Another year brings another RBS Six Nations tournament, and once again we’re here to try and guide you towards the perfect, and potentially prize-winning, fantasy team. Have a read, and then sign up to our league below.
2012 is the year of the dynamic front rower. Cian Healy, Alex Corbisiero and Gethin Jenkins are all handfuls in the loose, and could all score the occasional try from short or long range.
As for hookers, William Servat is the best in the world, whilst Dylan Hartley and Matthew Rees are both solid options.
Plenty of options here. Paul O’Connell is a Man of the Match candidate but doesn’t necessarily score many tries, so it might better going for a more athletic player in the form of Richie Gray or Julian Pierre.
This area is certainly weaker than in previous years, due to Courtney Lawes, Luke Charteris and Alun Wyn Jones all being out of action. For an outside bet, go for Donnacha Ryan or Lou Reed.
Filling three slots with the amount of quality here is not easy. Not a single country is weak in this area, not even Italy, so narrowing down your options may take a while.
For starters there are two exceptional captains, the IRB Player of the Year Thierry Dusautoir and Sam Warburton, who are bound to pick up a few Man of the Match awards between them. Other players who have picked up a few MoM awards in their time include the all-Irish back row of Stephen Ferris, Sean O’Brien and Jamie Heaslip, along with Toby Faletau and John Barclay.
Although the English back row is largely unknown at this stage, Chris Robshaw’s form so far this season indicates he could cause some damage at international level, whilst Richie Vernon of Scotland is another set for a big tournament.
Plenty of talent in this area, but there is one standout player who should be in every side. Morgan Parra was wrongly played out of position towards the end of Marc Liévremont’s reign during the Rugby World Cup, but since his return he has been exceptional for Clermont.
Other good options at 9 are Conor Murray of Ireland and Mike Phillips of Wales, with Ben Youngs also there or thereabouts despite his poor form.
As for the fly-halves, Johnny Sexton is the stand-out candidate given his fantastic form for Leinster so far this season, with Lionel Beauxis, Charlie Hodgson and the excellent Rhys Priestland are other options, whilst Duncan Weir is cheap but more one for the future.
No one has been picked more in Fantasy teams over the last decade than Brian O’Driscoll. Sadly, this Six Nations will not be graced by his presence, but there are many options to use this year. Jamie Roberts is probably the outstanding candidate, fitness permitting, but the French duo of Aurélien Rougerie and Wesley Fofana are good bets, as is Fergus McFadden for Ireland.
Add to the mix players such as Scott Williams, Brad Barritt, Owen Farrell and Joe Ansbro, and selection gets pretty difficult. Fortunately, when the budget is getting tight, talent can be found for a bargain in midfield.
Safe to say, these are where the points are. A winger or full back who crosses the try line on a regular basis is a goldmine, so pick wisely here.
Chris Ashton should be top of the list, with Tommy Bowe and George North close behind him. Funds maybe tight by this stage however, so picking two of those three could be impossible. Therefore; Max Evans, Charlie Sharples, Tommaso Benvenuti and Alex Cuthbert are strong outside bets for points.
Don’t forget that you’re allowed 15 transfers in total, and a maximum of 5 per round, which is more than enough. Take a look at the fixtures each week and consider where the points will be scored, then load up on players from that country.
Keep an eye on form as well: who is scoring tries and which players win the Man of the Match award each week.
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by Ben Coles