Guinness Six Nations Fantasy Rugby is back for 2019 and with ever-growing popularity is set to be bigger and bolder than ever.
With 2020 tickets, store vouchers and bragging rights at your very fingertips the game is now live and we are here to give you the lowdown on how to reach the summit of your leagues.
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Here, we take a look at Gregor Townsend’s Scotland squad, their schedule, and the key players to select for your team for Round One – less than a fortnight away.
Scotland have won at least three games in both of the last two Championships, and every single nation that has arrived at BT Murrayfield in that time has been sent packing with a defeat.
Greig Laidlaw will captain the side again this year in the absence of John Barclay while stand-out stars like Stuart Hogg, Jonny Gray and Finn Russell are all in-form and ready for action.
There are some injury concerns – hooker looks light on experience after injuries to Fraser Brown and George Turner and in total Townsend has called up nine uncapped players.
The back three looks a position of real strength however, with Hogg joined by the experience of Sean Maitland and Tommy Seymour with Edinburgh young guns Darcy Graham and Blair Kinghorn also pushing for inclusion.
A number of new faces that impressed in the autumn will also get a chance during this Championship, including Sam Skinner and Jamie Ritichie in the pack and George Horne and Adam Hastings in the half-backs.
WHAT’S THE SCHEDULE?
With their impressive home record, Scotland fans can get excited about the 2019 schedule that pits them three times at home – against Italy, Ireland and Wales.
Conversely, Scotland’s away form needs improvement and fantasy players should bear that in mind.
They head to Twickenham in round five, where they have not won since 1983 and Paris in round three where they last tasted victory in 1999.
The Italy opener would appear to be a good game to pack your side full of Scots though, they have won nine of their last ten meetings with the Azzurri. But bear in mind that the one Italy win did come in Edinburgh back in 2015.
When considering sure-fire picks – you need to bear in mind their price but also how likely they are to play – and hopefully play most of the 80 minutes.
Hogg is sure-fire pick at full-back and while he is the most expensive No.15 in the game – he is worth every penny.
The two-time Player of the Championship in 2016 and 2017, Hogg saves his best for the Championship and will be key to Scotland’s hopes.
On top of that, Stuart McInally is the only hooker in Scotland’s squad with international caps so you would expect him to get a huge share of the minutes in the front row.
His form for Edinburgh has also been outstanding and at only 13 stars, is a bargain with three hookers more expensive in the game.
His Edinburgh teammate in the front row WP Nel looks to be back to his best as well and is a cornerstone of the Scottish scrum. At 12 stars he is worth your time with six props worth more than him in the game.
And finally, Jonny Gray is a tackling machine who will guarantee you points in this Championship and at 13 stars – is not even in the seven most expensive locks in the game.
Aside from the sure-fire picks, there is also some value to be had in other positions of this exciting Scotland team.
In the back row, the hand injury to Hamish Watson opens the door to the likes of John Hardie (10 stars) and Ritchie (even cheaper at nine stars) to get game time in the No.7 jersey this Championship.
Snap them up while they are still this low as their price is only going to rise as they log more minutes.
Meanwhile in the second row alongside Gray, Ben Toolis at only ten stars is worth a look – he started twice in the autumn against Wales and South Africa and is a bargain at that price.
Skinner too is worth a look, registered in the game as a lock but likely to get plenty of minutes in the back row and should have licence to get more involved therefore in points scoring for your side.
And finally, another mention for young Graham – the livewire winger who has been nigh on untouchable for Edinburgh in recent weeks.
He is criminally undervalued at ten stars when compared to the likes of Jacob Stockdale and George North at 16 stars – and even if he is used as a bench impact player is sure to beat defenders and score tries when he gets on the pitch.