If there’s one thing that you can expect in this coming Premiership season, it’s tries. The Gallagher Premiership has evolved in recent seasons to an all court game that demands attacking skill and panache, and as such we’ve seen a focus move onto the league’s backs who regularly entertain with tries that would be worthy of any highlight reel.
It also provides punters with a fantastic market opportunity over the next nine months, with generous each/way place terms and also four or even five places. This is a helpful occurrence as there were three-way ties for first and fourth places last season whilst here was a fourth way tie for third the season before that and in 2015/16, there was a tie for second as well.
Christian Wade was involved in all three of those, finishing second in 2015/16, winning by six in 2016/17, and then finishing in a tie for first last season. He had tallies of 12, 17 and 13 in those three years and starts the season fit and ready to go again in one of the league’s most attacking sides.
In their last pre-season game against Ulster, Wade started amongst Rob Miller, Elliot Daly, Juan De Jongh, Billy Searle and Dan Robson, with the tantalising arrival of Lima Sopoaga to come very soon at flyhalf. Despite his sensational tryscoring form he has not been on the radar for the England squad, meaning he can get a crack at all of the 20 games, and the 5/1 is worth a win only shot.
David Strettle is one of the most underrated transfers of the season for Saracens and the former England winger scored 11 tries for Clermont in the Top 14 two seasons ago before dislocating his finger in December against Ulster. He scored nine the season before that and in his last Premiership season before moving to France, he was second in the tryscoring charts.
The 35-year-old hasn’t lost a step of pace and should prove to be an excellent replacement for Chris Wyles who gets a full season at wing barring injures, and he can use his skill to reach double figures and give himself a strong chance of getting into the places.
The six weeks ban of Chris Ashton blows this leader board wide open on paper, but Sale will breathe easy knowing that they have Marland Yarde ready to fill his shoes. Yarde scored 12 tries last season and Sale can expect to improve on that performance this season at least. The presence of Ashton will inevitably draw attention but an international call up is surely the reason Ashton moved back and there’s plenty of time for him to get ahead.
The influence of Danny Cipriani and Jimmy Gopperth was a huge part in Wasps scoring so many tries last season, but when with the pair of them gone they should still get a truckload and Josh Bassett looks very big at a best of 60/1 with Boylesports. Bassett, barring injury, should play every game for Wasps and that automatically makes him a contender.
2 pts win Christian Wade (5/1 Betfair, Paddy Power)
1 pt each/way David Strettle (40/1 Boylesports, 25/1 Ladbrokes))
1 pt each/way Marland Yarde (40/1 Boylesports, 28/1 SkyBet, 25/1 Bet365)
1 pt each/way Josh Bassett, (60/1 Boylesports, 40/1 SkyBet)