The second round of the 2021 Guinness Six Nations is less than 24 hours away and that, of course, means that it is also Round 2 in our Fantasy Rugby game.
This week, we’ve given a selection of top tips ahead of the three tantalising fixtures – sharing our must-have backs as well as our must-have forwards who we believe merit selection in your team.
With England hosting Italy, Wales travelling to Scotland and Ireland and France squaring off in a Sunday showdown, who are you backing to rake in the big fantasy points this weekend?
What’s that? You need more help you say? Go on then, here’s a fantasy preview to digest ahead of the action! Don’t say we never treat you.
Get your Fantasy Rugby Round 2 team sorted now!
England v Italy
Twickenham is the destination for the opening attraction this weekend as England host Italy with both sides looking to gain their first wins in this year’s Championship.
Both teams will have points to prove after England suffered an 11-6 defeat to Scotland on home soil while France proved too strong for Franco Smith’s side in a 50-10 victory for Les Bleus.
Eddie Jones’ men are no strangers to being in this situation though, having suffered opening round defeat in 2020 before going on to claim the title on a memorable final weekend.
With fire in their bellies and several changes to their starting line-up, the likes of the recalled George Ford (13.8 stars), Mako Vunipola (12.7 stars) and Kyle Sinckler (12.7 stars) will all be fresh and raring to make an impact – and so represent decent bets in the world of Fantasy Rugby.
The more pricey assets such as Owen Farrell (14.9 stars), Maro Itoje (14.7 stars) and England’s highest fantasy points scorer from Round 1 Tom Curry (15.2 stars) will be aiming to spearhead a similar victory to last year’s 34-5 win over their opponents this weekend.
If you’re looking at Italy, the experienced duo of Carlo Canna (9.7 stars) and Andrea Lovotti (7.0 stars) could be great options for a side which showed plenty of promise despite the result last weekend.
Of their premium assets, fly-half Paolo Garbisi (11.8 stars) could well reap rewards if England’s ill-discipline of Round 1 rears its head again.
Scotland v Wales
Two Round 1 winners cap off Saturday’s action at BT Murrayfield as Scotland aim to build on their Calcutta Cup-winning momentum against Wales.
Gregor Townsend’s side have continued where they left off after a promising 2020 with their exciting blend of power and guile proving too much for England at Twickenham.
While he may be pricey, Finn Russell (16.4 stars) showed just how well he can orchestrate proceedings with his flair in Round 1 and he is well placed to have another strong showing here.
Captain Stuart Hogg (17.3 stars) and Duhan van der Merwe (15.4 stars) will also be bidding to keep their rich vein of form going amongst a side with three changes from last weekend.
Wales, meanwhile, made a far better start to 2021 than the form they showed in the latter half of 2020 as they saw off Ireland with a resilient showing in their 21-16 win.
A quartet of Wayne Pivac’s men made the Guinness Six Nations Fantasy Rugby Team of the Week in Wyn Jones (14.2 stars), Justin Tipuric (16.3 stars), Taulupe Faletau (16.0 stars) and George North (17.0 stars).
But given North is set to miss out against Scotland, and that all of these men are pricey assets, perhaps there is value to be add in superstar young wing Louis Rees-Zammit (13.3 stars).
Rees-Zammit scored 46.8 fantasy points in Round 1 thanks to his second-half try and making 31 metres with the ball – well worth having for Round 2.
Ireland v France
Round 2 is brought to a close on Sunday as France travel to Dublin to take on Ireland.
Many people’s favourites now for the Championship, Fabien Galthie’s side got off to an imperious start in their win over Italy in Round 1, while Ireland are seeking an immediate bounce back following their defeat to Wales.
The hosts will be buoyed by their first-half showing last weekend when they took a 13-6 lead despite having just 14 men on the field, and second-row Tadhg Beirne (12.6 stars) shined in particular.
Despite their injury troubles, the likes of James Lowe (14.0 stars), Garry Ringrose (15.9 stars) and Billy Burns (9.0 stars) will all have points to prove against France – and that could spell potential Fantasy Rugby points.
Ireland will have to deliver some performance to stop this in-form France side though, and the star of Round 1 Antoine Dupont (17.8 stars).
The scrum-half scored one try and set up another four in his side’s victory over Italy, amassing a stellar 91.0 Fantasy Rugby points.
His price, the highest in the game, may just be worth it if he can keep that form up, while Teddy Thomas (17.5 stars) enters the weekend having scored a week-high 112.5 points in Round 1, thanks to a brace of tries against the Azzurri as well as gaining 95 metres and breaking seven tackles and could be a good option as your Supersub given that he will start on the bench.