The new Rugby Union Aviva Premiership season is almost upon us, with last year’s champions Northampton looking a cracking price at 5/2 for consecutive Grand Final wins, ahead of 2013/14 double-bottlers Saracens, who lead the market at 7/4.
Ladbrokes.com have a packed odds menu available for egg-chasing’s return, from newly promoted London Welsh finishing bottom at 11/10, to who will cross the try-line most during the regular season.
With regard to the latter market, there’s a cracking statistic at work which allows us to disregard a raft of top-level backs, such as Wasps winger Christian Wade at 7/1 and Saints’ 16/1 shot George North, due to the mere fact of their emergence on the world stage.
In each of the last seven campaigns, the player that took this honour was not burdened by the rigors of Test rugby during the season.
Leicester’s Fijian centre Vereniki Goneva, last term’s top try scorer and 6/1 favourite for successive honours, was not picked for the Pacific Islanders’ November 2013 internationals, and the 30-year-old’s absence from his country’s subsequent June fixtures suggests he has all-but retired.
That makes Goneva a markedly better bet than Wade, North and 10/1 shout Marland Yarde, the England winger who swapped London Irish for Harlequins during the summer.
All three will feature prominently during the Six Nations just as the season really starts to hot up, injuries permitting, alongside Red Rose charges Manu Tuilagi, Danny Care, Mike Brown, Luther Burrell and Jack Nowell.
The latter quintet are priced up between 50/1-100/1, which suggests that Ladbrokes.com have something of a handle on this stat as each of them are more than capable of running in a couple of handfulls of trys (10 took this three years ago), yet none will play the requisite number of games.
With this in mind, the best alternatives to Goneva are Saracens’ Chris Ashton at 7/1 and Tom Varndell of Leicester at 10/1, as each of them have claimed this prize over the past seven seasons and both look out of the England picture at present.
2010/11 winner Alesana Tuilagi will get plenty of minutes at new club Newcastle and rates a decent outsider at 33/1, while London Irish winger Topsy Ojo – who finished joint-second with 10 during that campaign – is worth a second look at 100/1.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.
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