The forthcoming Six Nations has a special significance after the heroics of the recent World Cup in which southern hemisphere teams held sway over their northern counterparts who failed to have even one team in the last four of the tournament.
But far from being a consolation prize, I actually believe the Six Nations will be lifted by the examples of winners New Zealand and to a lesser degree the exploits of runners-up Australia, not to mention my own favourites Argentina and of course South Africa.
Come February 6, when the competition kicks off, I predict the atmosphere will be crackling with the anticipation of Scotland’s opener at BT Murrayfield against the Auld Enemy England who will have a major point to prove after their disastrous early, even embarrassing exit in the pool stages.
New coach Eddie Jones will no doubt be expected to produce miracles with his new charges who all know they hopelessly underachieved in the World Cup.
But then England have no divine right to winning, especially as four consecutive runner-up slots in the last four Six Nations is all they have managed.
Scotland could rightly be still pumped up after performing out of their skin, and possibly smarting from the manner in which they were dumped out of the WC by Australia, not that Vern Cotter is likely to allow the Scots to dwell on the past.
The no-nonsense Scottish coach will have made the point that harbouring a grudge will do the side no favours, as is right and proper.
Indeed he is a credit to the nation, failing to indulge in post-match whingeing, which is more than can said for some of the supporters who just wouldn’t let it go, including former Scotland captain Gavin Hastings.
For what it is worth, I believe Scotland will make the perfect start to their campaign, but draw the line at predicting a fourth Grand Slam.
Should I be wrong and England inspired by Jones win the opener I will change horses and put my money on them to lift the trophy.
Wales are likely to be the best of the rest, but it is sure to be a fine tournament. It had better be for the sake of the northern hemisphere game which is badly in need of a shot in the arm.