The Aviva Premiership, who are you backing?

With round 14 of the Aviva premiership just around the corner, we take a look at those in the running for silverware in May.

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Exeter Chiefs


The current leaders and defending champions. Their recent loss against Newcastle halted their seven-game winning streak, but in general they have enjoyed a consistent season thus far.

Injuries in the recent Leicester win cost the Chiefs their England trio of Harry Williams (concussion), Luke Cowan-Dickie (hip) and Jack Nowell (ankle), but these players have since been deemed fit to play again.

Five players have been called up by Eddie Jones for the upcoming Six Nations. Harry Williams, Henry Slade, Jack Nowell and Sam Simmonds return to the squad, and prop Alec Hepburn receives his first ever call up. Director of Rugby Rob Baxter will be hoping that his key players come back unscathed from international duty. 

Chances of glory – 9/10


Saracens

The absences of Billy Vunipola and Maro Itoje took its toll on the Men in Black during their seven-game losing streak at the back end of 2017, but since their Christmas Eve game against Leicester, Saracens have returned to form with convincing wins against Worcester and Wasps.

However, with Vunipola now injured again Saracens will be missing one of their key players for at least 12 weeks. Saracens still remain favourite to take the title this year and are only five points behind the reigning champions, Exeter Chiefs.

Chances of glory – 8/10

 
Wasps

Wasps’ recent loss to Saracens brought an end to their seven-game winning streak in the Premiership, and they will now have to deal with an injury to Willie le Roux, as well as James Haskell’s four-week ban.

After their loss, Wasps boss Dai Young said; "It has certainly been our season for taking a hammering on the injury front... But, as disappointed as we are, I'd have settled for sitting third after our first few weeks of the season.

"We've dug ourselves out of a bit of a hole…we'll have a number of players coming back and there's no reason why we can't finish strongly."

In other news, the future looks bright for Wasps following their recent signing of All Blacks fly-half Lima Sopoaga.

Chances of glory – 6/10


Gloucester

The Cherry and Whites’ recent loss at Franklin’s Gardens squandered a chance to move up to second in the table, in a game that they should have comfortably won against a Northampton team struggling for consistency.

They will remain in the top four, but they will be feeling the pressure from Bath who are only a point behind. Captain Willi Heinz admitted that his team will have to improve future performances if they hope to finish in the play-offs. They return to Premiership action against Leicester on Saturday 10 February.

Chances of glory – 5/10

 
Bath Rugby

Now fifth in the table after a record 46-25 win over Worcester, halting a run of three successive Premiership defeats. Still 13 points short of table leaders Exeter, Bath will be looking for a strong performance in their upcoming games if they hope to make the top four.

With much of Bath’s backline made up of past and present England talent, they may find themselves tested during the upcoming internationals.

Chances of glory – 5/10

 
Rewards4Rugby

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by Lee B at Rewards4Rugby

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