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6 Nations Fantasy Rugby Guide Round 3

Here’s a guide on who to consider keeping or adding to your team as we reach the halfway point of the 6 Nations

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We are at the halfway mark in this year’s 6 Nations and fantasy rugby is heating up as players rise or fall in stock, here’s who to keep an eye on this week.

First up is the clash of France and a depleted Scotland team, who have a massive injury list at the moment.

France have named a much-changed team to the one that lost to England two weeks ago and it may be worth investing a bit in some of their player’s who need to bounce back to winning ways.

Romain Ntamack has been called in at number 10 and at only 11.5 stars may be worth a punt in any team, alongside him is Antoine Dupont who costs 12.8 stars.

Other players to consider are the likes of Gael Fickou, 13.7 stars, Yoann Huget, 13.2 stars, and Louis Picamoles, 14 stars, who are all hoping to carry France to a first win in this season’s competition.

Although the Scotland team is missing some big hitters, there are still some standout performers that would be good on any team.

Greig Laidlaw, 14.3 stars, is always putting in a shift and will most likely be kicking any penalties that could come the Scots way and with France’s indiscipline he could rack up the points.

With Stuarts Hogg missing out, Blair Kinghorn, 14.3 stars, has got a huge opportunity and scored a hat-trick on the opening weekend so would be well worth splashing the cash on.

Sam Johnson, 12.2 stars, has been in fine form for the boys in Blue, as well as the warrior that is Jonny Gray, 12.5 stars, who will be sure to make a number of tackles against the French.

The big clash of the weekend is Wales vs England, with the three most expensive players in the game amongst the two rivals.

For England Jonny May, 18.7 stars, has been in incredible form, and if you have the cash go for him. While Owen Farrell, 17.6 stars, never really has a poor game so would be a good man to have on your side.

Other men to think of would be Jack Nowell, 14.4 stars, who is back in the team following Chris Ashton’s injury and will be looking to make his mark. Billy Vunipola, 16.1 stars, has announced that he will be hoping to get back to his best against the Welsh, so could be one to watch.

Courtney Lawes, 15.8 stars, and Henry Slade, 16 stars, are another couple to add to the wish list. The problem with the English players is that they cost so much due to their impressive start to the campaign.

Wales’ George North is the third most expensive player at 17 stars, and is always one to keep an eye on, while inside him Jonathan Davies, 15.2 stars, is another who is sure to put in a huge shift against the men in white.

In the pack, the likes of Josh Navidi, 15 stars, Justin Tipuric, 13.4 stars, and captain Alun Wyn Jones, 15.7 stars, will all be putting in a mammoth amount of work and could gain a lot of point for their hard work.

Last up is Italy vs Ireland on Sunday, in a game many expect to be a walkover for the visitors.

People may be reluctant to have many Italians on their team but if they are going to cause an upset here are the men they need to be firing on all cylinders.

Michele Campagnaro, 11.9 stars, even in the defeats they have had he has been outstanding, as has Abraham Steyn, 10.7 stars.

While captain Leonardo Ghiraldini, 11.8 stars, and fly-half Tomasso Allan, 11 stars, will need to lead their backs and forwards respectively if they are to have any hope of getting a result against the reigning champions.

As for the Irish they have a few outstanding players available such as Jacob Stockdale, 16.4 stars, Peter O’Mahony, 15.2 stars, Johnny Sexton, 15.1 stars, Sean O’Brien, 13.7 stars.

An outside shout is Ultan Dillane who has been outstanding over the past couple of weeks and is a steal at 9 stars.

In terms of the bench, Joe Cokanasiga, 10.6 stars, Ali Price, 11.3 stars, Maxime Medard, 13.4 stars, Dan Bigger, 15.8 stars, Ian McKinley, 9.5 stars, and Josh Van Der Flier, 11.1 stars, are the top picks of each team’s benches.

We will have to wait and see what this round brings but for now here’s your guide.


Premiership

Sharks sign respected Full-back on 1 year deal

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Former Gloucester full-back Jason Woodward joins Sale Sharks ahead of 2022/23 Premiership season 

Sale Sharks have signed versatile full-back Jason Woodward on a one-year deal ahead of the 2022/23 Gallagher Premiership season. 

The former Bristol Bears and Gloucester man, who can also play on the wing and in the centre, put pen to paper today and will join Alex Sanderson’s squad ahead of their opening pre-season clash against Caldy RFC on August 19. 

Jason signed for Bristol from Super Rugby side the Hurricanes in 2016, before joining Gloucester the following year after Bristol’s relegation from the Premiership. He went on to make made 67 appearances and score 90 points for the Cherry and Whites. 

The 32-year-old represented New Zealand at U20 level but qualifies for England through his grandmother and was called into a training camp by Eddie Jones in 2017. 

Sharks Director of Rugby Alex Sanderson said: “After speaking with Jason it was clear he was still motivated to perform at the highest level, and he was keen for a move North to join the Sharks. 

“Jason is a proven Premiership performer who will add a great deal of quality and experience to what is a young squad here.  

“He has the ability to play in a number of positions and that’s a massive bonus for us with such a busy schedule ahead. 

Images & Content from Sale Sharks Rugby


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International

RFU Council votes in favour of change to gender participation policy

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Photo by David Rogers/Getty Images
Press release issued by Rugby Football Union
 
  • The RFU Council has approved a new gender participation policy following extensive stakeholder consultation and thorough review of all available scientific evidence
  • New policy takes a precautionary approach by prioritising safety of players
  • RFU promoting opportunities for everyone to participate in rugby offering a range of formats and ways to get involved along with a confidential helpline 
  • RFU committed to working with World Rugby and UK Sports Councils to ensure further research is conducted and to reviewing the policy on a regular basis

Following an extensive RFU consultation, the RFU Council has voted in favour of updating its gender participation policy for rugby in England from the start of the 2022/23 season with 33 in favour, 26 against and 2 abstaining.

The RFU began a detailed review of its policy in Autumn 2020, this included a game wide survey receiving over 11,000 responses, extensive consultation with and listening to a wide range of independent experts as well as considering all available scientific evidence along with liaising with other sporting bodies.

The review and consultation concluded that detailed peer reviewed research provides evidence that there are physical differences between those people whose sex originally recorded as male and those as female at birth, and advantages in strength, stamina and physique brought about by testosterone and male puberty are significant and retained even after testosterone suppression. 
This science provides the basis of the new gender participation policy that concludes the inclusion of trans people originally recorded male at birth in female contact rugby cannot be balanced against considerations of safety and fairness.

The RFU Council has determined that until such time as new further peer-reviewed science is available, a precautionary approach is appropriate to ensure fair competition and safety of all competitors. Therefore, the RFU Council approved a policy change to only permit players in the female category if the sex originally recorded at birth is female. 

The RFU recognises this was a complex and difficult decision and the policy change was not taken lightly or without thorough and full research and consultation.  Speaking about the decision, RFU President, His Honour Jeff Blackett said: “I would like to thank everyone for the passion, time and effort that has been put in to consulting with us and informing this policy review.  Inclusion is at the heart of rugby values and we will continue to work with everyone to keep listening, learning and finding ways to demonstrate there is a place for everyone in our game.  We know that many will be disappointed by this decision however, it has been based on all the scientific evidence available.  Our game can be strengthened by everyone who is involved; be it in coaching, refereeing, administration or supporting and playing non-contact forms of the game.”

The RFU also considered the merits of a case-by-case assessment process, but in light of the research findings and work of World Rugby and the UK Sports Councils, and given the difficulties in identifying a credible test to assess physiological variables, this is no longer a viable option at this time and does not necessarily ensure inclusion.   World Rugby has a dedicated funding stream for research in this area and the RFU will continue to work with World Rugby and other stakeholders in promoting research to continue.

In the male category, players whose sex recorded at birth is female may play if they provide their written consent and a risk assessment is carried out.

The RFU is committed to supporting and encouraging opportunities for everyone to participate in rugby including non-contact formats of the game and through coaching, refereeing or volunteering roles.  If anyone would like to find out more about how rugby can be inclusive to them and would like to get involved they can contact the RFU via [email protected] . For anyone who wants advice on mental-wellbeing please see this link. 
  
The RFU has contacted the registered trans women players, who the revised policy has a direct impact on, to offer its support in continuing to encourage them to participate in the sport. The RFU will continue to listen and review its policy on a regular basis and welcomes all new research on this subject to inform these reviews.

For further information on the review please click here:
RFU Gender Participation Policy – frequently asked questions
RFU Gender Participation video


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Premiership

Joe Simpson joins the Sharks Family!

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Sale Sharks have signed former England scrum-half Joe Simpson on a short-term contract ahead of the 2022/23 Gallagher Premiership season.

The former Wasps and Gloucester man, who has one England cap and was part of his country’s squad for the 2011 World Cup, has put pen to paper on a six-month deal.

Joe made almost 250 appearances for Wasps after graduating from their academy in 2008, before joining Gloucester in 2019.

He had loan spells at both Saracens and Bath Rugby last season, but after being released from his contract at Kingsholm, he has joined up with Alex Sanderson’s squad for pre-season ahead of a busy Gallagher Premiership and Heineken Champions Cup campaign.

And the Sharks Director of Rugby says that with Raffi Quirke and Will Cliff currently sidelined with injuries, the 34-year-old will be a massive addition to the club on and off the field

Alex said: “We felt that we were short of a bit of experience in the scrum-half position and Joe brings that in abundance. He’s a proven performer who’s played at the very highest level for the past decade and more and we’re sure he will be a brilliant addition to what is a very young squad.

“Everyone who has worked with Joe speaks really highly of him in terms of his leadership off the field so we’re really excited to see what he can do here. Joe’s experience will be invaluable for our young players like Raffi, Gus Warr and Nye Thomas.”

Joe Simpson has been one of the Premiership’s most consistent performers over the past decade.

At international level, he represented England at U19 and U20 level, taking part in the inaugural Junior World Championship in Wales in 2008, as well as playing for the Sevens and Saxons teams.

Joe made his full debut for England during the 2011 World Cup in New Zealand when he replaced Ben Youngs during a pool stage clash with Georgia.

Images & Content from Sale Sharks Rugby


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