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2022-23 Premiership Rugby: Saracens, Leicester, Exeter, and Harlequins frontrunners for the title

With just over two months since the start of the 2022-23 season, the Premiership Rugby is at full steam, with some of the best teams and players in world rugby. This year marks the 36th season of the top flight of English rugby union and the fifth since the sponsor change.

The season will start and end earlier than previous seasons and take place over a slightly shorter span of 38 weeks due to changes to the global rugby calendar established in 2020 and to give more time for World Cup preparation.

Due to continuous financial issues, Worcester Warriors were barred from all competitions as of September 26, 2022. After the club was put into administration and all player and staff contracts were terminated, it was declared on October 6, 2022, that Worcester would be demoted from the Premiership. Their results were then removed from the Premiership’s records.

Also due to financial difficulties, Wasps suffered the same demise. On October 17, 2022, the club went into administration, which resulted in the dismissal of all of its players and coaching staff. The results of Wasps’ games were later removed from the Premiership’s records when it was officially announced on October 28 that they had been relegated and suspended for the remainder of the season.

Entering the season, the reigning champions are Leicester Tigers, after having claimed their 11th title in the previous season. According to latest rugby news and to bookmakers like Bet 365 – of which bettors can claim a special promotion at – Saracens are the clear favourites to win this year’s title, at 2.25 odds, followed by Leicester, at 5.50 odds. Exeter Chiefs, Harlequins and Sale are also among the top candidates for the 2022-23 title.


It is no small accomplishment for a team to make it to the final in their first season back in the top division, but there is no doubt that Saracens will be angry about their heartbreaking loss at Twickenham. They will be extremely competitive once more as a result of their shrewd additions of Hugh Tizard and Eduardo Bello, as well as the promotion of a number of talented young players from their academy.

Last season, the coaches focused their efforts on heavily rotating the team, and this term, they will reap the benefits. The scrum-half position is still a worry, but Saracens and Leicester’s triumphs in 2017 demonstrated the power of a strategy based on strong defense and precise kicking.


The defending champions must believe that there is still room for progress after last season’s success early in the Steve Borthwick project, strengthened by the star arrivals of Handré Pollard and Anthony Watson.

That being said, there are a lot of leadership gaps to be filled now that Ellis Genge and George Ford have left the team. Hanro Liebenberg did a fantastic job filling in as captain last year, but it’s said that winning a championship is easier than defending one, so Leicester may find it more challenging this year without Ford’s game-management from fly-half.

Exeter Chiefs

It’s unclear exactly what went amiss at Exeter last season, and even if the new rule changes somewhat lessened their close-range scoring weapon, it wasn’t the only issue at the club. Rob Baxter is one of the few people you would want to lead the off-season analysis, and even though he has had difficulty keeping his team under the salary cap, he has a core starting group that most rugby directors would be envious of.

Baxter will want to have Sam Simmonds and Henry Slade available as soon as possible because they will both have benefited from a period of rest. A change in the coaching staff could also bring some improvement.


In the semi-final of the previous season, Saracens ultimately exposed Harlequin’s propensity to rely too heavily on André Esterhuizen’s ball-carrying, but given how efficient it can be, it was somewhat expected.

Hugh Tizard’s departure is a setback because he was one of the Premiership’s top players last season, but Will Evans’ immediate availability is a big plus. Marcus Smith is feeling the pressure of a huge season as the World Cup approaches and his form naturally peaked toward the end of the last one. The real concern, however, is whether the coaches can maintain the enthusiasm that has made this team such a joy to watch in past seasons.


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