With most teamsheets in and just a couple of days to go until the Six Nations recommences for its final two rounds, we thought it would be worth taking a look over who’s been scoring the fantasy points and who is set to do so over the next couple of weeks.
Thomas Domingo showed why he’s probably the best loose-head in the world against England, but was duly substituted in the second half, moments before France fell apart. The message thus far is ‘pick French players at your peril’. Mako Vunipola and Tom Youngs are rumoured to be returning to the starting line-up and both carry very well, so could be in with a shout of winning you some points if they can force their way over the line. Controversially, Cian Healy returns to the Ireland pack and is another one with a healthy knack of scoring tries.
Geoff Parling is the highest points scorer of the second rows, having played the full 80 in all three matches and crossed the whitewash once. Jim Hamilton is the only lock to have collected a man-of-the-match award, but that doesn’t necessarily make him a good pick – his partner Richie Gray has been playing the full match, so might be a better selection.
In the back-row captain Chris Robshaw leads the way with two MOTM awards and three full appearances racking up an impressive total. Sergio Parisse successfully appealed his ban and returns for Italy – he is always worth a pick as he is capable of magic. Captains Thierry Dusautoir and Jamie Heaslip are solid bets for guaranteed points because, despite not playing very well so far, they will last the whole game. Louis Picamoles can blow a bit hot and cold but is devastating from short range, and does tend to cross the line fairly often.
Starting with France again, we have been thrown another giant curveball in the form of Freddie Michalak‘s recall, despite a fairly shocking showing from the bench against England. The bolder amongst you might take a punt on him, thinking he is due a good performance. If you do you are officially as bonkers as Philippe Saint-André. His half-back partner Morgan Parra, however, is a much more sensible choice and is also a kicking option. Another kicking scrum-half, Greig Laidlaw, was in fine form last round and is another good option behind the pack.
However, Toby Flood probably represents the best selection as kicker this week – with Farrell injured and England at home to Italy, there is plenty of scope for him to score big points. In the centres Manu Tuilagi is in devastating form and could terrorise Italy, while Luke Marshall looked dangerous on his debut against Scotland and could be a bit of a wildcard pick. His partner in the Irish centre, Brian O’Driscoll, represents a more sensible choice.
Out wide, giant Welsh pair Alex Cuthbert and George North have both been crossing the line while Sean Maitland has been going about his business quietly and actually racking up some decent points thanks to a couple of assists. Leigh Halfpenny is a deadeye with the boot, while Wesley Fofana, finally restored the the centre in real life but still an outside back in fantasy terms, looks back to his best and has the potential to score from anywhere. France’s actual wingers, Vincent Clerc and the recalled Maxime Medard, are always dangerous if they can get some ball. With Bastareaud dropped to the bench and the more ball-playing Florian Fritz in his place, they may well get just that.
As always, though, it is largely a lottery. If you’re yet to join our league, you can do so by clicking here. The league name is The Rugby Blog, and the pin is 24826. Good luck!