New Class – Unlikely to upset with new recruits. Screech and Belding incapable of mixing it up.
One to watch: Wicus Blaauw
If you were to liken them to an animal: Any creature with a short gestation period – frequently losing its brood. Some very exciting youngsters coming through.
One to watch: Jordan Williams
If you were to liken them to an animal: Goat – played for so long on a terrible surface. A talented group now has the chance to spring on.
Two to watch: Rhys Patchell and Artificial Playing Pitch Evans
If you were to liken them to an animal: Piebald pony – definitely pedigree in there somewhere, but not the most predictable of beasts
Expecting a big season from: Tommy O’Donnell
If you were to liken them to an animal: Crocodile – completely at home when the animals drink in their water. Not too fond of the road.
He’s pretty decent: Alessandro Zanni
Abuse Eoin on Twitter at @EoinRedehan