earl barre
As the dust settles on the 2024 Championship, let's look back at where the points were earned in the fantasy game.

Which players brought the most value to their managers? Who were the top scorers in each round and who were the top players in each position? Read on to find out - and make sure you bookmark this for next year!

Firstly, looking back over the five rounds of action, who were the top scorers in each one?

Kicking off back in Round 1, it was Aaron Wainwright who made a massive impact in the incredible 26-27 match-up between Wales and Scotland that almost saw Wales stage the most remarkable of comebacks having been 0-20 down at half-time. Wainwright bagged 56 points in Round 1 in a Player of the Match performance (something that was common amongst every round’s top fantasy scorer; those 15 POTM points made a huge difference!). He scored a try, carried for 97 metres, made 12 tackles and beat 5 defenders.

In Round 2 it was James Lowe who racked up the points in an impressive wing performance as Ireland dispatched Italy 36-0. Lowe delivered his fantasy managers a total of 50 points in Round 2 after scoring a try, carrying for 137m, beating 4 defenders and making 6 tackles.

Into Round 3 and it was another winger, Duhan van der Merwe, who was making all the headlines. Van der Merwe once again ran riot against England with a hat-trick of tries, 112m carried, 6 defenders beaten and 4 tackles. In total he scored 68 fantasy points in Round 3, a full 20 points more than the next highest scorer, Bundee Aki on 48 points.

Round 4 saw the biggest overall individual score of the tournament courtesy of Ben Earl. Earl delivered a monumental 72 points in England’s surprise defeat of Ireland. This came via a performance that saw Earl carry for 145m, beat 8 defenders, make 12 tackles, score a try and also win a breakdown steal.

Finally in Round 5, it was Léo Barré who caught everyone by surprise to secure the highest fantasy score of 58 in France’s edge-of-the-seat victory over England. Lining up at 15 to allow Ramos to slot into 10, Barré racked up the runs from the backfield, carrying for 117m and beating 7 defenders as well as gaining a try and an assist.

Across all 5 rounds the overall highest average scorer, by quite some margin, was Ben Earl, with an average score of 41.8. Earl recorded the 2nd highest number of defenders beaten in the entire tournament (24) and the 3rd highest metres carried (417m) which is a phenomenal achievement for a forward.

Going position by position, and looking at players with 4 appearances or more, unsurprisingly Ben Earl was the top back rower in the game on average points, but in second was Tommy Reffell, who averaged 29 points a game. This score was heavily down to his incredible breakdown steal stats, with 8 steals over the tournament (double that of his nearest challenger, Sam Underhill on 4). In the second row, Tadhg Beirne was a huge outlier, averaging 28.8 points per game, outscoring closest challenger Dafydd Jenkins by over 10 points per game. Beirne ranked number 1 amongst second rows for metres carried (159m), lineout steals (3), breakdown steals (2) and tries (2), as well as 2nd for defenders beaten (6), so it is no surprise he was the top-scoring lock.

Amongst the props, the 3 most consistent scorers were Pierre Schoeman (18.2 average points, which included 2 tries), Zander Fagerson (15.8) and Danilo Fischetti (13.8). Prop was on average the lowest-scoring position, but these three always brought value. Finally, for the hookers it was the try-scoring machine Dan Sheehan, who stood head and shoulders above his fellow number 2s. With 5 tries in 5 games, Sheehan was a constant threat and by the end of the Championship, was a ‘set it and forget it’ option at Hooker.

Into the backs, and starting with scrum-half, which, like prop, was a low-scoring position. Top average scorer of those with more than 4 appearances was Jamison Gibson-Park, who averaged 16.6 points a game. Special mention to Nolann Le Garrec, who averaged 25.5 between Rounds 4 and 5 where he made his 2 starts. Fly-half was a much higher average score position, with little separating the top average scorers Paolo Garbisi (29.4 average points), Finn Russell (29.2) and Jack Crowley (27.6). Those kicking points made a huge difference.

In the Centres, there were 5 standout players with 3 appearances or more in Huw Jones (25 average points), Juan Ignacio Brex (25.2), Ollie Lawrence (26.7), Gaël Fickou (29.4) and Bundee Aki (30.3). Aki was the top centre in terms of metres carried and breakdown steals and this made a big impact on his overall score. Into the back three, and much like the fly-half position, the impact of kick points had a big impact on the overall rankings with Thomas Ramos having the highest average score per match of any back three player with 28.8 average points per match. Close behind was the big three of Duhan van der Merwe (27.4), James Lowe (27.2) and Damian Penaud (27.2). Interesting thought it may be to see Penaud rank so high after only scoring 1 try, he made up for this by beating the highest number of defenders of any player in this year’s Championship (27).

As the curtain falls on another thrilling Guinness Men's Six Nations, fantasy rugby managers can look back with pride at their selections, or rue the missed opportunities. Whether it's the consistent brilliance of Ben Earl, the try-scoring prowess of Dan Sheehan, or the breakdown excellence of Tommy Reffell, these standout players have etched their names in the hearts of the fantasy managers who backed them this year. With the insights above, managers can already start thinking ahead to how they will tackle their selections when the Championship returns in 2025.