Every year, at the beginning of the Super Rugby season we take a look the South African Super Rugby franchises and ask ourselves how they will do.
Taking a look at the squads for all the franchises, there is little to complain about.
There are quality players all round with plenty of experience at Super Rugby as well as international level.
The Bulls have more than 14 Springboks, the Stormers with more than 13 , the Sharks have more than 15 and the Lions have more than 13 Springboks to call on.
The old tired saying is that Super Rugby is not a sprint but a marathon and your squad plays and is managed plays a vital role in how you progress in this competition.
All-in-All all four franchises have a pretty good mix between youth and experienced players to tap from.
It is going to be an important year for players as they fight to be included in Rassie Erasmus World Cup Squad.
Erasmus has said to all the players that they need to perform for their franchises firstly if they want to make a Springbok squad this year.
This may work in favour of the franchises as players will need to step up if they want to be part of Rassie’s Springbok plans. According to Rassie no player is guaranteed a place in the squad.
If we look purely on paper and experience the Lions and Sharks should be the South Africans front runners this year.
The Stormers and Bulls have something to prove to us if they want to be recognised as contenders after a dismal year in 2018.
This does not mean that they are not good enough to be in the playoffs but they have to pull finger and their coaching staff needs to be able to get the best out of their players.
Our money is on the Lions and Sharks this year, who is your money on?
South African Super Rugby Squads:
Stormers 2019 Super rugby squad
Kwenzo Blose, Neethling Fouche, Steven Kitshoff, Michael Kumbirai, Wilco Louw, Frans Malherbe, Lee-Marvin Mazibuko, Alistair Vermaak, Bongi Mbonambi, Scarra Ntubeni, Chad Solomon, Pieter-Steph du Toit, Eben Etzebeth, Salmaan Moerat, JD Schickerling, Ernst van Rhyn, Chris van Zyl, Johan du Toit, Siya Kolisi, Chris Massyn, Sikhumbuzo Notshe, Cobus Wiese, Nama Xaba, Juarno Augustus, Jaco Coetzee, Kobus van Dyk, Paul de Wet, Herschel Jantjies, Justin Phillips, Jano Vermaak, Jean-Luc du Plessis, Joshua Stander, Damian Willemse, Damian de Allende, Daniel du Plessis, JJ Engelbrecht, Dan Kriel, Ruhan Nel, EW Viljoen, Dillyn Leyds, Sergeal Petersen, Duncan Saal, Seabelo Senatla, Edwill van der Merwe, Craig Barry, SP Marais
Bulls 2019 Super rugby squad
Matthys Basson, Lizo Gqoboka, Madot Mabokela, Simphiwe Matanzima, Nqoba Mxoli, Trevor Nyakane, Dayan van der Westhuizen, Conraad van Vuuren, Frans van Wyk, Schalk Brits, Johan Grobbelaar, Edgar Marutlulle, Jaco Visagie, Lood de Jager, Jason Jenkins, RG Snyman, Hendre Stassen, Tim Agaba, Thembelani Bholi, Nick de Jager, Carel du Preez, Jannes Kirsten, Paul Schoeman, Roelof Smit, Ruan Steenkamp, Muller Uys, Marco van Staden, Hanro Liebenberg, Jano Venter, Duane Vermeulen, Theo Maree, Embrose Papier, Ivan van Zyl, Andre Warner, Marnitz Boshoff, Manie Libbok, Handre Pollard, Stedman Gans, JT Jackson, Johnny Kotze, Jesse Kriel, Franco Naude, Burger Odendaal, Dylan Sage, Cornal Hendricks, Travis Ismaiel, Duncan Matthews, Rosko Specman, Jade Stighling, Warrick Gelant, Divan Rossouw
Lions 2019 Super rugby squad
Jacobie Adriaanse, Johannes Jonker, Danie Mienie, Sti Sithole, Dylan Smith, Malcolm Marx, Lourens Erasmus, Rhyno Herbst, Robert Kruger, Marvin Orie, Cyle Brink, Hacjivah Dayimani, Len Massyn, Marnus Schoeman, Kwagga Smith, Warren Whiteley, Ross Cronje, Nic Groom, Dillon Smit, Elton Jantjies, Shaun Reynolds, Lionel Mapoe, Harold Vorster, Ruan Combrinck, Aphiwe Dyantyi, Courtnall Skosan, Madosh Tambwe, Andries Coetzee, Sylvian Mahuza
Sharks 2019 Super rugby squad
Andre Esterhuizen, Andrew Evans, Aphelele Fassi, Armand van der Merwe, Cameron Wright, Chiliboy Ralepelle, Coenraad Oosthuizen, Courtney Winnaar, Curwin Bosch, Daniel du Preez, Dylan Richardson, Fezokuhle Mbatha, Gideon Koegelenberg, Grant Williams, Hyron Andrews, Jacobus van Wyk, Jacques Vermuelen, Jean-Luc du Preez, Jeremy Ward, JJ van der Mescht, John-Hubert Meyer, Juan Schoeman, Khuthuzani Mchunu, Kwanda Dimaza, Leolin Zas, Louis Schreuder, Lubabalo Mtembu, Luke Stringer, Lukhanyo Am, Lwazi Mvovo, Makazole Mapimpi, Marius Louw, Muller du Pelssis, Mzamo Majola, Phendulani Buthelezi, Philip van der Walt, Rhyno Smith, Robert du Preez, Ruan Botha, Ruben van Heerden, Sanele Nohamba, Sibusiso Nkosi, Tendai Mtawarira, Thomas du Toit, Tyler Paul, Wian Vosloo