Will Greenwood expects best Aviva Premiership play-offs yet
Will Greenwood backs this year's Aviva Premiership play-offs to be the best yet as the season reaches its conclusion
World Cup winner Will Greenwood has backed this year’s Aviva Premiership playoffs to be the best yet as the season reaches its closing stages.
There may be one round left in the regular season but the top four – Harlequins, Leicester Tigers, Northampton and Saracens – was confirmed last weekend when Saints put Sale Sharks to the sword in a 47-4 thumping.
And while there could still be some jostling for position inside that quartet, the same four that made last season’s playoffs, Greenwood is expecting a vintage set of semi-finals when the play-offs get underway.
“The best four teams are in the semis. They have been the most consistent performers. They are four teams with real strength in different areas,” he said.
“It’s very difficult to go away and win so if you play it safe I think Saracens have a very good chance of regaining their title but I do believe that this year’s semi- finals and finals will be the best we’ve ever had. It’s a belting semi-final line up.
“The pace, intensity and power and skill level of these guys has just stepped up another notch. If you’re a neutral then sit back and enjoy because there will be three cracking games.
“Saracens have that depth of squad and I think that makes them favourites. There one issue is if they go really well in the Heineken Cup they don’t have many breaks in the season.
“Leicester seem to keep making finals and not getting over the line. They are such a dominant scrum force and they have real game breakers.
“Quins look a little tired, so playing alternate weeks will give them a real chance to refresh their batteries and if they play like they did at the
start of the season then they are a match for anyone.
“Northampton are clearly very strong from the set piece and they quietly go about their business and play a little bit more rugby that people give them credit for.”
Saracens are the only one of those four sides in action this weekend as they welcome Toulon to Twickenham for their Heineken Cup semi-final.
And while the club have reached the final four for only the second time in their history, Greenwood has warned Mark McCall’s side that they might be stretching their squad to breaking point.
“Trying to do the double is like trying to win the world cup for a club player something like that, it’s just ridiculously hard,” he added.
“But they have been good enough to get themselves into this situation so I would be wrong to doubt them just for that reason.
“It would be a real test of their character, lung capacity, injuries but I really respect them as a side.”
The Aviva Premiership Rugby final has sold out for the last five years. To snap up one of the remaining tickets go to ticketmaster.co.uk or call 0844 844 0444