The 2022 Guinness Six Nations returns this weekend and with several lessons learned from the opening round of action, it’s time to look at your Fantasy Rugby team for Round 2.
The deadline is set for kick-off in the Wales v Scotland fixture – 2.15pm on Saturday 12 February, so there is still plenty of time to make changes to your team if you haven’t yet.
But with another block of fascinating fixtures from Rugby’s Greatest Championship just hours away, what better time to look at who performed well in the opening round.
Fly-half battle – Marcus Smith v Paolo Garbisi
After immense performances in the opening round, Marcus Smith and Paolo Garbisi are the two highest-scoring fly-halves fit to play this weekend.
Eddie Jones’ decision to substitute Smith against Scotland was certainly contentious, while Garbisi was at the centre of everything positive his side produced against France.
Johnny Sexton was instrumental in Ireland’s 29-7 win against Wales, registering an excellent 63 points, but he’s injured ahead of his team’s trip to Paris.
Smith scored all of his side’s points in the 20-17 defeat to Scotland to record 38.7 points, while Garbisi registered 33.9 points.
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Smith is already drawing the attention of Fantasy Rugby fans across the country, becoming the most selected player in the past 48 hours at 15.7.
The two youngsters will go head-to-head on Sunday at the Stadio Olimpico, and Fantasy Rugby fans would be wise to have one of them in their squad.
Who to back between France and Ireland – Gabin Villière v Mack Hansen
There were plenty of tries scored in the opening three fixtures as the Championship’s wingers got off to a fantastic start.
On Saturday, two of last weekend’s stars, Gabin Villière and Mack Hansen, go head-to-head.
Villière was one of the players of Round 1, scoring a hat-trick and being named Guinness Six Nations Player of the Match on his way to registering 125.4 points.
Hansen recorded 82.1 points without scoring a try, but he was crucial to Ireland, making three breaks and gaining 149 meters with the ball.
He’s also very affordable at 11.5, while Villière is significantly more expensive at 17.5.
So there are two very different options in the game at the Stade de France, but either would make a fine addition to any squad.
Plenty of choice in the back-row
Several players fronted up last weekend in the back row, so who you pick in these positions could make all the difference.
Josh van der Flier recorded 54.2 points in Ireland’s win against Wales, but in defeat, Taine Basham managed to outscore his rival, registering 68.5 points.
Grégory Alldritt and Anthony Jelonch both scored more than 50 points, so there’s plenty of choice in the French pack.
Scotland’s Matt Fagerson recorded 58.5 in a Guinness Six Nations Player of the Match display against England, but it would be wise not to dismiss Eddie Jones’ side, who have plenty of quality in this area of the pitch.
There are some big decisions to be made here, and it’ll be fascinating to see who stands atop the point rankings come Sunday evening.
Who is being dropped?
While some players had blistering starts to the 2022 Guinness Six Nations, others have been seen as surplus to requirements by Fantasy Rugby players across all six countries this week.
After Wales struggled against Ireland, Louis Rees-Zammit tops the most-dropped rankings ahead of their game against Scotland this weekend.
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Another player who was on the losing side last weekend, Maro Itoje, finds himself in second ahead of England’s game against Italy, and at a mouth-watering price of 16.2, it’s easy to see why.
But in some cases, it might be wise not to follow the crowd.
France do have a tricky game against Ireland, but Damian Penaud is unlucky to see himself as the third most dropped player considering he scored the third-most points of any wing last week.
He’s also a classy operator who performs on the big occasions, just like his compatriot Gaël Fickou, who is unfortunate to find himself as the fifth most dropped player.
Captain is a tough choice after Round 1, especially considering last week’s two best-performing sides go head-to-head on Saturday.
But we also have a much better idea of who will be completing 80 minutes, so you can maximise your team points if you get this decision right.
This week, it might be wise to go with an England player, as they’ll be looking to bounce back against Italy after last week’s Calcutta Cup defeat at the hands of Scotland.
Henry Slade and Tom Curry are outstanding players available at fair prices who are likely to play the full 80 minutes.
But alternatively, you could go with Ireland’s Garry Ringrose, who’ll be looking to impress on the biggest stage after a superb start to the competition.