Great to see lots of support for the 2014 AIC season! Thought I'd chip in with my personal thoughts on each team
IONA: starting with the defending premiers, I like their chances to repeat. With experienced and battle tested forward Dom Dingwell in the front row Iona should boast another strong pack. Dingwell can definitely provide leadership to young inexperienced forwards coming in. One of the most talented backs in the comp Jayden Carroll a certainty at the number 10 position definitely one to watch out for. The black and white will be keen to prove that the 2014 outfit is the 'real deal'. Backing them in for a top 3 spot.
EDDIES: eddies definitely another school that will be expecting big things with superstar fullback Clifton Setu back in the mix. Setu, coming off a great 2013 season will most likely be joined by talented players Kain Humphries and Carter Auld. This age group for eddies has always been strong and I would expect a top 4 finish.
MARIST: ashgrove are looking to silence some critics as they return from a lackluster 2013 by Marists illustrious standards. Plenty to look forward to however with experienced forwards james Lancashire and pat beverage returning. Similarly Dan Byrne and seb fahey are back for another season. Marist, behind an always ferocious Ashgrove crowd, will be extremely tough to beat at home and have the experience to do it on the road. Expect big things from the bumblebee striped jerseys this year. Would be a dissapointment not to see this side finish in the top 2.
VILLANOVA: villa are my underdog tip for the 2014 season. Not sure they will go all the way but definitely have the tools to put on a major upset or two during the season. With talented number 9 Elijah Lui, front rower Alex Lockett and gun centre Cameron torphy as well as a couple more returning forwards Villa boasts their most talented side since the departure of Christian Welch. Villa likely to finish outside the top 4 but wouldn't surprise me to see them finish as high as second.
PADUA: it seems like every year Padua spit out a half decent side sprinkled with a superstar here and there. The current grade 12s have been dubbed a special year by many following a 13As premiership however I don't see the side causing many upsets. The 2013 side was manhandled by most of the competition and it seems like the brown and gold have more and more injuries every year. This year look out for Connor gentile and Sam Hinton in the forwards to stand out. Can't see Padua finishing higher than 5th at best, the best is yet to come for Padua with Tom Otoole likely to gain firsts experience this year.
LAURIES: st Laurence's look as though they may host a well drilled forward pack however lack fire power in the backs. Similarly to Padua this age group peaked early however they do have returning players in the forwards. Talented winger jordan bayne may be wasted out there this year as I don't see Laurie's relying on the backs too much. Laurie's lack overall fire power but should win a few games, likely to finish 5th or 6th.
PETERS: Peters, following two years of solid rugby, look to enter a rebuilding phase. Expect them to finish close to the bottom. Look out for talented back Walter Nauget to stand out however don't put your money on the peters boys.
PATS: pats, look to be in the same boat as Peters, lacking size in the forwards as well as any stand out talent. Expect winger regan Glynn to lead the side however I doubt he will have much impact from the wing. Pats most likely to be competing with Peters for the wooden spoon.