With a couple of days to go to the start of the new season it’s time to back yourself and predict the final league table. Pre season is always a tough time as everyone is talking of new dawns of realistic (maybe) goals for the season. So it’s hard to see through the rhetoric but this is how I believe the new Aviva Premiership will look at the end of the season
1-Leicester- I’d never look anywhere else first. Thomas Waldrom looks ideal for the Premiership, the only question mark is the lack of experience in midfield especially when they lose Toby Flood.
2-Saracens- The loss of Glenn Jackson will hit them as when they started to open up he was key.
3-Bath- Lewis Moody and Simon Taylor could forge a great partnership, the backline need to learn to play against a packed defensive line
4-Northampton- Haven’t replaced like for like with Juandre Kruger, Ignacio Lobbe and Neil Best. Have recruited well though and look to have built a squad to compete as opposed to a frontline XV
5-Gloucester- Bryan Redpath could be key and if he can get the steel back in the pack they could go higher
6-Wasps- How much rugby will Ricky Flutey play for them? They are dependant on him to add the variety to their game
7-Irish- It could be a tough year for Toby Booth, need key ball carrier of Chris Halu’fia to stay fit and suspension free
8-Leeds- Have the bulk up front but lack the ability to break sides down out wide
9-Harlequins- The opposite to Leeds, their lack of ballast in the front 5 will cost them
10-Newcastle- Their best weapon is playing games on Friday on a cold wet windy Kingston Park
11-Sale- Seem to be in a power struggle and very disjointed. Will need Charlie Hodgson and Mark Cueto to get them out of many holes
12-Exeter- Enjoy the ride, everyone would love them to do well but on paper they just haven’t got the players