Fantasy Lowdown: Everything you need to know about France

Guinness Six Nations Fantasy Rugby returns for the 2019 edition of Rugby’s Greatest Championship, with the lowdown on the best picks from each nation available here.

Guinness Six Nations Fantasy Rugby returns for the 2019 edition of Rugby’s Greatest Championship, with the lowdown on the best picks from each nation available here.

Participants have got the chance to win store vouchers and tickets for 2020, as well as bragging rights over their mates.

This time we are taking a look at Jacques Brunel’s France squad, how their fixtures unfold and the must have names from Les Bleus for Round One – with just over a week to go until it all begins at Stade de France against Wales.

France finished fourth with two wins in 2018, but they picked up three losing bonus points  – showing they were always close when the matches reached their climax.



Hooker and stalwart Guilhem Guirado will captain the side while a fit and flying Gaël Fickou is back in the fold after injury, looking to add to his seven tries in 41 international caps.

Experienced heads form part of the squad including No.8 Louis Picamoles, scrum-half Morgan Parra and centre Mathieu Bastareaud, with the senior pros hoping to steer the side through their campaign alongside some newcomers.

There are five new caps in the 31-man training group including Toulouse backs Romain Ntamack and Thomas Ramos, prop Dorian Aldegheri, La Rochelle back-rower Gregory Alldritt and Montpellier lock Paul Willemse.

Another name worth noting is fly-half Camille Lopez, who is back for the Six Nations having missed the 2018 Championship due to an ankle injury.


France have been a force at home over the last two editions of the Championship, losing just one match at Stade de France in 2017 and 2018.

Their only defeat was a narrow 15-13 triumph for Ireland in their opener last term, so expect France to perform well against Wales and Scotland in round one and round three in Paris.

But Fantasy Rugby players should be careful picking the French players when it comes to their three away fixtures.

This is particularly the case when they travel to Dublin to face off with Ireland, where they are without a win since 2011.

However Les Bleus have performed well on their last two outings in Rome, where they travel in round five, where they have won by more than 20 points.

Managers filling their teams with French players on the final weekend could be finding a way to finish their campaigns with a flourish.


Fantasy Rugby managers are spoilt for choice when it comes to talented French centres – the problem being knowing who Brunel will name in the midfield for the opening match up.

Fickou and Wesley Fofana have been mesmeric for their respective clubs, Stade Français and Clermont Auvergne.

Fofana has missed the last two Six Nations campaigns through injury but he has pedigree in the Championship, scoring seven tries in 18 appearances.

His price point of 13 stars is slightly below Fickou (15 stars), who could shift to the wing, but both are more than capable of lighting up any Six Nations fixture.

Such is the competition in the midfield, centre Damian Penaud is also set to shift to the wing – where they could increase their chances of tries and Fantasy Rugby points.

That is without making any of mention of that man Bastareaud as another option at centre, who is more than capable of being the most decisive player in any match where he lines up.

For reliable starters and contributors, it’s hard to look past 63-cap veteran Guirado at hooker or Parra at scrum-half, who will also be charged with kicking duties.

Although this is reflected in their price-points – both setting back managers 15 stars apiece.


There are always going to be bolters, who force their way into the team having looked unlikely to start at the turn of the year.

Yacouba Camara is a good budget option for mangers looking to balance their back row slots, costing 10 stars and impressive last year prior to a knee injury.

The Montpellier man played all five matches in the 2018 Six Nations and a similar string of performances could see players cash in on points.

If the starts come so will the tackles and the turnovers, which could make Camara an incredible asset – able to provide contributions matching the likes of premium options Peter O’Mahony and Ross Moriarty.

Ramos is another option for managers to consider in the back line. He has the ability to play at full-back, where he is listed for Fantasy Rugby, and fly-half – meaning he could rack up the point switching between the two positions, which could provide value at just 10 stars, although it will be worth waiting for him to get a chance, which will likely be later in the Championship.

Despite a price of 12 stars Ntamack could still prove a steal for managers who pick him early.

The 19-year-old has been conducting the backline at Toulouse, in the Top 14 and Europe, with great success and could be in for a host of Fantasy Rugby points if Brunel gives him a chance.

He provides another option from the triumphant 2018 World Rugby Under-20 Championship side to make the step up to senior level, with prop Demba Bamba (10 stars) also looking a solid budget option if he plays for Les Bleus.