Gallagher Premiership Preview 2020/21

Remarkably it is barely a month since Exeter Chiefs were crowned Gallagher Premiership Champions for the 2019/20 season.

After such a swift turnaround, we are on the verge of a brand-new season which kicks off on Friday.

So with that in mind it is time to take a look at the sides, one of which will be lifting the trophy next June.


After the restart it proved a strong finish for the guys from the West country. Stuart Hooper’s troops put together an impressive seven wins from nine games to finish in fourth place.

They found Exeter Chiefs to hot to handle in the semi-final going down 35-6, but overall, there were plenty of positives.

Since the season ended Nathan Catt has announced his retirement from the game due to a long-term injury.

Bristol Bears

After a blistering start to the 2019/20 season, Bristol continued their push to the play-off semi-finals. Pat Lam’s exciting side finished third in the League before losing out to Wasps in the semi-final.

Bears are a joy to watch with so much talent on display. Having the likes of Charles Piuta, Nathan Hughes, Kyle Sinkler and Semi Radrada in a squad is a coach’s dream.

Bristol did end last season with silverware after claiming their first European trophy after beating Toulon in the Challenge Cup final.

Ben Earl’s loan signing was a shrewd piece of business for Pat Lam’s side. Bears have also secured the services of Ratu Naulago who will join up after the conclusion of the Super League.

Exeter Chiefs

An outstanding season for Chiefs was rewarded by picking up two trophies. Rob Baxter’s side clinched their second Gallagher Premiership title after a 19-13 victory over Wasps. A week earlier it was European glory for Exeter after defeating Racing 92 in the Champions Cup final.

Exeter snapped up Harlequins prop Maks van Dyke ahead of the new campaign. Exeter will start the season without Phil Dollman and Gareth Steenson who have both retired.

Gloucester Rugby

A mixed bag of liquorice allsorts for Gloucester last campaign after finishing in seventh place.

The side were involved in plenty of high scoring affairs, but most they were on the wrong side off.

Louis Rees-Zammit displays on the wing earned plenty of plaudits, with the Welshman becoming the youngest player to score a Premiership hat-trick.

Gloucester have bolstered their ranks with the addition of Jamie Gibson from Northampton Saints in the close season.


After a sixth placed finish last season, Quins will be looking to push for a top four finish this campaign.

For the first time in many a season, Harlequins will be without their experienced leader Chris Robshaw. The former England captain has left for pastures new in the USA.

Lock South African Stephan Lewies takes over with very big boots to fill. Fly-half Marcus Smith will look to enhance his growing reputation down in South West London.

Leicester Tigers

The East Midlander’s have a new man at the helm after the departure of director of rugby Geordan Murphy last week.

Steve Borthwick remains in place as coach of Leicester and has a big task to lift Tigers this season. The side were kept of the bottom only by Saracens points deduction last season.

Tigers have made several signings ahead of the new campaign. England international Richard Wigglesworth moves to Welford Road along with South African front rower Luan de Bruin.

Jasper Wiese, Matias Moroni and Joaquin Diaz Bonilla have also been snapped up by Tigers.

London Irish

The aim last season for the exiles was to maintain their place in the Premiership. With six wins and a tenth placed finish they would have been more than happy with this.

Declan Kidney has brought in lock Andrei Mahu and Australian centre Billy Meakes for the forthcoming season.

The club will also have a brand-new home to play their home games in after moving to the Brentford Community Stadium.

Newcastle Falcons

Flacons returned back to the Premiership at the first time of asking after an unbeaten Championship campaign.

Despite their season cut short due to the Covid-19 pandemic, with 15 wins that was more than enough to see them back in the big time.

The club have recruited in a big way with the signings of Springbok scrum-half Louis Schreuder, Robbie Smith and Luther Burrell all snapped up.

Prop Logovil Mulipola has also re-joined the side.

Northampton Saints

After a fast start to the beginning of last season, saints fell away badly after the season’s restart. Chris Boyd’s side eventually finishing in eighth place in the table.

Saints will start this campaign without the services of Jamie Gibson who has moved on to Gloucester.

Sale Sharks

Sharks narrowly missed out on a play-off place last season after a Covid-19 outbreak in the squad forced them to forfeit their final league game.

Despite this set back, sharks finished in fifth which will guarantee them Champions Cup action this season. Sale eventually ended up with some silverware after beating Harlequins 27-19 in the Premiership Rugby Cup final.

Losing Manu Tuilagi to an achilles tendon injury is a huge blow for the club, but centre Sam Hill has joined from Exeter.

Forward Cobus Wiese will also add extra power to the frontline for Sharks this season.


The country’s in form side after the enforced restart winning eight games from nine saw Lee Blackett’s men into the play-offs.

Wasps defeated Bears 47-24 in the semi’s but missed out to Chiefs in the grand finale.

No new additions to the squad and with the possibility of international call ups this season, could well hamper their chances.

Worcester Warriors

A ninth placed finish and a season that yielded eight wins marks an improvement on previous years.

Billy Searle, a promising fly-half has made the move to Worcester from Wasps. This season it will be a case of more of the same for Warriors as they look to improve on last season’s finish.

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