Gareth Jenkins has as talented a Wales squad as any coach has had for many years, although the loss of Ian Evans with a shoulder injury is a big blow.
Wales want to play the Welsh way, keeping the ball alive, in hand, probing, creating and exploiting opportunities.
Being without our two main finishers - Shane Williams and Mark Jones - might have a bearing. But we have lots of players back on form, Stephen Jones, Ryan Jones and Dwayne Peel so I'm still very optimistic in the medium term, with the World Cup looming.
Someone to keep an eye on is definitely James Hook. He is hugely talented. I like to see players look like they have time on their hands, even if they haven't.
He has great ability to ghost past players, and his all-round game is played in a very composed manner. So much of the international game is about the mental approach and ability to cope with pressure and speed of thought.
This year should be very competitive - all the teams have their issues at the moment - but if I had to pick a favourite it would be Ireland, mainly because they have the most settled side.
They are also full of confidence after the autumn. Last year they pushed New Zealand all the way, and their performance against Australia was excellent. Plus they have won two Triple Crowns of late.
The key game for Wales is the very first one - at home to Ireland.
Iain Henderson's start to the new season may have been denied by a hip injury but he's not short of support on his road to recovery - Ulster teammate Stuart Olding vowing to do all he can for the Ireland lock.