The Highlanders went back to work yesterday ahead of eight games in eight weeks, which will define their season.
Otago will have three warm-up games - two involving Ranfurly Shield challenges - before the Mitre 10 Cup kicks off.
Change is in the air for the Mitre 10 Cup and it is not hard to see why.
The New Zealand Universities team will make a rare appearance in Dunedin next weekend as the side becomes part of the University of Otago's 150th celebrations.
The clubs have won the first round in their bid to get a voice on the board of the Otago Rugby Football Union.
Every dad wants to see his son succeed and does not mind helping out.
Otago fielding a team made up of players from overseas competitions will simply not happen, a meeting was told last night.
Highlanders coach Aaron Mauger has just pulled a rabbit out of the hat.
Filippo Inzaghi is a name which raises very few eyebrows in New Zealand.
What has gone wrong with Waisake Naholo? Steve Hepburn talked to former Highlanders and All Black winger Jeff Wilson about his plight.
Matakanui Combined is confident it will have enough players for the season.
The Highlanders have slipped out of the playoff positions but thankfully the season did not end this weekend.
Enjoy that week off lads - it is going to be a long one.
They call them coach killers and the Highlanders coaches had to watch one last night as the Highlanders let themselves down in losing 33-26 to the Blues at Eden Park.
Metropolitan clubs wanting a place on the board of the Otago Rugby Football Union are not critical of the board's role - they simply believe the board would be better if it had club representation.
The Southern region season is upon us and the off-season was not short of drama.
The Otago Rugby Football Union has recorded a tidy profit for the year while chairman Keith Cooper has announced he is standing down.
Start the engine - the instructor is back in the driver's seat.
The more things change the more they stay the same.
An intriguing final day awaits as Otago seeks to finish the season on a high.