The 2019 Guinness Six Nations is just days away, which means time is running out to select your Fantasy Rugby team ahead of Round 1. Luckily, we’re here to help!
We’ve already given you our top tips and tricks to success in this year’s game – which you can read here – and now we’ve selected five forwards we think you simply must have this weekend.
CLICK HERE TO PLAY GUINNESS SIX NATIONS FANTASY RUGBY 2019
Yes, he’s the joint-most expensive loose forward in the game (alongside Peter O’Mahony and Billy Vunipola) but CJ Stander is worth every one of his 15 stars.
The powerhouse Ireland No.8 is a battering ram in attack – an important asset with points on offer for defenders beaten and metres carried – and has the fitness to last 80 minutes.
He made the most metres of any forward (188) in the 2018 Championship, which would earn him 37.6 points in this year’s game, and he’s always a threat to be named Guinness Six Nations Man of the Match.
Six tries in 15 Championship appearances demonstrate the back-rower’s nose for the line and each try is worth 18 points for a forward in Guinness Six Nations Fantasy Rugby, making Stander even more appealing.
Ireland’s brilliant home record is another factor in the 28-year-old’s favour, with 12 points available for a home win, as they’ll look to get their Grand Slam defence off to a perfect start against England at the Aviva Stadium.
There are no points relating to lineouts in the Guinness Six Nations Fantasy Rugby game, so the key to finding a productive hooker comes from their team’s success and their ability in the loose.
Jamie George could well tick both those boxes as England come off an incredibly promising autumn, where they won three games from four, and his quality with ball in hand is perhaps unequalled by any other hooker in the Championship.
The problem with George from a fantasy perspective has always been his minutes – with skipper Dylan Hartley locked in as England’s first-choice hooker, 25 of George’s 32 international appearances have been from the bench – but Hartley’s injury opens the door.
The 28-year-old will start against Ireland in Dublin on Saturday and with two points for each defender beaten, as well as 0.2 points per carried metre with the ball, his fancy footwork should make him productive in fantasy.
With only six starting hookers on any Championship weekend, George also ranks in the middle of the pack when it comes to value – with his 14.0 stars being fewer than Guilhem Guirado’s 15 and Rory Best’s 16.
Quite simply, Jonny Gray is a tackling machine and is a crucial addition to the second row of your Guinness Six Nations Fantasy Rugby team.
Gray made a staggering 100 tackles in last year’s Championship, missing just three, which was 20 more than the man second in the charts – compatriot Hamish Watson.
Furthermore, the next-highest amount of tackles made by a lock was Sébastien Vahaamahina’s 62 and with each tackle worth one point in the game, the Scot had a huge 38-point advantage over his positional rivals in that facet.
Scotland are also formidable at home – having not lost a Championship match at BT Murrayfield since Round 1 in 2016 – making Scottish players an attractive prospect as they welcome Italy to Edinburgh on Saturday (remember – you get 12 points if your player’s team gets a home win).
At 13 stars, Gray isn’t the most expensive of locks either.
Sergio Parisse has been a fantasy staple for years now and there is no reason that should change for the 2019 Championship.
Mr. Italy is the heart and soul of the Azzurri and while by his own admission, he had a quieter 2018, he is motivated to get back to his very best this year.
The No.8 looks set to break the all-time Championship appearance record, having made 65 appearances already, and when Italy win he’s invariably in contention to be the Official Guinness Six Nations Man of the Match – an honour worth 15 points in the game.
Always a try threat as well as a regular maker of metres, Parisse actually provides good value at 12 stars – three stars fewer than the most expensive back-rowers.
There’s plenty of life in the 35-year-old yet, so don’t miss out.
With no points on offer for scrummaging solidity or lineout lifting, prop isn’t a position in your fantasy team in which to be ploughing huge amounts of capital.
Cian Healy might be a world-class loosehead who has a decade of international experience under his belt but he only has four tries in that time and does not rack up big metres with ball in hand.
That makes him far too steep at 15 stars and prop is a position to seek value at – meaning Jefferson Poirot is an absolute must-have at 9.0 stars.
The loosehead is an almost guaranteed starter as France welcome Wales to Paris on Friday evening to kick-start the 2019 Guinness Six Nations and he should be a fixture in your fantasy line-up.
The 26-year-old has been a starter in 21 of his 22 international appearances – including all five games at last year’s Championship – and the Bordeaux-Begles man is a favourite of Les Bleus coach Jacques Brunel, as well as being one of the cheapest players on the game