The 2022/23 Gallagher Premiership kicked off on 10 September and the competition is heating up. Following the first three rounds, all thirteen teams have competed in the tournament and there are four that appear to be pulling away from the pack.
The Exeter Chiefs and Bristol Bears have won all three of their games thus far, while the Sale Sharks and Saracens have won both of theirs. But are these early victories an indication of who could win the 2023 Premiership?
The Exeter Chiefs put in a relatively poor performance for their standards last season and finishing seventh. This is their lowest finish since the 2015/16 season, with the Chiefs winning the tournament in 2017 and 2020, and consistently coming in second in 2016, 2018, 2019 and 2021.
This year, fans are hoping that the Chiefs manage to claw their way back up the league table. With players like Sam Simmonds and Stuart Hogg – plus new signings Scott Sio and Jack Dunne – the Exeter Chiefs are one to watch.
The Bristol Bears are yet to be crowned Premiership champions or runners-up, but could that be about to change? The team finished 10th during the 2021/22 season but the return of Ellis Genge has ignited a spark of hope amongst the club’s fans.
Genge has transferred back to the Bears after spending more than six years with the Leicester Tigers and he’s off to a flying start this season. The newly-returned Genge scored two tries during Bristol’s opening match against Bath and a further try against London Irish in round three.
The Sale Sharks went on a spending spree this summer and the team now has five England international players after acquiring Jonny Hill. Combined with Tom Curry, Manu Tuilagi, Raffi Quirke and Bevan Rodd, Sale’s line-up looked fearsome as they entered the 2023 Premiership.
The team started their campaign with a bang, securing a bonus-point victory against Northampton Saints in round one and dominating against Bath in round two.
Last crowned champions in 2019 and as the 2021/22 runners up, the Sarries came out fighting during the opening rounds of this year’s Premiership. The team edged a win against the Harlequins in their first match, before snatching a victory against Gloucester in round three.
The Saracens are known for their world-class players – this year they’ve added Eduardo Bello and Hugh Tizard to their roster – and fans are hoping that the Saracens could top the league once more.
What the bookies say…
As of September 2022, Saracens are the bookies’ favourites with 7/4 odds from Paddy Power and 13/8 from Sky Bet. If this seems like the smart bet to you, then it’ll be worth keeping an eye on the latest rugby news to find out if Sarries can indeed take the title.