Fantasy Scout: Round 2 differential picks

Tommaso Allan Italy
Everyone knows how important captain and supersub selections are but sometimes choosing players very few others have can be the way to get ahead.

Everyone knows how important captain and supersub selections are but sometimes choosing players very few others have can be the way to get ahead.

With Round 2 of the Guinness Six Nations now just two days away, the weekly selection dilemma is here for fantasy managers far and wide.

But perhaps instead of choosing the obvious to cancel out your rivals’ points, there is a low-owned pick waiting in the wings?

Here we look at five differentials that could help you to rise up the leagues and put you ahead of your mates.

Fantasy Ones to Watch for Round 2

Henry Arundell (England – Back Three – 11 stars)

Henry Arundell is one of England’s most exciting young talents and, now back from injury, could come straight into Steve Borthwick’s team.

The winger impressed when scoring a catalogue of impressive tries for club side London Irish, following his breakthrough moment – one of the all-time great Under-20 Six Nations tries against Scotland last year.

He took that same form into the Test arena, scoring a simply sensational try in his debut cameo appearance in Australia, and now he is set to show what he can do the Guinness Six Nations.

England’s team is not announced until later today, so it is not yet clear what role he will play, but he is a player who makes serious metres, scores tries for fun and loves to make line-breaks.

All that for the price of 11 stars makes him a very exciting differential option.

Rob Herring (Ireland – Hooker – 11.2 stars)

With Dan Sheehan ruled out for Ireland’s seismic clash with France in Dublin, Andy Farrell has called on Rob Herring to take the mantra of hooker – and fantasy managers can do the same.

Herring came on for just seven minutes against Wales but made four tackles and two carries in that time, showing that from the off he can be seriously busy and rack up some impressive numbers.

Ireland arguably have the strongest maul in world rugby, making the hooker likely to profit from driving maul tries at some point this Championship, and, against France at least, that man is Herring.

What are the teams for Ireland v France?

Costing just 11.2 stars, he could well be the pick of the differentials this week, with managers likely to opt for the likes of Jamie George and Julien Marchand in place of the Munster hooker – making him the perfect player to set you apart from the rest.

Tommaso Allan (Italy – Fly-Half – 12 stars)

Italy came within five points of victory a week ago against the reigning champions France and although Tommaso Allan’s missed kick prevented them from closing the gap further, he was otherwise statistically excellent.

He made comfortably more metres than any other fly-half (94), broke through three tackles with one offload, made six tackles (missing none) and won a turnover.

Those are all mightily impressive stats for any fly-half, let alone one that costs just 12 stars, and that is before you factor in the four penalties he scored – worth five fantasy points each.

There will be more popular, expensive fly-halves, but as those statistics prove, Allan is more then capable of earning just as many points, if not more, at Twickenham.

Luke Crosbie (Scotland – Back Row – 9.1 stars)

Probably the biggest bargain of 2023 Guinness Six Nations Fantasy Rugby is Luke Crosbie, who deputised superbly for the injured Hamish Watson at Twickenham.

He will start again at BT Murrayfield against Wales, looking to replicate his excellent performance in London in the Scottish capital, giving fantasy managers a dream differential bargain.

Only two players, Taulupe Faletau and Crosbie’s teammate Matt Fagerson, made more tackles in Round 1 than Crosbie’s 20, but neither of them nor Anthony Jelonch (also 20 tackles) had a 100% tackle rate like Crosbie, while in terms of dominant tackles, only Ben Curry made more than Crosbie (3).

He was used sparingly with ball in hand, making just ten metres from four carries, but those defensive stats alone should be enough to consider him, especially at that price.

What are the teams for Scotland v Wales?

Tommy Reffell (Wales – Back Row – 11 stars)

One of the most natural fetchers in the Gallagher Premiership, Tommy Reffell took that form to South Africa, where he showed he can replicate club form on the international stage.

He was unable to show that off the bench in his 26 minutes in Cardiff but having done so for two seasons at Leicester Tigers and for Wales in the summer, there is little doubt about his potential to cause serious havoc at the breakdown – and earn you seven points per turnover won.

There are an abundance of back row options but few in the mould of Reffell, who could cause serious damage this weekend – he is that good at the breakdown.

Reffell is definitely an option to consider this week, and likely for the rest of the Championship, where he will no doubt be right among the top turnover machines.