How the teams stack up for the restart
The more stable squads are most likely to be successful. Rob Baxter has a lot of guys such as Henry Slade and Jack Nowell fully fit again and I think Exeter will finish top. But will they go all the way? You would not want to be travelling down to Sandy Park for a semi-final, that is for sure. Must be favourites.
Prediction 1st Currently 1st
Massive signings. Sale already have real quality in midfield, but Manu Tuilagi is a step up, so the question is how quickly he will gel into that back line. The pack is enormous, with Lood de Jager now available. This is their best chance to win it all. I could see them going to Twickenham and beating Exeter, but it would be a coin toss. Prediction 2nd Currently 2nd
Probably the best signings of any club. They had good young talent, but were not going to win the title before with that squad. Now there is a chance they can. Max Malins is exciting, Kyle Sinckler will really help them, Ben Earl is fantastic in the back row and there is Semi Radradra. Do they have enough experience at half-back though?
Prediction 3rd Currently 3rd
You will see some of their academy kids getting an opportunity over the rest of the season. In their first campaign back they have been impressive in fits and starts, though not always for a full 80 minutes. Tom Homer was playing well for Bath, but there are no new names who immediately jump out at you.
Prediction 10th Currently 8th
Fourth in the table at the moment, but I am not sure they will stay there. Nick Isiekwe is a good signing for them, but they have lost Cobus Reinach, who was immense. Purely on the fact that Reinach is now in France, and given how he turned games on their head all on his own, I could see Northampton slipping out of the top four.
Prediction 6th Currently 4th
If you believe the rumours, there were a lot of knives out and people trying to get their own way. If you get your own way as a player, you have to perform. There will be a huge amount of pressure on Danny Cipriani to deliver, but we all know how good he can be. With the players they have, there is an opportunity.
Prediction 5th Currently 9th
On a hell of a run before lockdown under Lee Blackett, scoring plenty of points, with Malakai Fekitoa improving. Sometimes when you lose a coach you get an immediate response, and Wasps were the one team who did not want lockdown. If they can rediscover that freedom, they can force their way into fourth.
Prediction 4th Currently 5th
You just do not know what to expect with Worcester. Sometimes they are brilliant and then they lose concentration. Ryan Mills is a loss, as he was an influence for them in midfield, but Matt Kvesic is a good signing and the positives after lockdown outweigh the negatives, meaning they could climb up the table.
Prediction 9th Currently 10th
Ben Spencer and Will Spencer are both very good players and excellent signings, but there have been a lot of outgoings and it feels like a new team. Bath were not a particularly exciting team to watch before lockdown and need to change their style. Top four feels beyond them, having been suited stylistically more to wet-weather rugby.
Prediction 7th Currently 6th
If there was ever a good season for another club to break the salary cap... Leicester have lost a boatload of players, more than 20, while making good signings. I hope head coach Steve Borthwick performs wonders, but I cannot see it yet. Nemani Nadolo is at the end of his career but will score tries, and expect some magic from Harry Potter...
Prediction 11th Currently 11th
A tough one to predict, as they lost a lot of players. They have gone down the South African route, signing prop Wilco Louw and centre Andre Esterhuizen, but have lost some senior guys and will miss Kyle Sinckler. The summer weather and the way that they play might suit Quins, but I can see them losing out physically in tight games.
Prediction 8th Currently 7th
Their whole season hinges on Europe, with the Lions tour already on the minds of some players. It is almost an empty season otherwise. What else do you have to play for but pride? It is a good opportunity to give some youngsters experience, so when they probably come back from the Championship in 2021 the young guys will be ready.
Prediction 12th Currently 12th