Fantasy Rugby: The must-have back three players

Mack Hansen chases the ball down before going on to score their first try 12/2/2022
Last but by no means least in our series of tips for your Fantasy Rugby team are the back three positions.

Last but by no means least in our series of tips for your Fantasy Rugby team are the back three positions.

Wing wizards are so often the difference makers when it comes to Fantasy rankings, with a single try worth 15 points.

But make sure you cover all bases in your selections. For the first time, a successful 50:22 will earn 10 points, while points are also on offer for line-breaks and metres made.

So without further ado, here are our top picks for back three players set to shine in this year’s Championship.

Bargain – Tommy Freeman – 9.0 stars

It seems strange to say it but 21-year-old Tommy Freeman looks to be one of the more experienced wing options for new England boss Steve Borthwick.

Freeman has won just three caps, but those minutes in the Test arena could prove crucial when vying for a start ahead of newcomers Cadan Murley and Ollie Hassell-Collins.

The Northampton Saints star started on the left wing for both of England’s victories in Australia last summer and saw plenty of ball in the decider, gaining 73 metres for his team from seven carries.

He only mustered 40 minutes during a frustrating Autumn Nations Series but responded with a brilliant two-try showing in Northampton’s defeat to Gloucester at the beginning of December.

Anthony Watson’s return to fitness may put Freeman’s position under threat – but with versatility a key strength of his, he may be able to force his way into Borthwick’s squad.

Mid-range – Mack Hansen – 14.0 stars

Scorer of one of the standout tries of the 2022 Championship, Mack Hansen will be one to watch this year.

Hansen only made his international debut 12 months ago and despite fierce competition for a spot on the wing has established himself as one of Andy Farrell’s key men.

His score directly from a restart against France in Round 2 was the moment that catapulted him into the wider rugby consciousness and he has since missed just one fixture for Ireland, who he qualifies to play for through his Cork-born mother.

Add to that a Guinness Player of the Match award and tries against South Africa and Fiji in the autumn and it is easy to see why Hansen commands 14.0 stars this time round.

He is one of our picks for the Championship top try-scorer award, and with pace, strength and excellent aerial ability in abundance, he could just be one of Fantasy Rugby’s best performing players too.

Premium – Damian Penaud – 18.0 stars

With 11 tries in his last 11 Test matches, Damian Penaud is rapidly climbing France’s all-time top try scorer list.

A double in their Autumn Nations Series win over Japan saw him break into his country’s top ten and he is now returning to the Guinness Six Nations to add to his great record of nine tries in 14 Championship starts.

Like many of his teammates, he can create something out of nothing but he is clinical too – just check out this chip and finish against Scotland in 2021.

At 18 stars he may be costly, but there is a reason he has survived and flourished during the Fabien Galthié revolution – if Penaud is playing well, so generally are France.