by Brendan Cole

Read profiles and predictions for all four Irish provinces ahead of this year's Magners League.

Click on the province for the profile.

LEINSTER: Leinster look like the major litmus test for whether or not Irish rugby is standing still as the rest of Europe gallops ahead.

MUNSTER: Are Munster ready to bounce back? Even more than Leinster, the southern province endured a massively disappointing end to last season.

ULSTER: Ulster enter this year’s Magners League needing to end a period of mediocrity but having at least taken some steps towards doing so.

CONNACHT: The new Magners League equation may force Connacht to focus their resources on a tilt at European glory.