With the new Aviva Premiership starting tonight we take a look at the new season and look at the English stars hoping to impress in the hopes of being called up for the England Autumn Internationals squad.
— Premiership Rugby (@premrugby) September 2, 2016
Last year Saracens comfortably won the title and have made some fantastic additions to their squad over the summer. The stand out signing this year is sevens star Savenaca Rawaca, the Fijian will bring pace, power and try scoring prowess to the side. Wasps, Bristol and Leicester will all look to knock Saracens off their throne this time round.
See our predictions for this season below:
Champions: After their European and domestic dominance last season, many are tipping Saracens to retain their title in 2016/17 and while their credentials are tough to ignore this could be the season for Wasps. Since moving to Coventry the club has gone from strength-to-strength and their summer signings have really impressed
Their powerful pack already boasted stars such as Joe Launchbury, James Haskell and Nathan Hughes but now their backline is the finest in Europe. Danny Cipriani, Kurtley Beale, Kyle Eastmond and Willie Le Roux have arrived at The Ricoh and can send Wasps to Premiership glory.
Player of the Year: It what is set be a vintage year for the Aviva Premiership one man could stand head and shoulders above the rest – Louis Picamoles. The destructive number eight has joined Northampton from French giants Toulouse and will be tasked with leading the Saints charge back to the play-offs. His ball-carrying will really catch the eye and his ability to break tackles will make him a star at Franklins Gardens.
Young Player of the Year: There are several candidates for this award, but after his scintillating performances in England’s under-20 World Championship victory Harlequins centre Joe Marchant is set for a breakout season. The 20-year-old has an electric turn of foot along with a very solid defensive game. He was one of the real standouts of the U-20 World Cup and has been compared to current England centre Jonathan Joseph.
Top Try Scorer: Much like his club side Saracens star Chris Ashton is red-hot favourite to top the try scoring charts in 2016/17 and with good reason. But Semesa Rokoduguni was in electric form last season for Bath before impressing on the England Saxons tour of South Africa. His blistering pace and bruising power have made him one of the best wingers in England and he is set for another huge campaign.
Surprise package: After finally returning to the Aviva Premiership many are tipping Bristol for an immediate return to the Championship, but with the signings they have made along with a rugby-mad fan base they could surprise a few teams. Andy Robinson is an experienced coach and with the likes of Jordan Crane and Soane Tongaʻuiha joining the West Country club they are building a very tidy squad.
Fact: The Aviva Premiership trophy costs £25,000 to make each season
England Head Coach Eddie Jones will be watching the matches with a keen eye over the next few weeks. The Australian will name his 23-man squad next month and will hope all of his stars can find their top form and stay free from injury.
England’s first fixture of the Old Mutual Wealth Series (Autumn Internationals) is against South Africa on Saturday 12th November 2016. Eventmasters are delighted to be able to offer official hospitality for all of England’s fixtures at Twickenham from within the prestigious Twickenham Stoop. For more details of packages at Twickenham please click here