Harlequins captain Chris Robshaw admits his place is under pressure as this season approaches, saying the club has strength in depth this year.
The 2011/12 champions surrendered their title last year after losing to eventual victors Leicester in the semi-finals, in what was a frustrating year.
Director of rugby Conor O'Shea has responded by recruiting experienced trio Paul Doran-Jones, Nick Kennedy and Paul Sackey and the new recruits will add to a squad which includes a host of talented youngsters - something O'Shea and Quins pride themselves on - with the likes of U20 World Championship winners Harry Sloan and Jack Clifford among those pushing for spots.
And Robshaw, who will lead Harlequins out at Twickenham on September 7 to face Wasps in the London Double Header season opener, insists the academy's conveyor belt of talent ensures even the seniors stay on their toes.
"You always have to look over your shoulder for new guys but that's what's great for the squad, it makes you a better player. If you start to coast you potentially get a bit lazy," said Robshaw, speaking at the Aviva Premiership Launch, a tournament where odds can be found on betfair.com.
"We use the A League and the LV= Cup in particular for a lot of those young guys and they showed exactly what they can do, to win both those tournaments was incredible and great for the club, it really shows the youth coming through.
"In the Under 20 World Cup, Jack and Harry performed extremely well and that's what you want. My year was that of Mike Brown, George Robson and you look at the years coming through now - there are handfuls of them."
Only Nick Evans' last-ditch penalty downed London Wasps in last year's season opener at Twickenham as Quins staged a stunning 42-40 comeback, having at one point trailed their London rivals 40-13.
And Robshaw is hoping for a more straight-forward victory this time round and, looking towards the rest of the season, is adamant his side can put their championship-chasing know-how to good use.
"We have experienced what it is to be both sides of it now - to be defending it and hunting it - and what it takes when you don't play well and you grind out results," added the 27-year-old.
"That's something that comes from a bit of maturity and experience. Hopefully the squad is really starting to show that.
"Last year against Wasps was a little bit too much for the heart! But hopefully we can start a bit better. We have to make sure we're on the money."