Hollywoodbets Sports Blog: Gallagher Premiership: Restart Overview

Gallagher Premiership: Restart Overview

Darry Worthington gives you a rundown on all you need to know about the Gallagher Premiership season which will recommence on the 14th of August.

Image copyright - Steve Haag Sports

Two women looking excitedly at cellphoneThere's just over a week until the English Premiership season will resume. The top tier of English rugby has the 2019/20 season put on hold back in March duo to COVID-19. Now, some five months later, the top sides in England will return to the field for the final nine rounds and the semi-finals and final. The games will come thick and fast with the final set for the 24th of October.

Darry Worthington recaps the season and gives his views on who will take the title, below.

To Win Tournament Outright
Exeter Chiefs 8/10
Sale Sharks 7/2
Northampton Saints 6/1
Bristol Bears 6/1
Wasps 14/1
Bath 28/1

Lay of the Land
The Exeter Chiefs currently top the pops with 45 points to their name. The 2016/17 Champions - who are currently five points clear of the second-placed Sale Sharks - are hot favourites with the bookmakers to reclaim the title. 

Below the table-toppers, we find a Sale Sharks side that was enjoying a solid campaign prior to the break with the men from Machester winning eight of their 13 fixtures. While they are in a commanding position to claim a semi-final berth, they will still need to be cautious as only ten points separate them and sixth-placed Bath. 

The other two sides occupying the semi-final berths are the Bristol Bears and Northampton. The Bears, who were only promoted back to the Premiership a few years ago, are just two points off Sale while Northampton are a further three points back 

Jockeys Ride HorsesWasps and Bath are the two other sides in with a realistic shout of making a semi-final. Wasps are currently on 33 points while Bath sit a further three points back on 30. Below them are two outsiders for the semi berths in the form of Harlequins and London Irish who are both on 28 points.

At the other end of the table, reigning champions Saracens occupy last place after they were docked a large number of league points at the start of the season for financial irregularities. The North London side have already been relegated and have nothing to play for. With the League expanding to 13 sides next season, Saracens will be the only relegated club this term. The 2018/19 champions will be replaced in the top tier by the Newcastle Falcons who were miles ahead at the top of the Championship standings when the season was called off a few months ago.

Title Contenders

Exeter Chiefs
The men from Devonshire are red-hot favourites to take the title and rightly so. They have been the standout team thus far this season winning nine of their 13 fixtures.

They have an extremely settled and deep squad who know how to win titles. And with the season set to come to a conclusion before the international Test window which is being touted to run from the close of October to early-December, the Chiefs will have most of their big guns available for the entirety of the campaign. 

The only thing that is counting slightly against the Chiefs is that they still have the European Champions Cup to play for. They will need to be very smart with their player rotation if they are to challenge on both the domestic and European front. 

Sale Sharks
Second-placed Sale will be a real threat once the season restarts. They were enjoying a solid campaign prior to the break and had registered eight wins from their 13 fixtures.

While Sale already had a rather star-studded side that features the likes of South Africans Faf de Klerk, the Du Preez brothers and Rohan Janse van Rensburg, the capture of English international Manu Tuilangi may well just turn this Sharks side from pretenders to true title contenders. 

Dark Horse 

It's been a rather tumultuous past year for Wasps with a poor start to the season seeing the long-standing director of rugby Dai Young parting ways with the club. Since Young's axing Wasps have been in something of a rebuilding phase and this rebuild started to bare a bit of fruit with the Coventry outfit moving up the table as the season progressed.

They have a very talented squad with young guns like Jacob Umanga starting to play a more prevalent role. Some of their veterans are also starting to hit a bit of form with former All Black fly-half Lima Sopaoga enjoying a purple patch before the season was put on hold.

Verdict: Sale Sharks 7/2
I really do fancy the Sharks chances. They have a very talented squad filled with experienced internationals. 

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