Darry Worthington takes a look at the outright betting for the Gallagher Premiership season.
With the World Cup quarters finals just a couple of days away one would be forgiven forgetting that the Gallagher Premiership season will kick-off on Friday the 18th of October. While the tournament won’t be as hampered by the unavailability of internationals as both the PRO14 and Top 14 have been, there could still be a chance for a few of the lesser fancied sides to get a good start to the season with big guns such as Saracens and Exeter missing a whole host of players.
Photo Copyright Steve Haag Sport – Hollywoodbets
To Win Tournament Outright
Sale Sharks 25/1
Bristol Bears 40/1
London Irish 100/1
Worcester Warriors 200/1
2018/19 Finish: Champions
The reigning champions will have a tough old start to their title defence with the Vunipola brothers, Owen Farell, George Kruis, Liam Williams and Maro Itoje all on World Cup duty. Even when these heavy hitters return to English shore, they are unlikely to be rushed back into the showpiece as they will need some time to recuperate from the World Cup. These household names will also be missing during the Six Nations.
Thankfully, Saracens have a great academy and a host of young prospects have come through this term. Whether this will be enough to get them through the early salvos of the season is up for debate, however.
Saracens biggest strength in the recent past has been their home form. They went through the entirety of last season without losing a game at the Allianz and if they repeat the feat this year they are likely to get into the ‘Top 3’ at a canter.
2018/19 Finish: Runners-Up
Last season’s defeated finalists, the Exeter Chiefs, will be looking to make hay while Saracens big guns are away and get off to a fast start.
The Chiefs have lost fewer players to the World Cup with Luke Cowan Dickie and Jack Nowell the only two big name absentees.
Exeter have also made a shrewd acquisition or two bringing in South African forwards Jannes Kirsten and Jaques Vermuelen. The pick of their signings, however, is Scottish fullback Stuart Hogg who is likely to get a debut in Round 3 of this year’s tournament as his nation have already exited the World Cup.
2018/19 Finish: Third-Place
Johan Ackermann’s charges will be looking to go one better than the semi-finals this season, and they have a great chance of achieving this as there squad is full of star quality.
While many pundits have criticized Ackermann for turning Gloucester into ‘little South Africa’ one cannot fault the big man as his countrymen have helped turn Gloucester into a real force on the English rugby scene.
Ackermann has recruited more South Africans during the off-season with Courne Fourie joining from Western Province. The former Golden Lions member has done his bit for English rugby as well promoting a number of young Englishmen from the Gloucester youth system.
2018/19 Finish: Ninth
Make no bones about it, the Bears are on the rise. They enjoyed a great return to the English top-tier last season and managed a solid ninth place finish.
The Bears have some hugely talented players on their books with Charles Pitau and Ian Madigan two of the more gifted individuals.
The men from Bristol also launched a smart recruitment drive during the off-season and landed the signatures of Welshman, Nicky Thomas, and former England international, Nathan Hughes.
Verdict: Gloucester 14/1
I think we may well see the Saracens-Exeter monopoly broken this season. Johann Ackermann was always going to need a bit of time to get Gloucester playing to his tune and I reckon this is the season that the ‘Cherry Whites’ attacking style is cemented and reaps dividends. You can’t go wrong with a small punt on Gloucester at a hefty price of 14/1.
Written by Darry Worthington for Hollywoodbets