The Greene King IPA Championship will return in the first weekend of September ahead of seven months of rugby to decide who will be promoted to the Premiership.
New signings, new teams and a new system for promotion, here are some of the things that you might have missed over the summer from the second tier of English rugby.
Has a team dominated a division in recent times as Hartpury College did last season on their march to the National League 1 title? 30 games, 30 wins, 28 try-bonus points.
The Gloucestershire side have been promoted from the bottom of the rugby structure to the second tier within 13 years of their formation and will be playing at their highest level this season.
The club will benefit from their continued dual registration link with Premiership outfit Gloucester where England U20 players Harry Randall, Joe Mullis and Alex Saville could all feature for them.
And they could not have asked for a much more difficult start to the campaign as they will travel to their shortest distance of the season to Ashton Gate to face recently relegated Bristol.
Bristol get another Piatau
Although an announcement for next season, arguably the biggest news of the summer from Greene King IPA Championship was Bristol announcing the signing of New Zealand back Charles Piutau for next season.
Piutau will play another season at Ulster before the move and will link up with brother Siale at Ashton Gate for the 2018-19 campaign.
It has been a busy summer overhaul at the West Country side with 19 players arriving and even more leaving the club to join others, being released or have retired.
Pat Lam also begins his first season as head coach after joining from Connacht where the former Samoa captain, who had stints at Newcastle and Northampton in the Premiership, will be charged with an immediate return to the top flight.
Following eight years of the play-off system, this season will return to automatic promotion to whoever finishes top at the end of the campaign.
The competition will be played over 22 rounds, beginning the first weekend of September and culminating on the last weekend in April next year.
The club that finishes top of the table will be crowned Greene King IPA Championship winners, and earn promotion to the Aviva Premiership, if they satisfy the Minimum Standards Criteria.
Eddie meets Donny
It is not just at the elite level where England head coach Eddie Jones passes on his words of wisdom.
As part of Mitsubishi Motors Volunteer Recognition Programme a number of grassroots coaches were given the chance to spend two days at Teddington and meet Jones, including Doncaster Knights community rugby manager Lisa Davis.
On the pitch, arguably the biggest signing made of the summer was agreeing a new deal with Tonga international Jack Lam who joined the club midway through last season.
From England to Bedford
One of the many internationals who will be plying their trade in the Championship next season will be former England scrum half Lee Dickson who has swapped Northampton Saints for Bedford Blues.
The 32-year-old has joined in a player-coach capacity and will hope to help the side improve on their eighth-placed finish last season
The Bedfordshire outfit have also signed Will Hooley (Exeter), Howard Packman (Northampton) and Tom Lindsay (Gloucester) from the Premiership with ex-Wales international Chris Czekaj arriving from France.
They have not played top flight rugby since the 1999-2000 campaign but have finished in the top four in six of the last nine seasons.
Hart gets hitched
There was a lovely touch from Ealing Trailfinders to their ex-Scotland international Grayson Hart who got married over the summer.
The New Zealand-born scrum half, who has played Super Rugby as well as in the Pro 12, married Chelsea this summer and the club were right behind their celebrations.
Former England Saxon fly half Rory Clegg could be playing outside of Hart after he joined from Glasgow Warriors while USA international Andrew Durutalo could be an intriguing capture.
Speaking of Yorkshire sides, for another season there will be three teams from God’s own county in the form of Doncaster Knights, Rotherham Titans and Yorkshire Carnegie.
And the Leeds-based Carnegie side celebrated the 1 August, otherwise known as Yorkshire Day, by getting their mascot Terry the Terrier involved.
Carnegie fell one short last season as they lost to London Irish in the play-off final, but with that system now scrapped Bryan Redpath's side will be hoping to go one better.
It has been quiet summer so far at Headingley in terms of transfers with four players added to the squad as they look for a return to the Aviva Premiership for the first time since their relegation in 2011.