The rough and tumble of the Aviva Premiership returns on Friday and, on the face of it, Saracens will once again be the team to beat this season.
With a forward group hardly shy of confrontation, their famed ‘Wolf Pack’ has flipped Burgers at flanker, swapping cult hero Jacques for his namesake, legendary South African Schalk.
Sarries now form the core of the England front-line, and it’s going to be incredibly hard to shift their forwards.
However, if anyone can do it, then my money is on Wasps. They’ve had an unbelievable summer of recruitment, bringing together a backline that now includes a returning Danny Cipriani, alongside the panache of Kyle Eastmond and Australia’s Kurtley Beale.
Added to a batch of talent including Nathan Hughes, Elliot Daly and Willie le Roux, and this Wasps side looks pretty special.
Where Saracens will bruise, Wasps will dance and, after a promising end to last season, this could be the year for them to knock the current Premiership champions off their perch.
With Sporting Index offering 40 points for the regular season runner-up and 60 points for a top of the table finish, I’ll buy the 35 points they’re offering on Coventry’s finest.
And, while I could put all my eggs in one basket and back Christian Wade at 13/2 for top try scorer, I think that Wasps will spread the wealth this season which could eat into the winger’s tally.
Over in the South West, I’ll turn to Exeter’s Thomas ‘The Tank’ Waldrom to once again top the charts, at the same price with Betway.
He’s the heartbeat of the Chiefs’ side and must surely make it a hat-trick of top scorer gongs in 2016/17.
Buy Wasps Regular Season Index 35
Waldrom top try scorer 13/2 (Betway)