Irish sides look primed to claim trophies
It has been another promising festive period for the Irish sides in the PRO14, and they are all poised to launch an assault on the PRO14.
They are also well in contention in their respective European campaigns and it just shows the strength in depth that is there in Irish rugby at the moment.
The Champions Cup looked set to favour the big English and French clubs when it was first introduced, but the PRO14 sides have come to terms with it and the back-to-back fixtures last month confirmed that.
The PRO14 is on par if not better than the cash-rich Premiership and Top 14. Munster, Leinster and Ulster did the double over their Premiership challengers in December while Connacht did likewise against French opposition.
And now heading towards the Six Nations there is so much to choose from for Joe Schmidt, new players have emerged from the inter-provincial derbies and the four provinces will have a big say at the business end of the year.
It's amazing to see the South African sides adding so much to the league since their introduction too.
Southern Kings might not have hit the ground running but Cheetahs are just behind Munster in the standings. They are helping to drive the standards and will go from strength to strength.