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6 Nations

6 Nations Fantasy Rugby; What You Need to Know

A guide on who to look out for, how to get the most points, and much more

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Photo by David Rogers - RFU/The RFU Collection via Getty Images

The 6 Nations kicks off on Friday night, but before then you might want to set up your fantasy rugby team for what is set to be another belter of a campaign.

Things are a little different this year in terms of the scoring and it has made for a more interesting system. Here’s a short run through.

Firstly, and most importantly, you are given a budget of 240 stars to spend on your perfect 18-man squad. With players ranging from nine to sixteen stars in value.

In terms of the scoring, there are team points awarded to players with a home win worth 12 points, while an away win will bag a player 18 points. The margin of a victory or loss will give you +/- 0.5 points respectively.

The individual marks have been improved from last season, with tackles being doubled and now counting as one point per tackle. For every defender beaten a player will receive two points.

The most noticeable marks are for a try, with a forward being awarded 18 points for touching down, while a back will gain you 15. A man of the match performance by a player will get you 15 points too.

The things to avoid are players that are prone to receiving yellow or red cards as they will see you lose five or eight points respectively.

There are a few other ways to gain points such as a kick from the tee counting as three points be it from a penalty or conversion. Have a look at the other ways to gain points if you are interested.

Before going through players be sure to remember that you can only have a maximum of four players from any nation.

So, who leads the lines in terms of players? Price wise, last years grand slam winners, Ireland, have four players costing 16 stars (Rory Best, Conor Murray, Johnny Sexton, Jacob Stockdale), with Wales’ George North the only other player to cost the same.

When picking your team, it is vital to remember that you are looking for a balance between who is good defensively, with an eye towards who is good going forward.

You must select a captain each week, it is advised to pick a player that is a first-team regular as they receive an extra 20 points and their score gets doubled.

The likes of Sexton, Stockdale, Owen Farrell, Stuart Hogg and so on are likely to get the most game time and score plenty of points. So, it may be worthwhile investing some stars in a reliable captain.

Some players that might be worth while taking a punt on would be Italy’s Tomasso Allan, Scotland’s Peter Horne, or England’s Joe Cokanasiga. All of which are 11 stars and are in with a shout of starting most games.

The top players cost the most and are who you want in your team but, there are some bargains to be had. Especially when it comes to the bench with a “super sub” now available.

This is a player that you select on your three-man bench who, if they come on, will have their score tripled.

When looking for players here it is hard to look by Irish and Munster duo, Tadhg Beirne and Joey Carbery. With huge competition for places in the Irish starting 15 it will be hard for either to play the full 80 minutes but are likely to come off the bench.

Beirne will cost you 11 stars, with Carbery a deal at only 10.

Outside of the Irish, Uini Atonio of France, a powerhouse, is worth 10 stars, while Wales’ Jake Ball and England’s Brad Shields only cost nine.

Going into week one, check out who is playing who and keep an eye out for team announcements as the deadline to change your team isn’t until the first game kicks off at 20 00 on Friday.

One other tip would be to select players that may not be a No 10 but kick as they will gain more points.

So, that’s it. As if you needed anything else to look forward to before Friday, here’s something else.

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6 Nations

Ireland Add Final Piece to Backroom Puzzle

Ireland have confirmed their final addition to Andy Farrell’s coaching staff

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(Photo by Ashley Western/MB Media/Getty Images)

Former England coach Mike Catt has been announced as Ireland’s new attack coach come the end of the Rugby World Cup in Japan later this year.

Catt is currently coaching the Italian national side however; he will leave his post following the conclusion of the World Cup and take up the role of Ireland’s attack coach until 2023.

He is the last of the coaches to be named as a part of Andy Farrell’s backroom staff, with Farrell set to take over from Joe Schmidt once the tournament in Japan is completed.

Catt is delighted to be moving on to work with the Irish side but insists that he is solely focused on his current task with Italy.

“I am looking forward to the Rugby World Cup in Japan and seeing the group of players we have here in Italy fulfil their potential and achieve the objectives we have set for ourselves. Obviously, it is an honour to be given this future opportunity with Ireland, but I will focus on that challenge only after I have given my all for Italy and this group of players,” he said.

Farrell and Catt previously worked together while part of England’s coaching set-up for the 2015 Rugby World Cup and has plenty of experience which is appealing to IRFU performance director David Nucifora.

“Mike brings a wealth of experience to the coaching group and has been operating at the highest level of the international game for some time. He was a smart and innovative player, and he brings those attributes and much more besides in his approach to coaching and player development. We feel that we have secured a talented practitioner who will add significant value to the group and to the wider Irish system,” he said.

Along with Catt, Farrell has added John Fogarty as the side’s new scrum coach, while Simon Easterby and Richie Murphy will continue on as forwards specialist and kicking and skills coaches respectively.

Farrell will be hoping that he will take over the reigns following a successful World Cup campaign and will want to hit the ground running having put together a top-quality backroom set-up.

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6 Nations

World Rugby Gives Deadline for Nations Championship

World Rugby have given the 10 unions from the Six Nations and Rugby Championship a final deadline to decide on the Nations Championship

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World Rugby have confirmed that global rugby chiefs will have until Friday to decide whether or not the Nations Championship plans will be backed

The governing body has given the unions of the Six Nations and Rugby Championship nations until the closing of business on Friday of this week to provide a yes or no answer towards their new plans.

For their plans to be progressed World Rugby needs a unanimous decision from the 10 unions.

If that is to happen, they plan to launch their new format in 2022, with winners of the Six Nations and an expanded six-team Rugby Championship going head to head.

The final proposals of the Nations Championship will have to be passed by a vote of the full World Rugby council, however none of this will go ahead unless there is backing from the 10 nations.

Proposals have included creating two-tier tournaments for the Six Nations and Rugby Championship which would include the possibility of relegation or promotion.

A format which Six Nations unions appear to dislike.

As well as this there is the issue of the Pacific Islands, who believe that the creation of such tournaments would mean that they would be less likely to face the top nations in November and therefore be unable to develop as they currently are.

Whatever is to happen will become clearer in the next couple of days and it could be the start of a new era for international rugby.

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6 Nations

Welsh Warrior to Play Trade Outside Wales Post-World Cup?

One of Wales’ finest players may make a move away from the country after the World Cup

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(Photo credit PAUL ELLIS/AFP/Getty Image)

Alun Wyn Jones’ future with the Ospreys is in doubt after his duel contract with the Welsh Rugby Union and the Ospreys runs out at the end of the season.

The Welsh captain has spent his entire career with the Ospreys, but fans expect and are even encouraging the lock to seek a move elsewhere after Shane Williams said his future needed to be sorted.

Jones has previously turned down the chance to move abroad for a better contract, instead remaining in Wales and being a loyal servant to both his country and club.

Having made 125 caps for Wales, their Grand Slam winning captain would be eligible to continue playing for the country if he did move as he more than doubles the required 60-caps for overseas-based players.

Many are already speculating that Jones will be the British & Irish Lions captain for the 2021 tour of South Africa, but some fear a move abroad would prevent Warren Gatland from picking him.

Fans seem to think that Jones deserves to earn more overseas in the twilight of his career and set himself up for a more stable future come the end of his glittering career.

A move to England or France would be most likely with Harlequins fans calling on the club to make a move for Jones after losing Aussie James Horwill this season.

Another possibility for the 33-year-old could be a big-money move to Japan. Either way most of the clubs in Europe or Japan can offer Jones a significant salary rise which he could be tempted by.

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