Musketeers and Market Rasen begin the defence of their Premier Division titles when the Veterans’ British League returns to Derby Arena at the weekend.

However, Musketeers will do so without their talisman from last season, Michael O’Driscoll. He won 17 from 18 matches as Musketeers – newly promoted to the top flight – ended the five-year reign of St Neots Saints, but is not in the competition this time around.

Saints will be looking to get the title back and are once again spearheaded by Jason Ramage, while Ping Pong Vetts were second last time and will be aiming to go one better and have two top-five ranked players to call on in the shape of Neil Charles and Andrew Wilkinson.

New to the division are The Rams and Norwich, but it may be a tall order for either to emulate the feat of Musketeers and win the division at the first attempt.

In the women’s premier, four teams have two top-10 players each, including the champions from Market Rasen.

They will face a challenge from last year’s runners-up Bribar Failand, led by Sue Collier, and the previous champions PPong, who have Sara Williams at No 1.

Bribar Knighton Park can by no means be ruled out, which leaves Waterside Fusion of Ladies and Bribar IPS Tigers, both new to the division, to try to get in amongst the established teams.

With 40 tables on the go at Derby Arena, the competition remains one of the busiest on the calendar. Click here to view the event programme, including details of squads and fixtures.