They will feel they have come out well. They lost Will Skelton, Dean Mumm and Rob Horne but have picked up Rob Simmons and Kurtley Beale. The latter, especially, is a great signing as Beale was outstanding last year for the Wallabies and looks to be in the best head space and form of his career.
WHAT CAN WE EXPECT TACTICALLY?
More willingness to attack with the ball in hand and use the play-making axis of Bernard Foley and Beale to work Israel Folau into space.
They also have a pack that can get stuck in and win and control the ball for long periods.
GUT FEEL – RISERS OR FALLERS?
They have to be risers. Look at their squad... it’s good enough to be challenging for the title and yet for the last three years they have been inconsistent and fairly awful.
Will be a travesty if they go through another season without beating a Kiwi team.
WHERE WILL THEY FINISH?
The minimum expectation is that they will win the Australian Conference. The Rebels and to a lesser extent the Brumbies will be their main competition but they should finish ahead and with enough points to host a home playoff. After that, it is down to their planning, courage and execution on the day.