Sarries in good shape for Twickenham glory


The Aviva Premiership returns this weekend and it looks set to be another season of drama at both ends of the table.

Saracens are the 21/20 favourites for Grand Final glory and their business in signing the likes of Liam Williams and Will Skelton will only add extra depth to their already impressive squad. Despite winning the European Champions Cup, Mark McCall’s men fell short last term and maybe have something to prove.

Reinvigorated Wasps have also done good business with Juan de Jongh and Gabiriele Lovobalavu arriving and, having been runners-up last term, are unlikely to be far away at 12/5.

It is 15/4 Exeter who are the champions having won their maiden domestic title last term and they too have added well, most notably with former Wallaby scrum-half Nic White and will undoubtedly provide a stern defence.

George Ford’s return to Leicester could make them contenders at 12/1 to win the Grand Final and he looks an upgrade on Freddie Burns, who has headed in the opposite direction to Bath, who are 20/1.

Meanwhile, Northampton’s fans will hope Piers Francis and Rob Horne can make them more bearable to watch after a drab few years.

Of the other teams eyeing the top six, Sale will again be excellent at home and miserable away, while both Gloucester and Harlequins will throw the ball around, score loads of tries but still lose too many games.

Another low to mid-table showing also beckons for Newcastle, with the plastic pitch at the often-freezing Kingston Park tipped to play its part this season.

Finally, Worcester and London Irish appear the most likely relegation candidates. Expect the Warriors to start slowly but win at home against the teams around them meaning it could be a speedy return to the Championship for the Exiles.