Coming up this season on The Rugby Blog

With the London 2012 Olympics done and dusted, we now have both eyes firmly focused on the new Rugby season.

With The Rugby Championship kicking off this weekend, and the Aviva Premiership and RaboDirect Pro12 getting underway in less than 2 weeks, there is plenty to get excited about and hopefully you’ll come with us for the ride this season.

New editor

Barnaby Halliday (@Halliday_B) has joined the team this week and will be leading our efforts throughout this huge Lions year, and we have a bigger team of writers than ever before.

Barnaby is a long-time Quins fan and as a passionate half-English, half-Scottish national, the word disappointment has never been too far away throughout his rugby-supporting career, but with the upturn in performance last season and the results of the summer tours, he is viewing this coming season with renewed optimism.

Bigger team

With a busy season ahead, we’ve compiled a bigger team of writers than ever before, bringing you more articles and features and hopefully stimulating more debate and comment.

Stalwarts like Hutch, Ben Coles, Charlie Morgan, Gareth Hughes, Stu Peel and Tom James will all be contributing in various ways, whilst we’re also welcoming Mark Tilley, Andrew Richardson, Nik Simon, James Perowne, Josh Kewell, Alex McLeman, Mike Dolan and Jonathan Frank to the fold on a regular basis. There might even be a couple of others as well.

New features

As you can see, we have a new ‘responsive’ site design that should look nice in every browser and device from desktop to mobile, and there are a few other things up our sleeve as well.

The ‘Best of the Weekend’ column will kick off the week as usual, and then there will be more feature articles and discussion on major Rugby topics.

We also have a stellar cast of Player Blogs lined up, with Tim Visser, Matt Kvesic and Greg Bateman continuing to be involved, and we’re hopefully signing up a big Welsh winger as well.

There will be more Top 14 and Super Rugby coverage, we’ll be bringing back a regular poll, we’ll have more previews and predictions before each weekend, and we are improving the way we do post-match discussion in the immediate aftermath of a big game.

And because there’s a fairly special tour at the end of the season, we’ll be doing various Lions features, picking teams and generally getting excited about the whole thing.

SuperBru prediction leagues

We are running a prediction league in every Rugby tournament on SuperBru, from The Rugby Championship, starting this weekend, to Top 14 and ITM Cup as well everything in between.

All the details are on this page, so get yourself registered and tell your mates to do the same – it’s free and fun and every sports fan should be playing!

Feedback

If there’s anything you’d like to see more or less of, or if you’d like to be involved somehow, please do get in touch.

Don’t forget to follow us on Twitter @TheRugbyBlog and hit Like below if you haven’t already.

Thank you to everyone that reads the site and particularly to those that comment – your opinions make The Rugby Blog what it is, and hopefully this season will see more discussion than ever before.

We’re very excited, and hope that you are too!

Hutch