...and welcome to 2012.
Never one to mess with tradition, here are a bunch of rash predictions for the year ahead.
Six Nations – Wide open. Wales are nowhere as good as they think they are, nor are England anywhere near as bad as many so-called experts would have us believe. France will be their usual puzzle wrapped in a mystery enveloped by an enigma, Ireland will have to cope with the absence of midfield deity and Scotland and Italy will once again strive to avoid the wooden spoon. France to shade it.
Super 14 – Seriously no idea and, if I’m brutally honest, no interest.
Four Nations – introduction of Argentina, at last, should spice this up a little but I’m going for Australia to prosper from All Blacks RWC hangover.
Premiership – final in May to see a repeat of the recent Quins v Sarries match at Twickenham with a similar result. Newcastle Falcons to be relegated at long last.
Heineken Cup – difficult to see past Toulouse or one of Leinster or Munster.
England – Stuart Lancaster to introduce fresh young talent to the squad only for England to lose 6 Nations opener at Murrayfield, prompting the return of Borthwick, Tindall, Easter et al for the rest of the tournament. And I’m only half-joking.