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.
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.
— avec le XV (@avecleXV) February 19, 2019
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.
BREAKING | Scotland make four changes to face France in this Saturday's Guinness Six Nations Test in Paris.
? Pete Horne for Finn Russell
? Magnus Bradbury for Ryan Wilson
? Nick Grigg for Huw Jones
? Blair Kinghorn for Stuart Hogg
— Scottish Rugby (@Scotlandteam) February 21, 2019
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.
BREAKING | Your England team to face Wales on Saturday in the #GuinnessSixNations
— England Rugby (@EnglandRugby) February 21, 2019
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.
#GuinnessSixNations Team News ?
— Welsh Rugby Union ? (@WelshRugbyUnion) February 21, 2019
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.
— Italrugby (@Federugby) February 22, 2019
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.
— Irish Rugby (@IrishRugby) February 22, 2019
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.
Scottish Rugby season ruled null and void.
This decision follows the earlier interim suspension and then final closure of the season based on Government advice in relation to the Covid-19 virus and is being issued today, 31 March in line with the previous objective of informing clubs by the end of the month.
The decision to declare the 2019/20 season null and void – meaning there will be no automatic promotion/relegation – was reached following an extensive consultation process involving the participating clubs, the Championship and Competition Committee members and Scottish Rugby’s own Rugby Development Department.
Five possible scenarios were presented, with around half of clubs favouring the null and void option. The remaining clubs were split between the other four options. The second most favoured option – finishing the season based on the league positions at the time of shutdown – received the support of around a quarter of clubs.
Further to the club consultation, the declaration of a null and void season was recommended by the Convenor of the Championship Committee, the Reserve League Committee Chair and the Chair of the Women’s Competition Committee.
Their recommendation was supported by Scottish Rugby’s Director of Rugby Development.
A paper summarising the consultation process, the possible season-ending options and containing a recommendation from Championship Convenor, the Reserve League Chair and the Women’s Competition Chair was provided to Scottish Rugby Council for consideration and feedback.
The Council’s endorsement of the proposal was then ratified by the Scottish Rugby Board in its role to oversee the best interests of the game, with authority then granted to the Championship Committee to bring the recommendation into force.
Scottish Rugby President Dee Bradbury said: “It was clear from the outset that, in terms of the consequential impact on the various leagues in terms of promotion/relegation there would be no “right” solution, particularly once it was clear that our preferred option of completing the season would no longer be possible.”
“Every solution we looked at was likely to be problematic in some way – none was likely to be supported by everyone. It was therefore considered essential that the full range of options were explored, each potential option was sense checked and that, as far as possible, a broad consensus was reached across the game as to the most appropriate outcome.
“We fully accept some clubs will be disappointed with this decision and share their frustration that, for wider societal reasons beyond our control, their hard work to push for success this season hasn’t yielded the rewards they deserve.”
Scottish Rugby’s Director of Rugby Development Sheila Begbie said: “It was important we went through a thorough process to canvass opinion and offer a range of options for how the season could be concluded.
“I would like to thank all the clubs that contributed to this process and for their valuable input. I know the Competitions Committees and Convenors have put in a huge amount of time to ensure there was a credible outcome for every club, and while there are obviously clubs who will be disappointed, I believe this is a fair solution for everyone in these unprecedented circumstances.”
Dougie Belmore, Championship Committee Convenor said: “Extensive discussion and consultation has taken place with the various Championship and Competition Committee members, together with representatives from a wide range of Clubs at all levels of the game. Following this exercise, the clear agreed position is that, due to the unprecedented events currently unfolding globally, Season 2019/20 should be declared null and void. A number of alternative options have been explored in detail, with the majority of Clubs supporting this outcome.”
Scottish Rugby would like to thank everyone who contributed to this extensive and important process at such a difficult time and thanks all clubs for their valuable insight and understanding in the conclusion of the 2019/20 season.
The SRU has a comprehensive list of FAQs and answers on their website. List can be found here.
New Zealand Pull Plug on Most of Domestic Season
New Zealand Rugby have had to cancel the remainder of their domestic seasons due to the coronavirus outbreak
New Zealand Rugby have been forced to cancel the remainder of a host of their domestic competitions due to the coronavirus outbreak it has been confirmed.
With the Super Rugby season suspended indefinitely due to the virus and looking under real threat of being scrapped, the domestic competitions have already discovered their fate.
New Zealand Rugby is facing a massive financial loss due to the cancelation of the Super Rugby season and with there being a growing possibility that the All Blacks summer series will be called off.
Along with the matchday revenue, the television money that may now be lost has forced their hand into calling off the remainder of a host of competitions.
All competitions below that of the mens and womens national championships have been cancelled.
That includes The Heartland Championship which has a proud history which stretches back 104 years, with all its seasons being completed.
The news comes on the back of a number of other top nations following similar roads and the news that the All Blacks players and staff have taken pay-cuts in order to help the current situation.
It is a major loss for rugby in New Zealand, but the health of the people will always come first and until this situation concludes there will be no rugby on.
Italy Become Latest Country to Scrap Domestic Season
Italy have joined a number of top-tier nations today by announcing that their domestic rugby season will go no further
Italy are the latest country to call off the remainder of their domestic season due to coronavirus the Italian Rugby Federation has confirmed.
However, that is seeming less and less likely as the days pass by, with less time to play the games ahead of the opening of next season.
“The governing body of Italian rugby has approved the definitive suspension of the 2019/2020 season. The decision implies the non-assignment of the Italian champion titles and of all the promotion and retrocession processes. In taking a decision that is unprecedented in the history of Italian rugby since the Second World War to date, the Council has taken the utmost consideration of the founding values of Italian rugby and their active impact on civil society and clubs,” a statement from the federation read.
There are four tiers of Italian rugby that are most noticeably affected by the decision made today with the Top 12, and Serie A, B and C all having their seasons cut short and classed as null and void meaning there are no champions, promotions or relegations from any of the leagues.
It follows a similar trend to that of Ireland and England, who have both cancelled the rest of their domestic seasons due to the outbreak of the virus which is causing major issues among the sporting calendar.