SUPER RUGBY 2017
Interesting conference this year. While I think the Waratahs should win they should be challenged by the Reds for top spot. The Brumbies have lost a host of players and they should struggle to make the playoffs, while the Rebels and Force will more than likely fight out for the bottom place in the conference.
New Zealand Conference
A bit of a lottery again this year, it all depends on who beats who as I think the NZ teams will be very strong this year and win the majority of games against sides not from NZ. The Hurricanes have a similar squad to last year and a fit Nehe Milner Skudder should add more potency to an already potent backline. The Chiefs may struggle with early injuries and may slip down the table a bit, the Highlanders should be competitive once again, Crusaders are generally always strong and with a new coach will bring new thinking and fresh approach, while the Blues have recruited well and should improve.
No Pick to win this conference
South Africa 1 Conference
Looks to me to be an two horse race between the Stormers and Bulls and I think it will come down to who will beat each other in the regular season to see who tops this conference, both teams have to play a few NZ teams so they may struggle to win those. To me the Stormers have the edge, they have had pretty handy record against the Bulls of late and I think this may get them over the line.
South Africa 2 Conference
For me the easiest conference to pick a winner from and it should be the Lions. They have a very favourable draw not having to play any New Zealand teams. Although the Sharks have a similar draw, they’ve lost a few good names this year to overseas clubs. The Lions have a decent away draw too playing the three lesser Australian sides in the Force, Rebels and Brumbies, they should get a win or two out of that. I think the Lions can even challenge for Minor Premiership this year.