Three BOLD predictions for the 2022/23 Premiership Rugby season

After months of waiting, Premiership rugby is finally back on our screens. Looking ahead, here are three massive predictions for the season ahead that you might not expect.

1.Bristol Bears finish in the top two

Last season was pretty terrible for the Bristol Bears. After a famous loss in the 2021 semi-final, Bristol dropped from finishing top of the league to finishing tenth the next season, there worst finish in the Premiership since they were relegated in 2017.

It was a very poor season for Pat Lam and so the team went out and had probably the best summer of any premiership team. The Bears have brought back Ellis Genge who is a Bristol local. Genge is one of the worlds best props, in the form of his life. A powerful carrier and scrummager, signing Genge brings a lot of leadership to the team.

The additions of AJ MacGinty, Magnus Bradbury and Gabriel Ibitoye are all very good signings and I think it will put Bristol back into top four contention and even into the top two, particularly when Semi Radradra returns.

2.Will Evans wins player of the season

It would not be massively surprising if you had not heard of Will Evans before. In the incredible story of Harlequins 2021 title, Will Evans injury is often forgotten. Evans was on course to be the teams player of the season before a terrible leg injury kept him out of the rest of the season and most of the 2021/22 season.

We saw flashes of Evans incredible ability over the ball at the end of last season. Evans reminds me a lot of a former young player of the year winner Tom Curry. Evans is phenomenal over the ball, leading the league in turnovers won in 2020/21 despite the injury. Back healthy, I see Evans having a big season, while playing a lot with Quins as he is not currently an England international.

3.Leicster Tigers will not finish in the top four.

This is one that might get some criticism, but there are reasons why I have the reigning champions missing the top four. The Tigers summer was not as good as everyone thought. Losing Ellis Genge, George Ford, Matias Moroni, Nemani Nadolo and Juan Pablo Socino is a lot to replace.

The issue for Leicester is that their replacements are either not as good or injured. We don’t know how much we will see Handre Pollard and Anthony Watson as they are both coming into the season off the back of injuries. James Cronin is a solid player, but it is a big drop off from Genge.

While Leicester do have a lot of young talent, it seems unlikely we will see similar production from players like Dan Cole, Chris Ashton, Richard Wigglesworth and Ben Youngs. Having Freddie Burns as your fly half is not a bad option, but he is still a drop from Feorge Ford. Leicester will also see more of their young players unavailable due to international duty.

I think that the championship hangover will hit the Tigers hard, and while they won’t be far off the top four, I see the Tigers failing to make the semi-finals.

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