We know it’s all you’ve been thinking of ever since the final whistle was blown at Principality Stadium to signal the end of Round 3, what changes are you going to make to your Guinness Six Nations Fantasy Rugby team?
Are you going to go for a French winger, or chuck in an Italian centre? And which one of the six starting fly-halves are you going to plump for this time around?
Questions, questions, questions, and luckily for you we have the answers, well some of them anyway, as we prepare ourselves for the penultimate weekend of what has been an exhilarating 2021 Championship.
Unbeaten Wales get the show on the road against Italy on Saturday afternoon, before we buckle in for the latest edition of Le Crunch, as England and France do battle at Twickenham – with plenty of Fantasy Rugby points likely to be scored in both encounters.
The weekend comes to a close at BT Murrayfield, as Scotland welcome Ireland to Edinburgh on Sunday, and with both sides always likely to excel with and without the ball, you’ll have to have a keen eye on the statistics to make sure you pick well in that one.
So, without any further ado, let’s take a look at what backs you should be picking for Round 4, as the climax of the competition edges closer and closer into view.
Virimi Vakatawa – France
There are few better sights than watching Virimi Vakatawa get the ball in hand and barrage his way past opposing defenders, and we will get to witness that for the first time in 2021 this weekend, as the imposing centre makes his return from injury.
The 28-year-old starred in four of Les Bleus’ matches in last year’s Championship, including a try-scoring performance in the 35-27 victory over Ireland in the last match of the competition.
Making tackles, breaking tackles, producing stunning offloads, Vakatawa is no stranger to putting his body on the line to help his country to secure a win, and he will no doubt be doing both in abundance against England on Saturday.
Having not played so far this year, the Racing 92 man is available for a snip at just 14.3 stars, so if you’ve got space in your budget he would be well worth the punt.
Owen Farrell – England
The man trying to outwit Vakatawa and his comrades at Twickenham on Saturday afternoon will be Owen Farrell, and he will be eager to get his side back to winning ways after defeat to Wales last time out.
After shifting across to centre to accommodate George Ford at fly-half on Saturday, Farrell will be putting his pedal to the metal to try and invigorate his side at Rugby HQ, and his dead eye from the kicking tee will make sure that the scoreboard keeps ticking over for the hosts when the opportunities arise.
Farrell already has 31 points to his name in this year’s Championship, having successfully kicked five conversions and three penalties to date, and you can bet your bottom dollar that he will add to that tally this weekend.
Five tackle breaks from this 99 metres gained with the ball is also a reasonable return from the England skipper, who has also stopped 20 ball carriers in their tracks in his three matches.
Keith Earls – Ireland
Keith Earls will have happy memories from playing against Scotland, having helped himself to a couple of tries when the teams last met at the Autumn Nations Cup at the tail end of 2020.
The Munster winger – who recently signed a one-year contract extension with the IRFU – only sits behind Ireland legend Brian O’Driscoll for tries scored for his country, having crossed 33 times in his 91 international appearances so far, and will be looking for even more this weekend.
The 33-year-old has already got on the scoresheet once in 2021 against Italy, and an impressive return of 90.3 points would make him a useful addition to your line-up.
Whether he starts the game or comes off the bench as he did against the Azzurri, Earls will help you rack up the points, and could be a handy choice for your ‘Supersub’ option for Round 4, which sees the player’s points trebled if he comes off the bench.
Stuart Hogg – Scotland
With the risk of sounding like a broken record, Stuart Hogg needs to be put into your Guinness Six Nations Fantasy Rugby team immediately, you aren’t going to win without him.
The Scotland captain has been as influential as anyone for their team in this year’s Championship, having crossed twice in his two matches so far, as well as earning a Player of the Match award for his part in the 11-6 win against England in Round 1.
Once the Exeter Chiefs man gets the ball in his hand there is almost no stopping him, just ask the 14 men who tried to lay a hand on him during the Championship but failed in doing so.
Those turbo-charged feet have scampered for an average of 127 metres per match in 2021, and it would take a brave man to bet against him getting into three figures against the Men in Green.
Josh Adams – Wales
Having made the perfect return back to the Wales team against England last time out, there will be no stopping Josh Adams when his side take on Italy in Rome this weekend.
The Cardiff Blues star was the star of the show last time he came up against the Azzurri at the Championship, as he helped himself to a hat trick in a 42-0 victory in Cardiff last February.
Adams is almost unplayable on his day, and has a burst of speed to leave any defender for dead on the sidelines, leaving you to reap the rewards with valuable points to add to your total.
Having earned 54.2 points for his performance against Eddie Jones’ side at Principality Stadium, the 25-year-old is likely to top that tally this weekend, with the Italian defence having to be on their toes to keep him at bay.
Carlo Canna – Italy
Franco Smith may be opting for a younger squad at this year’s Championship, but the experience of Carlo Canna is something that he can always count upon.
Fresh from making his 50th appearance last time out against Ireland, the 28-year-old will always give everything he’s got on the pitch and use his wealth of experience to help shift the game in his side’s favour.
There aren’t too many players in the Italian side who can match up against his 26 tackles made in the Championship so far, and with a Wales side coming to Stadio Olimpico oozing with confidence, he will have to be at his battling best once again to keep Wayne Pivac’s side from scoring.