The Ireland and Italy game will be a tough encounter but I see the Irish coming through in the end. Paul O'Connell and Brian O'Driscoll are back, and will make a huge difference to the side, the other players seem to play better when those two are fit and firing.
I have been very impressed by Jerry Flannery, who has come on in leaps and bounds in the last 12 months, he has taken every opportunity that has been thrown to him. When Frankie Sheehan was injured he came into great form, and in the past few weeks he has been playing tremendously well.
Italy have a new coach in Pierre Berbizier and I am sure he will add something new to their side, although it is always difficult to tell how they will start, but it all goes towards what should be a good opener.
In the battle between England and Wales I take England to win - but it will be very close. The English are solid up front and they have made it very difficult for any visiting team coming to Twickenham. They played well in the autumn - although they did not play overly attractive rugby - but they were dogged.
Wales will do well this year but it all depends how they start and how well they cope with the injuries.
The French should beat Scotland on Sunday because they have got a fantastic squad and their teams are playing well in Europe. They have great strength in depth.
The Scots have a good history of upsetting the French but it all depends what French side turns up on Sunday - they are very disciplined under Bernard Laporte and should do well this season.
I was not surprised by Scotland picking Mike Blair at scrum-half - both Blair and Chris Cusiter are very fine players. Chris has got a lot of rave reviews but there is definitely something about Blair - there is not a lot between the two.