Some thoughts on Rugby next season from ESPN.
Looks at union, league, soccer and AFL. I have copied the Union bit below and it seems to think the Super hhhmmm well you decide.
Footy foresight: Predictions for Australia's football codes in 2018
What will change from 2017? Super Rugby will begin to make sense again. After two years of cross-conference confusion, a warped finals ranking system and scoreboard blowouts, the 2018 15-team version will slowly start to win back the fans. The home-and-away local derbies are back, which is great news for everyone - except those players involved in the five Kiwi franchises - while four consolidated Australian teams should be more competitive against international opposition. Spare a thought for those Western Force fans, though, who have every right to feel aggrieved by an expansion move SANZAAR got horribly wrong.
What will remain constant? The Bledisloe Cup eluding Australia. With Game III likely to be played in Japan, 2018 would seemingly offer the Wallabies a chance at reclaiming the oversized piece of silverware. But such have been Australia's pathetic performances in their last two Bledisloe openers in Sydney, and the fact that almost certain defeat awaits at their Eden Park graveyard a week later, that Wallabies fans may as well look to 2019, or even 2020.
What will define the season? In what will the final inbound June series, Australia's three-Test showdown with Ireland takes on extra significance just over a year out from the World Cup. The Irish are a team on the rise, themselves the owners of a victory over the All Blacks in 2016, with a squad boasting a nice mix of experience and rising talent. They are also very well coached by Joe Schmidt. After a disjointed June series this season, and then back-to-back losses to finish 2017, the Wallabies must hit the ground running. Lose the series to Ireland and coach Michael Cheika can expect to come under increased pressure.
Who will be the John Eales medallist? With Israel Folau missing the start of the voting period in November, and Michael Hooper earning a couple of yellow cards through the same timeframe, Will Genia looks to be in a good position to win his first John Eales Medal. The Wallabies scrum-half got better with each game in the Rugby Championship to re-establish himself in the conversation about the world's premier No. 9. If the Wallabies are to beat Ireland, have any semblance of Bledisloe hope and be in the Rugby Championship running, Genia will need to be at his very best.
Who is in the firing line? Daryl Gibson. After two poor seasons at the helm of the Waratahs, Gibson is tip-toeing down the touchline knowing unemployment could be just a few defeats away. The Kiwi was a key part of Michael Cheika's overhaul of the once-soft franchise, but has so far failed to stamp his mark as a head coach. Fortunately, he should have a full squad to work with from the outset that includes a refreshed Folau. The Wallabies superstar, skipper Michael Hooper and fly-half Bernard Foley are the key cogs at both provincial and Test level; Gibson will be hoping the hunger is there to perform in blue as it is gold.
Who will be the biggest riser and slider of the year? Having picked up the lion's share of the now-defunct Western Force's talent, and Wallabies halfback Will Genia, Melbourne Rebels are well placed to climb up the Super Rugby ladder. But after finishing 2017 in last place, they've only got one way to go, right? The highly-rated Dave Wessels has taken the reins at the Rebels having led the Force to second in the Aussie conference in 2017, impressing in his approach and the fashion in which he conducted himself. Meanwhile, it's certainly going to be a changing of the guard at the Chiefs with coach Dave Rennie and the likes of Aaron Cruden, Stephen Donald, Tawera Kerr-Barlow and James Lowe having all departed for Europe. The pressure will be on coach Colin Cooper, while All Blacks fullback Damian McKenzie could be set for a move to fly-half. Will he have the same devastating impact with less space on offer in the front line? Possibly not.
Who will win the premiership? Did someone mention the word dynasty? It's a noun the Crusaders know well, having dominated Super Rugby around the turn of the millennium, and then again midway through the noughties. And after what they did in 2017, it would be a brave person to suggest they can't go back-to-back under Scott Robertson. "Razor" as he's known, certainly appears to have a touch of magic about him and was able to connect on a personal level the more serious Todd Blackadder could not. They look the team to beat again in 2018, though the loss of Kieran Read for three months to injury is a setback.
What will be the headline of the year? Eddie's England take down ABs at first attempt