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Top Four Forecast!

By New Cherry
July 13 2018

Danny Cipriani is one of the most gifted players of his generation and his loss represents a real blow for Wasps according to the bookmaking experts at Sports Review.  But they say Gloucester supporters should be delighted that their club signed a player of his calibre.

The former Melbourne Rebels and Sale Sharks star brings a wealth of Premiership and Champions Cup experience to Gloucester and his signing is a real statement of intent from Gloucester, signalling that they intend to compete at the highest level in both competitions next season. They now look like top four contenders according to the experts

Excitement is mounting ahead of the 2018/19 Premiership campaign after the league published its fixtures list for the upcoming season. Bristol and Bath get proceedings underway with an eagerly anticipated West Country derby on August 31, Exeter and Leicester lock horns the following day and Saracens begin their title defence at Newcastle on September 2. Clubs have been busy bolstering their squads ahead of the new season and we have already seen several high-profile signings. In addition to Cipriani here are the biggest ones to watch out for:

 Alex Cuthbert

Welshman Cuthbert made the bold decision to turn his back on his international career and end his hopes of going to next year’s World Cup by signing for Exeter Chiefs. He has just just 47 caps to his name, 13 short of the 60-cap threshold to be considered for Wales selection under the new WRU policy, so it must have been a difficult step to take. But his reward could be immense, as the Chiefs have developed into a force within the English game and in Europe over the last few years. Read a Bookmaker Sports review and find the best odds available on the market and you will see that the Chiefs are second favourites to win the Premiership next season, behind only defending champions Saracens. Cuthbert’s potential is still vast and if he rediscovers his best form at Sandy Park the Chiefs will be even more formidable in 2018/19.

 Dan Biggar

Biggar is also leaving Wales after a golden decade with Ospreys. The fly-half scored almost 2,200 points during his time and his influence on Welsh rugby has been immense. He has a great kicking game, he plays with intelligence and he always displays a burning desire to win, so Northampton should enjoy a massive boost when he lines up for them next season. Unlike Cuthbert, he has the requisite 60 caps to his name, so he can continue to represent his country as long as he impresses for his new club.

 Brad Shields

Contoversy has followed Shields around of late after the Kiwi flanker turned his back on his country of birth in order to play for England. He qualifies due to his parents, but he has received widespread criticism for the move, as he has never played in England. But that will all change next season as the former Hurricanes captain suits up for Wasps. Shields has been likened to Chris Robshaw but with better hands, and that is high praise indeed. He is tough, combative and extremely fit, and versatile too, as he can play number 8 as well as flanker, so his signing represents a real coup for Wasps.

Charles Piutau

All eyes will be on the former All-Black when Bristol face Bath in the opening game of the new season. They smashed all records to make him the world’s highest paid player back in August 2017, signing up to a £1 million per season deal. It begins at the start of the 2018/19 season, and fans are desperate to see the big man in action. During his debut season for Ulster, Piutau made 23 appearances and was their joint-top try scorer with nine tries, winning the Pro12 Player of the Year award in the process. He played in 17 Tests for the All Blacks between 2013 and 2015 and he looks set to light up the Premiership with his individual brilliance. He is desperate to make the All Blacks World Cup team, so he will give 100% effort this coming season and that could make him a terrifying prospect for Bristol’s rivals.

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