We’re now well into the Autumn internationals, the time where the Northern Hemisphere nations invite the Southern Hemisphere giants to give us a good reminder of what we are lacking in the rugby department…unless of course you’re English, in which case, we’ll do the reminding for them.
But whilst all this is going on, what’s happening with the domestic game here in England? Well for starters, we’ve thankfully just finished round two of the ‘Anglo-Welsh Cup’, but the less said about that the better.
November can be a highly profitable month for premiership clubs, or it can be a very costly one. Without their international stars, teams must now show strength in depth if they are to not only maintain their position in the league but try to ascend in it also.
So, which sides are likely to thrive and which are set to have a tough time of it during the Autumn Internationals? Instead of going into too much detail over how I think each individual side are likely to do, here’s a select few to keep an eye out for…
Bristol – The Ashton Gate boys have been having a tough time since returning to England’s top flight. Injuries to key players, the sacking of Head Coach Andy Robinson and still in search of that first win in the premiership. However, they do finally have something to celebrate after beating Sale in the ‘2XV Cup’ AKA the Anglo-Welsh cup last weekend. With they’re tails up they’ll be looking to capitalise on the ever so slightly weakened Bath and Leicester outfits.
Harlequins – Sadly I can’t be as positive for the London based boys. With Quins missing key players all over the park, this could turn out to be a really tough few weeks. Their only saving grace may be that both Leicester and Bath are also missing some key players, however I’m not going to hold my breath.
Wasps – To be honest you’d need a damn good reason to not want to watch the premiership’s big spenders regardless of your allegiance. The Coventry side’s strength in depth is just an embarrassment of riches and you need to look no further than the fact Danny Cipriani hasn’t been selected for England, and even if he had, Jimmy Gopperth is playing the best rugby of his life! They will of course miss the likes of Daly and Hughes, but will find more than capable replacements in the form of Eastmond and Gaskell respectively. All this and they’re still waiting on the likes of Springbok Willie Le Roux, Wallabie Kurtley Beale and Instragram Tycoon James Haskell!
All in all, it doesn’t look like there’s going to be any major upsets occurring, however I’m always rooting for an underdog, and being a Saints fan that seems to becoming a more common theme.