Drew Mitchell drives through Sydney and sees pictures of rugby players plastered on the sides of buses and bus stops.
"It's something we haven't seen for a long time for the code," the Nine Network and Stan commentator said.
"People are aware rugby is about to come back because Nine are putting so much energy, time and resources into making sure this works."
A new broadcast deal has shifted Super Rugby to free-to-air television and positioned the code as the talisman for the newly-launched streaming service Stan Sport. But will a new era attract new fans?
Former broadcast partner Fox Sports was criticised for a perceived lack of support for rugby. Now Nine and Stan have been handed the task of reinventing the way Australian rugby is delivered to homes, pubs and clubs.
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Nick McArdle and Roz Kelly will steer the ship, Sean Maloney and Andrew Swain will call games, while Tim Horan, David Campese and Andrew Mehrtens, Justin Harrison, Allana Ferguson, Morgan Turinui, Mitchell and Michael Cheika add their insights.
Spidercam and a new Cinecam will be introduced to rugby. Players will be mic'd up with Nine promising access like never before.
Who are the teams to beat?
Glance through any Super Rugby AU power rankings and chances are you'll find the ACT Brumbies and Queensland Reds filling the top two spots.
Most will agree last year's grand finalists will be there again on May 8 to battle for the trophy.
"On paper you'd say that, wouldn't you?," Wallabies coach Dave Rennie said.
"Even from an athleticism potential, look at the Reds, they've got some amazing athletes. Then you look at the Brumbies who are very well organised and they can hurt you in key parts of the game, look at the maul.
"They're very strong in that area which means you've got to defend well and you've got to be disciplined, because if they put you in the corner, they can hurt you."
The NSW Waratahs boast a side sorely lacking experience. The Western Force's recruitment drive has them well placed to chase a top three berth. The Melbourne Rebels are determined to build on their maiden finals appearance.
"The two finalists last year will probably go out favourites but I think it will be a reasonably close competition," Rennie said.
What are the law variations?
These are the innovations Brumbies coach Dan McKellar hopes can turn casual fans into passionate members.
Golden point has been scrapped in favour of golden try. Teams earn a lineout if they pull off a 50-22 or 22-50 kick.
Goal-line drop-outs will be taken when attacking players are held up or defending players ground the ball in-goal.
There are 30-second time limits on restarts, and coaches can replace red-carded players after 20 minutes.
"We all understand rugby is a great game, but like most sports, it's not perfect, so how can we adjust it? That's the beauty of Super Rugby AU," McKellar said.
"We're in control of our own product to a certain extent, obviously World Rugby needs to approve any law variations. We all want to see a game that attracts fans and supporters and sponsors.
"That's the beauty of being on free-to-air TV, and I think we're heading in the right direction in terms of the product we want to produce.
"It's also about mindset as well, how do we want to play as a football team? You can have all the law variations under the sun, if your mindset is to play a boring and mundane game, you're not going to get the fence-sitters, are you? Most coaches are on board with that."
How do NSW replace a leader?
The NSW Waratahs enter the competition as something of a sleeping giant. But burning questions remain over the fate of the No. 7 jersey following the loss of a leader.
Michael Hooper has taken up a sabbatical in Japan to leave a gaping hole in the NSW squad, taking with him a work rate Mitchell believes is "unrivalled in most of world rugby".
Charlie Gamble and Carlo Tizzano are the pure openside flankers who could fill the void with Jack Dempsey another option who perhaps fits the No. 8 jersey a little better.
"They're all going to have to step up to be honest. Losing guys like Michael Hooper more importantly, who is going to get that seven jersey?," Mitchell said.
"That's going to be a key one for them, because it's not just what Hoops does around the breakdown, it's his leadership, his work rate, it's probably unrivalled in most of world rugby to be fair.
"There is going to have to be someone who steps up, not to play Michael Hooper's game, but to really stamp their own style and get through those work rate efforts.
"The leadership group there with Jake Gordon, they're going to have to make sure they're on top of it in those crucial moments so the right guy is speaking and everyone is buying into it."
How will the Wallabies fare?
The Wallabies' heaviest defeat to the All Blacks in 117 years of trans-Tasman rugby sparked questions as to whether last year's generational change was another false dawn for Australia.
But the Wallabies bounced back to beat New Zealand and show glimpses of what they may be capable of as Rennie continues to mould his squad on the road to the 2023 World Cup.
France are slated to tour Australia in July with the Wallabies desperate to have something to show for the progression that saw them fall frustratingly shy of a Tri Nations title.
"That next generation is starting to get their opportunity. I think we had 10 debutants last year that got their opportunity and they took it really well," Mitchell said.
"It's small margins, but we're probably a few kicks away from winning a couple of trophies in that tournament. There are those small margins in the game we just need to get better at in terms of executing and being on the right side of the ledger afterwards.
"It proved this generation is not really affected too much by recent history's results. With all the local derbies we've got coming up, there's just a lot to be excited about with the game and where it's at."