Fantasy Rugby – The five must-have forwards this weekend

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Round One of the Guinness Six Nations threw up some dramatic team action.

Round One of the Guinness Six Nations threw up some dramatic team action.

Wales came back from the dead to down France, England upset the odds in Dublin and Scotland put Italy to the sword in Edinburgh.

But within those fine team outings, there were a number of stand-out individuals who also caught the eye, from a Fantasy perspective most of all.


Here are the five must-have forwards for Round Two of action:


Man of the match in Dublin, Mako Vunipola was a tower of strength for England in their victory.

His work in the tight is solid if unspectacular, but it is what he does in the loose that truly separates him from a fantasy perspective.

The prop racked up 31 tackles on Saturday evening and played nearly the full 80 minutes in a performance that brought him 74.5 Fantasy points.

The real difference there was his man of the match award as well, but he outscored every other forward in the game by a considerable margin.

And while he remains expensive, only Cian Healy costs more of the props in the game, he is worth every penny with France up next at Twickenham.


The only other forward in the game to crack the half century mark of points in Round One was Vunipola’s teammate Mark Wilson.

Wilson was an absolute bargain ahead of the opening round, as flagged on our preview podcast.

Only Vunipola senior made more tackles than the blindside who was clearly enjoying every minute on his Guinness Six Nations debut.

His price has risen to 11.3 stars, but that remains cheap compared to his more illustrious back-row rivals in the game and with France up next, who have not won at Twickenham since 2005, he is still fantastic value for this weekend.


France’s defeat was tough to take, surrendering as 16-point half-time lead as they did.

But No.8 Louis Picamoles could scarcely have done more for his time in the reversal.

In the first half in particular he was inspired, scoring a fine try and also producing a try-saving tackle on Liam Williams to help Les Bleus establish a lead.

In the end he finished with ten tackles and 43.2 fantasy points, and will come to Twickenham desperate to end France’s losing run at Twickenham.

Sticking with France, keep an eye out for Demba Bamba also at only 9.9 stars, the 20-year-old sensation who looks set to make his first start for Les Bleus this weekend with Uini Atonio a fitness doubt.


Wales are in Rome this weekend to take on Italy and look a good bet for an away win.

They have not lost to the Azzurri since 2003 and racked up 60-plus points in two of their last four Championship meetings.

Moriarty was a tackling machine last weekend in Paris, the No.8 hitting the ground running in his first game back since December of last year.

Furthermore, his only two international tries so far have both come against Italy, so find some space for him in your back row this weekend.


Scotland’s front five didn’t appear to miss a beat despite the absence of the injured Jonny Gray.

And the leader in his stead was Grant Gilchrist, commanding an all-Edinburgh front five with passion and power.

They are at home again this weekend, where they remain unbeaten in this Championship since 2016, against Ireland.

And if they are to claim another victory, they will need Gilchrist to produce his best once more.

His 19 tackles against Italy made him the top-scoring lock in the entire first round and he was only denied a try by the TMO in the first half.

Expect him to start, and thrive once more, this weekend.


A quick word for the super subs in the forwards.

The top three contributing forwards off the bench last week were Josh Strauss of Scotland, Cory Hill of Wales and Courtney Lawes of England.

Strauss came on early in the first half against Italy as Sam Skinner injured an ankle and is one to keep an eye on again this weekend.

The back-rower, who also covers lock, made 11 tackles and also set up Chris Harris’ try in a 35.4 fantasy outing.

Cory Hill was similarly impactful off the bench with Wales while Lawes made his presence felt in the second half in Dublin.

The injury to Itoje might mean that Lawes is promoted to start this weekend, but his ability to cover the back row might keep him on the bench initially with Joe Launchbury coming into the XV.

If that is the case, keep an eye on him for your super sub option as he always makes up for lost time when he gets on the pitch.