Harlequins out to defend title after unlikely win but promoted Saracens are set to challenge in new Premiership season

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THE WAIT is over and the new Premiership season lastly returns on Friday evening.

Bristol Bears get the social gathering began at at Ashton Gate in opposition to Saracens and SunSport have the lowdown on all 13 groups forward of this distinctive rugby union season.

Harlequins are out to defend their title after closing season’s unlikely winCredit: Getty

BATH RUGBY

Title prospects: BIG-SPENDING and daring Bath are the Arsenal of the Premiership.

Expect to see some nice issues carried out down at The Rec, but do not anticipate a title chase.

For too extended the West Country aspect have been means too powder-puff and lack the killer-instinct and endurance to replicate to their glory years.

Star man: Danny Cipriani – Now at his fourth and positive closing Premiership membership, the exiled England fly-half, 33, stays to be a pleasure to watch – but does he nonetheless need it after his failed stint at Gloucester?

One to watch: Max Ojomoh – Son of England and Bath’s ex no.8 Steve. Classy runner and this needs to be his breakthrough season with Jonathan Joseph, 30, struggling for sort.

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BRISTOL BEARS

Title prospects: WHO would not love a Bear hunt?

Bristol is not going to ever hibernate in video video video games and after being humbled by Harlequins in closing yr’s semi-final, they’ve the ache of getting so shut to Twickenham to gasoline them to a closing this season.

Star man: Semi Radradra – Flying Fijian was fantastic in the Covid yr and the pores and pores and skin centre drags others spherical him up to his world-class ranges.

One to watch: Harry Randall – England scrum-half had to sit out an enormous chunks of final season injured and could have a degree to current this yr with boss Pat Lam furthermore bringing in Tom Whiteley from Saracens to push him.

EXETER CHIEFS

Title prospects: LAST SEASON’S shock closing defeat to Harlequins shall be a giant wake-up title.

It was Exeter’s title to win they typically bottled it, and with their nemesis Saracens now as soon as extra, this season shall be much more sturdy.

Star man: Jack Nowell – If the Lions and England well-known particular person can maintain match, then they’re going to proceed to keep their trophy hunt

One to watch: Josh Hodge – England boss Eddie Jones is raring on the free-running full-back who has Stuart Hogg and Jack Nowell in entrance as his opponents. 

Louis Rees-Zammitt is looking to bounce back from his Lions heartache
Louis Rees-Zammitt is wanting to bounce as soon as extra from his Lions heartacheCredit: Getty

GLOUCESTER RUGBY

Title prospects: THE CHERRY and Whites have joined Bath in the West Country’s dumping floor for sides who used to rule the roost. 

Expect them to be scratching spherical on the underside of the desk as quickly as further. 

Star man: Louis Rees-Zammitt – Couldn’t drive his means into the Lions Test aspect and the 20-year-old Wales winger shall be a marked man this yr. 

One to watch: Adam Hastings – Son of Scotland and Lions good ‘Big Gav’ – all hopes have been pinned on the fly-half to attempt to do what Danny Cipriani could not and drag them out of the doldrums. 

HARLEQUINS

Title prospects: WELL, no particular person gave them a hope in hell closing season, they typically solely went and gained it!

With new boss Tabai Matson foremost the Londoners they want to current that their shock Premiership win wasn’t a fluke.

They actually shouldn’t be going to die questioning. 

Star man: Marcus Smith – The face of English rugby for the following decade.

Was fantastic for the Lions in his one-game shock in South Africa and stays to be merely 22.

One to watch: Louis Lynagh – Winger broke by means of subsequent season, but would possibly the son of Aussie World Cup winner Michael now get an England shot?

All eyes will be on George Ford when Leicester Tigers play
All eyes shall be on George Ford when Leicester Tigers playCredit: Getty

LEICESTER TIGERS

Title probabilitys: STEVE BORTHWICK has his ft beneath the desk at Welford Road and now it is time to see if he can reside up to the hype.

The moderately quite a bit heralded ex England no.2 shies away from the limelight but has an unlimited repute in the sport as he begins his first proper season as a no.1.

Star man: George Ford – Needs an unlimited season for membership and nation with Marcus Smith really now above him in the England pecking order.

One to watch: Freddie Steward – Classy full-back was a standout performer closing season and now has to constantly come up for the Tigers.

LONDON IRISH

Title prospects: THERE’S one issue in the water down at Brentford.

Irish appeared reborn in their new dwelling and began to play like they did in their Madejski Stadium glory years. Fly-half Paddy Jackson is essential to them climbing the desk and proving they are not backside feeders.

Star man: Ollie Hassell-Collins scored 13 tries closing season they often’ll want the flying winger to bigger that this yr.

One to watch: Tom Parton – Another English full-back who’s placing his fingers up for worldwide honours. 

Newcastle Falcons look set to struggle despite adding club legend Toby Flood to their backroom staff
Newcastle Falcons look set to wrestle irrespective of along with membership legend Toby Flood to their backroom employees

NEWCASTLE FALCONS

Title prospects: THEY will all the time produce a couple of shock wins at dwelling, but regardless that they’ve a new-look instructing employees with Toby Flood on board, they lack the gamers to appropriately compete with the perfect half of the desk.

Star man: Mark Wilson – An absolute energiser bunny nonetheless and the adopted Geordie fashions the tone for Falcons. 

One to watch: Mike Brown – Mr Angry has a degree to current after being dumped by his earlier love Harlequins. 

NORTHAMPTON SAINTS

Title prospects: SUFFERED a depressing run closing yr and all the time appears to produce rollercoaster seasons. 

Chris Boyd’s squad are maturing, but there are nonetheless doubts over whether or not or not or not they’ve the nous to win huge video video video games to fireplace them into the play-offs.

Star man: Courtney Lawes – The closing talisman. Was fantastic on the Lions tour and needs to replicate that sort of sort for his boyhood membership. 

One to watch: Ethan Grayson – The third Grayson off the Franklin’s Gardens manufacturing line, folks say this man is the exact deal, too.

SALE SHARKS

Title prospects: THEY aren’t shy to make waves in Manchester.

But with Cristiano Ronaldo as soon as extra in the town they are going to have much more sturdy opponents in combating for consideration. 

A quick begin with Manu Tuilagi staying match might presumably be the dream earlier than their big-name South Africans return later this yr.

Star man: Tom Curry – Captain, chief – future legend. The Lions flanker added administration credentials to his CV closing season and the sky is the prohibit for him. 

One to watch: Raffi Quirke – pocket-rocket scrum-half who can step up moderately extra with Faf de Klerk lacking a lot of the season with South Africa’s Rugby Championship defence.

Sarries are sure to challenge despite only just winning promotion back to the top
Sarries are optimistic to challenge irrespective of solely merely worthwhile promotion as soon as extra to the perfectCredit: Getty

SARACENS

Title prospects: THEY could not, would possibly they? Of course they may, and, they in all probability will rise from the ashes of relegation and salary-cap dishonest disgrace to land one totally different trophy. 

Mark McCall’s aspect want no motivation – each completely totally different fan and membership hates them, an similar to earlier than.

However – there is also nonetheless no bigger aspect than them at speaking that disrespect out on their rivals. Watch out.

Star man: Maro Itoje – Proved his standing as almost definitely one of the best forwards in the sport irrespective of dropping the Lions sequence in South Africa. 

One to watch: Manu Vunipola – Owen Farrell’s understudy might have to get Sarries shifting as they look ahead to his or her Lions to come as soon as extra.

WASPS

Title prospects: INJURIES rocked them closing season with Jack Willis, Joe Launchbury and Malakai Fekitoa all affected. 

Squad depth is a priority they typically’ve talked about goodbye to some skilled campaigners. 

Star man: Jack Willis – Not anticipated as soon as extra till later this yr, but what a Christmas current will almost definitely be for Lee Blackett’s aspect when the immense flanker returns. 

One to watch: Charlie Atikinson – clothes-lined by Owen Farrell closing season after which dominated out with concussion, youthful English no.10 is scorching on Jacob Umaga’s heels.


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SARRIES STATE

SARACENS have been handed a shock ‘welcome-back to the Premiership’ message from a person who fortuitously waved goodbye to them.

Exeter Chiefs boss Rob Baxter, who misplaced out on two English titles when the Londoners cheated the wage cap to beat them to finals in 2016 and 2018, was no-doubt happier than most to see Sarries relegated in 2019.

But Mark McCall’s Londoners are as soon as extra and hungrier than ever forward of their opener at Bristol Bears on Friday evening.

And Baxter talked about of their Prem nemesis: “I think about they are going to be an exquisite aspect.

“You test out the squad pointers, it’s a good group of gamers. They have all the time been well-coached, well-run and well-motivated, in order that they are going to be a limiteless challenge to each crew they play. They all the time have been, and it appears to be like like they all the time will.

“I don’t suppose that would presumably be a unhealthy subject for the Premiership. Challenges are what it’s all about. We have in all probability accelerated our enchancment as a crew primarily based completely on having a crew like Saracens to go after.

“It has always been a tough competition, and that won’t change.”

This season sees relegation scrapped and 13 groups combating it out in the top-flight.

The odd quantity implies that one aspect will get a bye week, with Wasps sitting out first up. 

There are furthermore new rule adjustments together with the scrapping of an attacking 5m scrum for holding the ball up over the freeway, in favour of giving the defending aspect a 22 drop out.

Baxter, whose aspect are set to be most-affected by that tweak, hopes that there shall be an excessive amount of pleasure on present – not like in the Lions sequence this summer time season.

Last season’s runner-up added: “What now we have now now acquired to work collectively as a gaggle of Premiership sides to produce one issue that individuals need to watch and be concerned in.

“Hopefully we will have plenty of sell-out crowds at all the grounds and show a positive way forward.”

WORCESTER WARRIORS

Title prospects: THEY’VE spent huge touchdown two of Scotland’s Lions aces, but that is not going to be sufficient to see them pushing on the right finish of the desk. 

Like Newcastle Falcons they are going to be eternally relieved that relegation has been scrapped for this yr. 

Star man: Duhan van der Merwe – Giant Scotland and Lions winger wants to add to his sport and current he is not a flat-track bully, although. 

One to watch: Owen Williams – Great factors have been anticipated from the fly-half at Gloucester and he failed to produce. Gets one totally different shot on the Prem.

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