As the summer grinds away with a serious lack of Rugby on TV (apart from the Tri-Nations), these times can seem wasteful for those of us who long to see the Guinness Premiership back in action.
And after watching the opening Tri-Nation games, the reality hit me that the ELV's are seriously going to improve the Guinness Premiership (or at least I hope). I refused to believe this when it was first announced that the English game would be subject to a change.
However, now after seeing the end-to-end rugby that you can only watch and admire, it has led me to think about how next season might pan out, and which teams and which players will truely benefit from these changes.
The giants of the last Guinness Premierships campaign will all be in within a good shout of winning it this year—however, I feel a team who just missed out on the top four are the ones likely to surprise.
The Sale Sharks blew their chance last season to get into the playoffs, but this season I think is when we will see what we saw in their last successful GP campaign.
First of all, their preseason signings have been that of the best so far. With the inclusions of Matthew Tait, David Doherty, and Dwayne Peel, we can only expect to see some classy expansive rugby.
When thinking about Dwayne Peel, I still think it's sort of upsetting how they have looked past their own talent in Richard Wigglesworth and gone for someone else, but with the emergence of Danny Care for England, I don't mind as much as I did prior to his rise.
Dwayne Peel is a top Scrum Half who has proved for years internationally that he can hold his own with the giants. Peel was one of the few people to come back from the Lions tour with his reputation intact.
He lives on being one of the best snipers around the bases of rucks and with the ELV's furthering to help him with the new rules on the offside line of a scrum, he can only cause havoc in the GP.
Also, the addition of Doherty will help Sale with their great wealth of wingers.
I suppose Doherty was unlucky that he had to try to get past the likes of Paul Sackey, Tom Voyce, and Josh Lewsey to get into Wasp's back three. But now at Sale, he has his chance to shine and show what he can do.
However, the best signing, I think, this summer (maybe in a biased point of view) is that of Matthew Tait moving to Manchester.
The young speedster has proved what he can do, and hopefully if played in his right position (13) he can show the Edgley Park Faithful what he is truly capable of. And the thought of him linking up with Luke McCallister is, quite frankly, a mouth watering prospect.
Also with the likes of Charlie Hodgson, Sebastien Chabal, Andrew Sheridan, Luke McCallister, Mark Cueto, and Jason White the Sharks can only benefit from the ELV's.
When considering who they already have, they didn't really need these signings, but now I believe with these they will form a explosive style of rugby and a dominating team.