The complete guide to Guinness Six Nations Fantasy Rugby

Marcus Smith kicks a penalty 19/3/2022
It is that time of year again – Guinness Six Nations Fantasy Rugby 2023 is live.

It is that time of year again – Guinness Six Nations Fantasy Rugby 2023 is live.

Over the next eight weeks, it will be time to flex your rugby brains against friends, family and other rugby experts after the game was launched.

Fantasy Rugby offers something for everyone – whether you’re a fanatic who hasn’t missed a game since five nations became six or still working out your flankers from your full-backs, the basics remain constant.

So pick a squad, get creative with your team name and watch the points roll in claim the bragging rights in 2023.


How does it work?

Each Fantasy Rugby squad is made up of 18 players – a starting XV with three substitutes.

Every player is assigned a value and you have a budget of 245 stars to work with, so you will have to be clever when it comes to your selections and work out who the value picks are in addition to the big-money superstars.

Up to four players can be selected from any one nation and the value of players evolves according to their performances on the pitch over the course of the competition.

How do I score points?

Points are earned in a variety of ways in Fantasy Rugby. Players will earn ‘team’ points – applied in proportion to their presence in the game – and ‘rugby player’ points, determined by their individual statistics.

There are also a couple of chips to play carefully. Each squad must have a captain, whose points will be doubled, while a nominated supersub will see their points tripled if they come off the bench.

If the nominated supersub starts, or does not play, his points will be halved as for all of the other substitutes.

Team points are different this year, with victories and draws the only way to earn team points, while whether matches are home or away no longer matters.

Each player from a team that is victorious will earn eight points, while a draw earns four points – there are no points for a defeat and this year there is also no reward for the size of the victory or punishment for heavy defeats.

When it comes to ‘rugby player’ points, it will not be a surprise to learn that tries are where the big hauls are to be found.

Should one of your players score, they will earn 15 points, with a try assist worth seven points.

The choice of your designated kicker is also key, with conversions earning two points, while penalties earn five points each and drop-goals seven.

There is also the addition of points awarded for kicking away from the tee – with one of rugby’s new laws the 50:22 earning 10 points for a player who successfully kicks the ball from inside their half into the opposition’s 22 for a lineout.

Each line-break will result in seven points scored, while each metre carried earns a further 0.2 points making ball-carriers and sidesteppers extremely valuable.

Defensive duties are not neglected in Fantasy Rugby either, with every tackle worth a point and those deemed dominant tackles worth seven, the same number of points awarded for each breakdown steal.

Lineout specialists are also rewarded, with seven points earned per lineout steal.

Those named as the official Guinness Six Nations Player of the Match will earn 15 points for their team but disciplinary indiscretions will be punished, with yellow and red cards bringing reductions of five and ten points respectively.

Who should I pick?

The question on everybody’s lips – what to do with your 245 stars?

If last year is anything to go by, you can do a lot worse than including England fly-half Marcus Smith.

The Harlequins sensation racked up points last year when scoring two tries, assisting one and kicking five conversions and 17 penalties to be the top points scorer in the Championship.

Of course, with Steve Borthwick now in charge, there is no guarantee Smith would be a starter, but with the benefit of knowing the teams before selecting players – Smith should be right up there in every fantasy manager’s thoughts.

In terms of try scorers, there are a few usual suspects on there to consider, with joint-top scorers Damian Penaud and James Lowe looking to be on top outright this time around.

The wingers both scored three tries last year, while Lowe made the fourth most metres with 439 – only Stuart Hogg, Monty Ioane and Freddie Steward had more.

When looking at try assists, Romain Ntamack and Jamison Gibson-Park sat on top of that pile with four assists each and could well be great options again.

Defensive stats are also key and Michele Lamaro was comfortably the top tackler last year with a whopping 86 tackles, while four players – Toa Halafihi, Alex Dombrandt, Maro Itoje and Gregory Alldritt – won six turnovers each, making them top targets again this year.

Who are the big money picks?

Perhaps unsurprisingly, the reigning Guinness Six Nations Player of the Championship, Antoine Dupont, will set you back the most stars.

The French wizard is priced at 20 stars, two more than the next most-expensive players.

The 2022 World Rugby Player of the Year, Josh van der Flier, is the costliest forward at 18 stars – he is joined by Johnny Sexton, Stuart Hogg, Damian Penaud and Marcus Smith in that bracket.