The frenzy over a imminent attainment of Sam Burgess, now personification rugby joining in Australia, has been going on for months and seems ever some-more daft. If a Yorkshireman turns out to be a brew of Lawrence Dallaglio, Will Greenwood and Hercules, he competence only live adult to expectations. If Bath build on final season’s poignant improvement, it will be since existent midfielders like Ollie Devoto, Kyle Eastmond and Jonathan Joseph make a many of George Ford’s skills during No 10.
Head manager Mike Ford.
Captain Stuart Hooper.
Warm welcomes: Luke Arscott (Exeter), Sam Burgess (South Sydney Rabbitohs, Aus), Grant Shiells (Newcastle), Henry Thomas (Sale). Fond farewells Nick Abendanon (Clermont Auvergne), Tom Biggs (Worcester), Tom Heathcote (Edinburgh), Anthony Perenise (Bristol).
The tea leaves say Top-four candidates.
The Devonians will not be dreaming by top-level European business this tenure and as a consequence, their priority is as plain as a oft-broken nose on Boss Baxter’s face. The lapse of a England wing Jack Nowell from long-term damage will give them total appetite outward a scrum and there is each possibility that Luke Cowan-Dickie will forge a scold repute for himself during hooker. More than this, though, they can design Henry Slade to do during slightest a commission of his potential.
Head coach Rob Baxter.
Captain Dean Mumm.
Warm welcomes Chrysander Botha (Lions, SA), Ryan Caldwell (Bath), Moray Low (Glasgow), Thomas Waldrom (Leicester). Fond farewells Craig Mitchell (Cardiff Blues), James Phillips (London Scottish), Jason Shoemark (Hawke’s Bay, NZ), Hoani Tui (Lyon).
The tea leaves contend Somewhere midstream.
The good imponderables. Several signings – Richard Hibbard and Greig Laidlaw; James Hook too if Wales start holding him severely – will be blank for weeks on end, yet their participation on a register should be transformative in itself. Add to them John Afoa, a value-for-money All Black, and a Puma tighten Mariano Galarza and it is formidable not to feel vehement during a awaiting of all entrance together underneath an resourceful new coaching team. The question: how prolonged will it take?
Director of rugby David Humphreys.
Captain Billy Twelvetrees.
Warm welcomes John Afoa (Ulster), Richard Hibbard (Ospreys), James Hook (Perpignan), Greig Laidlaw (Edinburgh). Fond farewells Jimmy Cowan (Tasman, New Zealand), Huia Edmonds (Narbonne), Will James (retired), Mike Tindall (retired).
The tea leaves say Anything is possible.
James Hook, of Gloucester, in movement during pre-season
Quins will never shake off their repute as an “establishment club”, yet that doesn’t meant they should be condemned. Their academy is magnificently effective, that explains their scarcely high suit of English-qualified players, and by giving a splendid immature things early Premiership exposure, they are doing their bit for a larger good. Marland Yarde’s attainment from London Irish is rarely significant, generally alongside that of a Fijian wing Asaeli Tikoiratuma.
Director of rugby Conor O’Shea.
Captain Joe Marler.
Warm welcomes George Merrick (academy), Asaeli Tikoiratuma (Chiefs, NZ), Charlie Walker (academy), Marland Yarde (London Irish). Fond farewells Maurie Fa’asavalu (Oyonnax), Tom Guest (London Irish), Nick Kennedy (retired), Sam Smith (Worcester).
The tea leaves say Fifth, maybe better.
The Tigers were not a million miles from their hearts’ enterprise final deteriorate – they fought a good quarrel in Europe before going down in Clermont Ferrand; they fell brief of another Premiership final by a singular measly indicate – yet tighten is never tighten adequate for them. Hence a spending spree, with an England eventuality in Freddie Burns and a World Cup-winning All Black tighten in Brad Thorn pity tip billing. If a gods give them an even mangle with injuries, they will certainly plea for a title.
Director of rugby Richard Cockerill.
Captain Ed Slater.
Warm welcomes Robert Barbieri (Treviso), Freddie Burns (Gloucester), Leonardo Ghiraldini (Treviso), Brad Thorn (Highlanders, New Zealand). Fond farewells Daniel Bowden (Blues, NZ), Toby Flood (Toulouse), Ryan Lamb (Worcester), Steve Mafi (Western Force, Aus).
The tea leaves say Top, aptness willing.
Things will be quieter yet James O’Connor, a one-man soap show from Australia, and Chris Hala’ufia, a Tongan brazen who plays “after a watershed” rugby, and now a costly pierce to a new training bottom has been completed, life should also be some-more comfortable. But a highway stays tough and until a bean counters start pumping as many into tellurian resources as into bricks and mortar, a onslaught will continue. Luke Narraway is a decent capture, yet one male doesn’t make a summer.
Director of rugby Brian Smith.
Captain George Skivington.
Warm welcomes Tom Court (Ulster), Sean Cox (Edinburgh), Luke Narraway (Perpignan), James Short (Saracens). Fond farewells James O’Connor (Toulon), Ian Gough (Newport-Gwent Dragons), Chris Hala’ufia (Scarlets), Ian Humphreys (Ulster).
The tea leaves say An worried 10th.
The Exiles have new players by a dozen, some of them unequivocally utterly good – no meant feat, given a approach a contingency are built opposite teams creation a step adult from a second tier. Yet even yet a patrol is substantially stronger than a one that done such a drastic fist of things dual seasons ago, there are vivid weaknesses in a tight-forward department. At slightest dual victories in a opening 6 matches will be needed, since they won’t be winning too many during a behind finish of a campaign.
Head coach Justin Burnell.
Captain Tom May.
Warm welcomes Olly Barkley (Scarlets), Tim Molenaar (Harlequins), Dean Schofield (Worcester), Piri Weepu (Blues, New Zealand). Fond farewells Cai Griffiths (Ospreys), Billy Moss (Bedford), Sonny Parker (retired), Andy Titterrell (retired).
The tea leaves say Roger and out.
It is formidable to know accurately what a Tynesiders volume to nowadays: a anonymity of their rugby, total with a far-flung geographical plcae on a northern extent of a English game, has reduced them to a turn of “union afterthought”. While their signings are engaging adequate – Tuilagi times two, and a Italian tighten Josh Furno – a signals are reduction than great. Mid-table is a extent of their aspirations, a unhappy fact that creates a age of Wilkinson, Flood and Tait seem ancient indeed.
Director of rugby Dean Richards.
Captain Will Welch.
Warm welcomes Josh Furno (Biarritz), Rob Hawkins (Leicester), Alesana Tuilagi (NTT Shining Arcs, Jap), Anitelea Tuilagi (Newport Gwent Dragons). Fond farewells James Fitzpatrick (Yorkshire Carnegie), Fraser McKenzie (Edinburgh), Franck Montanella (Biarritz), Michael Tait (Edinburgh).
The tea leaves say Survival? Only just.
My, they demeanour clever – so clever that a champions have hardly worried to recruit. Joel Hodgson, a two-stone-dripping-wet No 10 from Newcastle with a artistic strain where his pounds and ounces should be, has been sealed as a scrum-half… and that’s about it. All a large names who gathering a Midlanders to a initial pretension are benefaction and scold and if Alex Corbisiero, Dylan Hartley, Courtney Lawes and Luther Burrell stay fit – not to discuss George North – they will take some stopping.
Director of rugby Jim Mallinder
Captain Dylan Hartley
Warm welcomes Cam Dolan (Life Univ, US), Jon Fisher (London Irish), Joel Hodgson (Newcastle), Tom Stephenson (academy). Fond farewells Fa’atoina Autagavaia (Nevers), Paul Diggin (retired), Danny Herriott (Jersey), Gerrit-Jan outpost Velze (Worcester).
The tea leaves say A convincing second.
Some pundits, this one included, suspicion they competence go cocktail final season: in a eventuality they were a warn package of a campaign. They should take a step forward, notwithstanding losing Dwayne Peel and James Gaskell, since a recruitment has been excellent. Much courtesy will be focused on Daniel Cipriani, who is busily resurrecting his general career and has each reason to play a residence down. The superb Dan Braid will safeguard a container ticks over nicely.
Director of rugby Steve Diamond.
Captain Daniel Braid.
Warm welcomes Chris Cusiter (Glasgow), Nathan Hines (Clermont Auvergne), Magnus Lund (Biarritz), Luke McLean (Treviso). Fond farewells James Gaskell (Wasps), Kirill Kulemin (Perpignan), Rob Miller (Wasps), Dwayne Peel (Bristol).
The tea leaves contend Top-six chances.
Wanted: a new heart and conscience. Anyone tempted to downplay a outcome of Steve Borthwick’s retirement should find medical advice: a one-time England captain was a Londoners’ singular many successful figure and they will skip him horribly. But they will also understanding with it. Juan Figallo is a really critical further to a front-row mix, Will Fraser’s lapse to aptness gives them total punch in a behind quarrel and there is always Maro Itoje, a many fiery of England’s prohibited prospects, to cause into a equation.
Director of rugby Mark McCall.
Captain Alistair Hargreaves.
Warm welcomes Mike Ellery (England Sevens), Juan Figallo (Montpellier), Jim Hamilton (Montpellier), Kieran Longbottom (Western Force, Aus). Fond farewells Steve Borthwick (retired), Matt Stevens (Natal, SA), Michael Tagicakibau (Scarlets), Joel Tomkins (Wigan RL).
The tea leaves contend Play-off certainties.
They are still some stretch from a land of divert and sugar but, if a whizz-bang merchants stay fit, they will perform during one ruin of a lick. Having courted a Wales outside-half Rhys Priestland and suffered a knock-back, they need a Scotland playmaker Ruaridh Jackson to strike a spot. They contingency also wish another midfield recruit, Alapati Leiua, is as good as everybody says, while praying their back-rowers continue to make hay. The doubt symbol is over a parsimonious five, where they demeanour reduction than frightening.
Director of rugby David Young.
Captain James Haskell.
Warm welcomes Lorenzo Cittadini (Treviso), Bradley Davies (Cardiff Blues), Ruaridh Jackson (Glasgow), Alapati Leiua (Hurricanes, NZ). Fond farewells Joe Carlisle (Treviso), Tom Palmer (Gloucester), Hugo Southwell (retired), Taione Vea (London Welsh).
The tea leaves say Seventh again, probably.
Article source: http://www.independent.co.uk/sport/rugby/rugby-union/aviva-premiership-201415-teambyteam-guide-9712874.html