Guinness Premiership Preview 20/21
A late start to the Premiership. Somehow after the finish of the 6 Nations, it seems an age ago now that Exeter lifted the trophy, but in reality it was only a few weeks ago. Below I will give a guide to each individual side, how I see their season panning out and a few players to watch out for.
The bookmakers are yet to really price up many markets, so we’re very much restricted in terms of bets for the season at present. Although I have advised a couple of bets available with Boylesports. Once we have more choice I’ll follow up in more detail, as I have a few more bets in mind, but they aren’t yet priced up.
Are we seeing the emergence of a sleeping giant again? They have promised so much with the way the side reads on paper over the last few years, but since lockdown something has really clicked. The Rec is a fortress again and they have found the ability to win on the road as well. Stuart Hooper has worked magic with this team, and the signing of Ben Spencer is a masterpiece. Ignored constantly by Eddie Jones he will be available throughout the year and will prove to be the link that has been missing between this monster pack and electric backline. They are genuine contenders again for the first time in years
Star player Ben Spencer
finishing position 2nd
What a season they had last year. Made the playoffs and became European Champions, even if it was the 2nd tier competition. They will try to build on that this season, the way they approach the game and play the game is a pleasure to watch. They look to spread the ball and offload all over the park. The players they have added for this season bring a different dimension to their game. Ben Earl, Max Malins and Kyle Sinclair are just three to name. They will be contenders again this year which could be ultra congested again at the top
Star player Semi Radrada
finishing position 4th
Is there anything to say about this side that can be summed up by saying Premiership and European Cup Champions. They are an incredible outfit, they really could go down as one of the great sides. Rob Baxter is a Genius, and is so clever with his star signings to compliment his home bred stars. They have an aura about them and will still be top of the pile come the end of the regular season
Star player Sam Simmonds
finishing position 1st
It feels like another season of mid table obscurity for the cherry and whites, a side who have seemed to be in transition for the last few seasons, they just seem a couple of players short of being a really good side. They are one of the teams who really suffer at home without the crowds in. Kingsholm is such a daunting place for away teams and Gloscester really seem to be missing that edge when the fans aren’t there.
Star player Jonny May
finishing position 8th
Still trying to work this team out, they are like watching a golfer who can go on a real hot streak and then switch off just as quickly. They are hard to trust from week to week as you never know which team is going to turn up. If Paul Gustard is able to find a way of getting some consistency through the side then they will be a challenge for any team in the league.
Star player Joe Marchant
finishing position 7th
Today they have announced the departure of Geordan Murphy, I think this shows things are still not all right at Welford Road. They have a long way to go before they are fancied as one of the powerhouses in the league again. Signings have been ok, but there is just something not clicking come Saturday afternoons. If they are going to get anything out of this season then their England internationals are going to have to stand tall, as there just isn’t the strength in depth.
Star player George Ford
finishing position 9th
These guys surprised a lot of people last season with how many wins they picked up both at home and away. They are not packed full of stars, just some very good players in key positions. They have a lot of youngsters coming through and if they can avoid the drop will be a better team the following year. I expect them to be in a shootout with Newcastle for the bottom spot, but they should have enough to fend them off
Star player Augustin creevey
finishing position 11th
Back in the big time of the Premiership, but I struggle to see them staying there. It is going to be so hard for them, Irish will shoot it out with them, but they have so much more than the Falcons, I really see this as a near impossible mission for them. They don’t have a team of stars, what they do have is a team packed with guys who will work for each other, they one thing they have to do is try to not let their spirit get broken too early in the season otherwise it will be very long.
Star player Sinoti Sinoti
finishing position 12th
Like Quins, Saints are a hard side to really get a tab on at the moment, Chris Boyd is trying to get them to play the same way the Hurricanes played under him in New Zealand. Unfortunately he just doesn’t have the same quality at the moment. They aren’t far off and occasionally things will click and they look unstoppable. But the way the game is generally played in the Premiership it is a lot slower, and more constructed, meaning defences have time to set and there isn’t as much space in the wide channels that Saints want to try and exploit. Another average season beckons for the the men at the Gardens
Star player Matt Proctor
finishing position 6th
A team built around the power game and defence. They try to pressurise sides into making mistakes through physicality and dominance, then thrive off any opposition’s errors. When they get chances they take them but if the opposition can gain parity in the set piece and breakdown battles then they haven’t got much of a plan B. They will be on the right end of this enough times, as always they show strong form at home so will finish in the top half of the table but just miss out on the Top 4.
Star Player Faf De Klerk
finishing position 5th
Wow, what form they showed are rugby restart. A different side who finally found their way of playing the game. Everyone bought into it and understood their roll. If they can string that together and find the consistency throughout the season they will be challenging again this year. Their back row strength is not just one man in Jack Willis but the whole unit, the work the others do give him the opportunity to be the headline maker and make the flashy turnovers. A good year ahead for Wasps.
Star player Jack Willis
finishing position 3rd
A side who seem to sit in the lower half of the table and don’t come across as having much more aspiration to go higher. At times they can play some cracking rugby, but they have too many weeks they just don’t turn up at all. Yes they came up and are now proving to be a permanent fixture in the league again, but I want to see them push on, in the way Exeter and Bristol have. They are ok with just being mediocre, and the longer this continues the harder it is for them to break this cycle.
Star player Ted Hill
finishing position 10th
Another tough long season ahead, and I am very excited for it to kick off, please see advised season bets below
Premiership Winner Bath best price 80/1 with Boyles sports (not many with prices up at the moment so will update again once more info)
To make the Top 4 Bath 13/8 best price with Boyle Sports (not many with prices up at the moment so will update again once more info)
enjoy the season and check in regularly for our top bets and advice.