Guinness Premiership table has an unfamiliar look

As the Guinness Premiership season careers towards its half way point and with the Autumn Internationals firmly behind us, it’s time to turn our attention back to the domestic game and all that it will bring in the New Year.

Saracens are racing clear

This season’s Premiership table has a very unfamiliar look to it. Saracens are sitting proudly at the top of the pile whilst more consistent title challengers are being left to prop up the rest.

The new regime at Vicarage Road seems to be paying off, with the influx of South African players and coaching staff proving to be a very shrewd and positive move. Even though Saracens are comfortably 6 points above the rest, there is not a bonus point in sight – not one achieved all season – but they are winning, even though enterprise may not be on top of their agenda. With the experienced game management of Neil de Kock and Glen Jackson at 9 and 10 respectively, the ability is there for Saracens to build platforms from which they are consistently winning.

So what about the other end of the table? Leeds were always going to struggle coming up from the re-named Championship as all promoted sides do, but under the tutelage of Neil Back, a battling Leeds could make the fight for relegation interesting.

Bath could easily blame drug scandals and injuries for their current blight but a lack of leadership on the field and no proven quality back up at stand off and inside centre has also been a contributing factor. The long awaited return of Butch James and Olly Barkley in the New Year should see them secure in the league.

Gloucester need consistency, but with Nicky Robinson looking like a player that defies his paltry collection of Welsh caps, then Gloucester can look dangerous and free scoring with ball in hand. If a few results go their way, they should finish mid-table.

London Irish will challenge aggressively for the top spot and with both Armitage brothers now fit, together with their ever domineering pack, they look like worthy challengers once again, although a young Northampton team playing adventurous, running rugby will certainly be hot on their heels.

Expect Leicester to kick into life and challenge as they always do. With players like England’s shining light of the Autumn Internationals, Lewis Moody, back in Tigers colours, watch for Leicester to go from strength to strength in the new year and launch their traditional title challenge.

Wasps have a dilemma on their hands. The mercurial Danny Cipriani is back from a string of injuries and wanting to fight for his England shirt, yet Dave Walder, who is kicking his points and winning games for Wasps may be the more obvious choice at 10. They’ve had some mixed results this season, but are always difficult to beat on their day.

The second half of this Guinness Premiership season is going to be tight, competitive and compelling viewing which is going to be hard to predict week in week out. With Heineken cup places also up for grabs, expect a few surprises and a less familiar shape to the final table.


By Andrew Daniel

2 thoughts on “Guinness Premiership table has an unfamiliar look

  1. The lack of tries obviously isnt too damaging for Saracens as the table sits now, but i think come the end of the season it will tell a different tale. Bath having to rely on the return of two players to secure their league status is interesting and they must be hoping this will be the case, as with the run they are currently on, some new weekend destinations is a real possibilty for next season!!

  2. I feel that under Meehan and with players like Mears and Grewcock, coupled with the return of their international half backs, bath will be fine and grind out results when it matters, the support of their loyal following will give them the backing to push on. The six nations will aid Saracens as they will not lose many players on international duty, the league normally encounters is usual shakeups at this time with the returning players having a massive effect post six nations! I thnk it will be between Saracens, Irish, saints and Leicester with Irish emerging victorious, watch out for those falcons and quins lurking just below the others! I suspect this year is a not a formality by any means.

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