It is a brave new world in Munster with the round robin format, but one thing remains the same - there are five counties who will harbour genuine ambitions of winning the most fabled of provincial titles.
Limerick are back in Division 1A and their underage structures are still delivering top talent.
Cork are the defending champions and, after a rocky start, John Meyler appears to be building on the work started by Kieran Kingston.
Clare's league form has many hoping Gerry O'Connor and Donal Maloney have a grand masterplan for the summer, and two games in Cusack Park is a huge advantage.
Waterford have no home advantage and must deal with loss of Shane Bennett, but the All-Ireland finalists of 2017 have not gone away by a long shot.
However Tipperary are the preferred choice of the Sunday Sport hurling panel, with all of them predicting Mick Ryan's strengthened team will reach the final.
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