Six Nations Rugby | Fantasy Rugby: Five must-have forwards for the opening round

While the six countries compete for a Championship title and a potential Grand Slam, fantasy players will be competing for bragging rights over their mates, as well as great prizes.

What better way to prove what a rugby guru you are than by selecting an all-conquering Fantasy Rugby team?

And to that end, we’re helping you out by highlighting five forwards to target in your Round 1 team, while you can read our explainer of how the game works by clicking here.

Maro Itoje 16.0

A lock with the skillset of a back-rower, Maro Itoje doesn’t come cheap but he’s worth the price to get into your line-up.

Along with Alun Wyn Jones, Itoje (16.0 stars) is the most expensive second-rower in the game but he carries the ball frequently to accrue metres gained and racks up the tackles – an even more important trait with dominant tackles being worth two points this year.

The 25-year-old’s all-round game also makes him a constant possibility to be named the official Guinness Six Nations Player of the Match – earning an extra 15 points.

Going to Paris is never easy but if you do think England will emerge victorious from the Stade de France, then the 18 points Itoje would earn for an away win will also be handy for your team.

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Jake Polledri 12.0

The heir apparent to Sergio Parisse? That is perhaps too much pressure to pile on Jake Polledri but the Azzurri back-rower is a force to be reckoned with on the rugby field.

Almost every highlight reel from any Gloucester Rugby match will feature the powerful Polledri sending defenders flying with his physical running style and all-action game.

He is still something of a rookie at international level, with only 13 caps to his name since his debut in March 2018 but with Parisse taking a step back, a place in the Italian back row looks there for the taking.

The 24-year-old old won’t break the bank at 12.0 stars and his skillset looks tailor-made for Fantasy Rugby, with the ability to rack up big points.

Demba Bamba 12.0

Prop isn’t normally a position to spend big in Fantasy Rugby, with limited opportunities for points scoring outside of team wins and plenty of viable cheaper options available.

France star Demba Bamba isn’t one of the very highest-end options price-wise – Irish duo Tadhg Furlong and Cian Healy are both three stars more expensive – but at 12.0 stars he still requires a decent outlay.

However, Bamba has a skillset perhaps unmatched by any other prop in the Championship, as demonstrated by the remarkable 14 defenders he beat during the 2019 Guinness Six Nations.

Needless to say, no other front-rower – or even forward – came close to matching total, with only six men in the entire Championship beating more, regardless of position.

With 28 points worth of defenders beaten, how could you not want that haul from one of your props?

Caelan Doris 11.0

A bit of a wildcard but Caelan Doris has taken to senior club rugby like a duck to water, so why wouldn’t he do the same at international level?

So talented is the Leinster No.8 that veteran star Peter O’Mahony has to settle for a place on the bench, with Doris joining CJ Stander (15.0) and Josh van der Flier (14.0) in Ireland’s back row for Saturday’s game against Scotland.

The 21-year-old has been in scintillating form for Leinster this term – scoring three tries in 13 appearances – and at just 11.0 stars represents great value in an elite back row.

If you fancy going for a differential option, then the former Ireland Under-20s captain is a great shout.

Fraser Brown 10.0

With Jamie George (15.0), Luca Bigi (14.0) and Ken Owens (14.0) representing the high-priced options at hooker, Scotland’s Fraser Brown could be a value pick with a punch.

He’s not necessarily guaranteed a starting berth in Gregor Townsend’s XV but had displaced Stuart McInally as first-choice hooker by the end of the World Cup and has been in superb form for Glasgow Warriors this season.

The fact he also appeared as a flanker during the World Cup should tell you all you need to know about his athleticism and if he does don the No.2 jersey, then Brown could be a points machine.

And at only 10.0 stars, he will leave you plenty of ammunition to spend in other higher-tariff positions in your team.

Play Guinness Six Nations Fantasy Rugby 2020! Pick your team, create a Private League and have fun – you could also win the Ultimate Guinness Six Nations weekend!

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