A week from today the 2023 Guinness Six Nations will begin and the deadline to select your Fantasy Rugby team for Round 1 will have passed.
You must select a centre pairing to spearhead your attack and the choice this year is far from straightforward.
It is permitted to alter your squad in between weekends, but be warned, players’ prices can wax and wane depending on their performances.
Therefore, it is vital to get ahead of the game and grab the bargains while they are still cheap.
And with a raft of star-quality centres to pick from, one wrong move could spell disaster for your reputation in the WhatsApp group.
But fear not, here are our tips for a swashbuckling midfield.
Expensive – Gael Fickou (16.0 stars)
It is a tough choice if you are after a top-shelf centre this year.
Owen Farrell, who is listed as a centre, is a tempting pick given the Saracens star is a nailed-on starter as England captain and is sure to rack up points from the tee.
Leinster’s Gary Ringrose may sway a large chunk of managers with six tries in eleven appearances this season.
But it is hard to look past French titan Gael Fickou who possesses the ability to produce moments of magic – one of several in Fabien Galthié’s squad.
The Racing 92 back registered a stonking average of 44.2 points per match in last year’s Championship and there is no reason why the 28-year-old cannot push that even higher.
France have incredible depth at centre but it is a testament to Fickou’s quality that it would take something monumental to relegate him to the replacements bench.
Mid-range – Joe Marchant (13.0 stars)
But if you are looking for a solid centre who won’t break the bank, Joe Marchant has a point to prove at this year’s Guinness Six Nations.
Marchant played every game of the 2022 Guinness Six Nations, but then lost his England spot and did not feature at all in the Autumn Nations Series.
He is now back in Steve Borthwick’s squad and will be looking to make an immediate impression in the Calcutta Cup against Scotland.
And with pace to burn and an eye for the try-line, he looks a good candidate to score big without shelling out too much money.
Cheap – Joe Hawkins (10.0 stars)
It’s all well and good selecting a cheaper player in a key position, but if they fail to cross the white line then it’s a pointless investment.
Fear not with Wales centre Joe Hawkins. Despite having just one cap to his name, the Ospreys man has been given the nod for the first match of Warren Gatland’s second spell in charge.
Hawkins impressed on debut during the Autumn Nations Series against Australia, playing the full 80 minutes in the final game of the Wayne Pivac era.
He may be only 20 years of age but you won’t find many hardier souls – he has captained Wales at junior level and has taken on an ever-growing role in the midfield of a rejuvenated Ospreys side who have won six of their last seven encounters.
Selection for a tussle with the world’s No.1 ranked side is a huge show of faith from Gatland, and what better endorsement than the backing of a three-time Grand Slam winning coach.