Connacht: The whipping boys of Irish rugby haven't made any major signings so I don't see much room for growth. Another foray into Europe will see them struggle to compete on two fronts. They'll be difficult to beat at home, especially in the winter, but they don't have the quality to compete.
Zebre: A new addition to the competition as they take Aironi's place, and most of their players. They've got some Italian veterans so will make teams work but they'll be happy to scrape a couple of wins. Their goal will be to finish above Treviso and no more.
Treviso: The strongest of the Italians team and possibly on the verge of the top 8. They finished a close 10th last season and have brought in a couple of good new players. They'll continue to cause problems but still a year or two of challenging the playoff's.
Glasgow: They surprised many last season by finishing 4th but they have failed to strengthen this summer. Richie Gray and David Lemi are huge losses and the return of Sean Lamont and Jason White aren't enough to offset the loss to the team. They'll be the best of the rest but well off the pace.
Dragons: Much like Connacht they are the weak link in the Welsh setup. They have lost a host of big names this summer and have replaced them with a bunch of talented youngsters. Toby Faleteau and Dan Lydiate will help them compete but they'll fall off the pace as the season wears on.