It’s nearly that time of the year again. The favourite time of the year for rugby fans up and down the country with the kick off the Premiership only weeks away.
And for the next nine months, the whole country will be divided, cheering on for their respective clubs. Memories will be made, familiar faces will reintroduce the fans to their magic and new stars will emerge to take the world by storm.
Here is a prediction of who we think will shine the brightest for each of the 12 teams vying for the Premiership trophy in the 2018/19 season.
Bath Rugby: Jamie Roberts
The former Welsh international will be making the trip from The Stoop to the The Recreation Ground as he makes his way into Todd Blackadder’s Bath side. The British and Irish Lion has been capped over 80 times by Wales and obviously that kind of vast experience would be a positive influence wherever he was to go. Speaking to Bath Rugby’s official website Todd Blackadder said: “He’s hugely respected both on and off the field, and it’s those qualities which make this a really significant signing for the club. Not only that, but he’s hugely ambitious and I believe that both Bath and Wales will reap the rewards from this move.” On the back of a poor season by their standards, languishing at 8 in the Premiership table, Bath will be hoping Roberts can make an instant impact in October.
Bristol Bears: Charles Piutau
Newly promoted Bristol have wasted no time in recruiting big name players to help them mount a serious assault on next year’s Premiership campaign. The big name signing that catches the eye is that off Charles Piutau from Ulster. The 26 year-old has been capped sixteen times by the All Blacks and has been instrumental as a utility back for Ulster over the last two seasons. Piutau has already proven himself as more than capable of making is mark in the Premiership after a glittering season with Wasps three years ago. Piutau is set to become the highest ever paid player in the Premiership on a deal worth £1 million a year. No pressure then.
Exeter Chiefs: Sam Simmonds
Gloucester: Danny Cipriani
The Cherry and Whites have invested greatly, bringing in a number of South Africa internationals. Yet, it is Cipriani who is likely to shine the brightest among all these new names Kingsholm. The fly-half, who received an England recall for their tour of South Africa in the summer, had an outstanding final season at Wasps, which ended with the 30-year-old being named in the BT Sport Dream Team.
Harlequins: Marcus Smith
From one English fly-half to another. Smith had a good season in a struggling Quins side and they’ll be hoping the teenage sensation can improve yet again and help them better their tenth place finish in the Premiership this season.