The final round of Six Nations fixtures is upon us and with it the conclusion of this year’s fantasy rugby.
Here are the players you might want to consider for a final charge in your respective leagues and hopefully you can improve your current standings.
However, this could be their best chance at ending their record losing streak. If they are to end the tournament on a high their half-back partnership of Tomasso Allan, 10.7 stars, and Tito Tebaldi, 8.5 stars, will be crucial.
On the wing Edoardo Padovani, 10.4 stars, could be a low-cost option to consider. In the pack Braam Steyn, 9.7 stars, has been impressive in all his matches and not only makes lots of tackles but gains a huge amount of metres.
Another man to watch out for is captain Sergio Parisse, 10.3 stars, who always puts in a shift and it could be his last Six Nations match meaning he will want to end with a rare win in blue.
🔵 #Italrugby: la formazione in campo sabato con la Francia, per l'ultimo match degli Azzurri nel @SixNationsRugby 2019 ➡ https://t.co/YvAEWMPEKn#insieme #rugbypassioneitaliana @SeiNazioniRugby pic.twitter.com/eRKjI9vWCR
— Italrugby (@Federugby) March 14, 2019
Romain Ntamack, 13.1 stars, continues at 10 and will be looking to seal his place in the team in Rome ahead of the World Cup later this year. Also, in the back-line is Wesley Fofana, 12 stars, who has been handed the chance to impress, and with such natural talent, he could tear the Italian defence up.
In the pack Yacoba Camara is a cheap option at only 8.6 stars, and usually puts in a good showing. Alongside him are Greg Alldritt, 12 stars, and Louis Picamoles, 14.3 stars, both of which have played well throughout the tournament despite the team’s poor performances.
— Fédération Française de Rugby (@FFRugby) March 14, 2019
The Welsh defence will need to be at the top of their game as Ireland will look to score tries in an attempt to boost their slim title hopes.
With that in mind, captain Alun Wyn Jones, Josh Navidi, both 15.7 stars, and Justin Tipuric, 15 stars, are all certain to rack up points for their defensive displays and all are prone to pop up with a try when needed.
In the back-line Jonathan Davies, 16 stars, has had a brilliant tournament both in defence and attack, while George North, 17.1 stars, will offer the Welsh a threat going forward as always.
TEAM NEWS 🏴 Unbeaten Wales name unchanged squad for final 2019 #GuinnessSixNations encounter against @IrishRugby on Saturday. Dim newid i'r garfan am y 50fed gêm Chwe Gwlad Warren Gatland fel prif hyfforddwr Cymru.#HWFN #ForTheJersey pic.twitter.com/hB5pdUlrP9
— Welsh Rugby Union 🏉 (@WelshRugbyUnion) March 14, 2019
Ireland will need their big men to stand up once more, with CJ Stander, 15 stars, and James Ryan, 14.4 stars, hoping to lead from the front as they did last weekend with their tackle counts and carries.
Johnny Sexton, 15.9 stars, hit form again against Les Blues and will need to be at the top of his game again for the visitors. Garry Ringrose, 14.9 stars, offered the Irish a spark they had been missing and is always a man that gains a team points with his overall skill-set.
Jacob Stockdale, 17.5 stars, has been a lot quieter this year than last, but has showed signs that he could explode onto the scene once more and could be worth a gamble.
— Irish Rugby (@IrishRugby) March 14, 2019
The final showdown of the competition takes place at Twickenham, where England will know by then if they can still win the title or not against the Scots. Either way, Eddie Jones will want his men to put in another solid display as they did when they hosted Italy.
Jonny May, 18.5 stars, is the most expensive player in the game but could pop up with a couple of tries to ensure he finishes this year’s top try scorer.
Helping him in the back-line will be Manu Tuilagi, 16.8 stars, captain Owen Farrell, 17.4 stars, and the recalled Jack Nowell, 14.1 stars, who will all want to lay down markers against a weakened Scotland team.
Mark Wilson, 13.8 stars, is a cheaper option in the English pack and is improving with every game in a Red Roses shirt.
— England Rugby (@EnglandRugby) March 14, 2019
Scotland have been very unfortunate throughout the tournament but still pushed Wales all the way last weekend. That was partially down to Hamish Watson’s, 14 stars, incredible display off the bench, although this week he starts, and young Darcy Graham’s, 11.1 stars, crucial try.
Other men to consider are the ever-dangerous, Finn Russell, 13.7 stars, Sam Johnson, 11.5 stars, and Sean Maitland, 11.8 stars, who comes in at full-back this weekend.
BREAKING | Scotland make six changes to starting team to face England in this Saturday’s final Guinness Six Nations Test at Twickenham Stadium (16 March) – live on ITV.
3️⃣⬆️ Forwards: Toolis, Watson, Skinner
3️⃣⬆️ Backs: Maitland, McGuigan, Johnson pic.twitter.com/hHrWScXAvG
— Scottish Rugby (@Scotlandteam) March 14, 2019
In the super-sub department, England’s George Ford, 15.7 stars, and Scotland’s Jonny Gray, 12.1 stars, will have massive impacts from the replacements.
While Camille Chat of France, 12.4 stars, and Alessandro Zanni of Italy, 9.4 stars, will hope to do the same.
In the big game, Wales’ Dan Biggar, 16 stars, is pricy but could be the key weapon off the bench if they are to secure victory, while Jack Conan, 13.6 stars, has been a constant threat to team’s when used and will surely be unleashed when the home side start to tire.
So, that’s it, the end is here for another year, who will be crowned Six Nations champions 2019? Will Italy end their losing streak? All will be revealed tomorrow and hopefully whatever happens your fantasy team will benefit when it’s all over.
Canterbury Launch ‘Be Part of Good’ Scheme
Canterbury have launched their ‘Be Part of Good’ scheme in a bid to help develop rugby at school level
Canterbury have announced their new ‘Be Part of Good’ campaign as they attempt to get more schools playing rugby.
The rugby kit supplier and manufacturer plan to donate up to 350 full rugby kits across 32 schools where rugby is currently not part of their curriculum.
At both venues there will be short 30-second videos outlining the importance of rugby as an inclusive game, while the hashtag #BePartOfGood will be heavily displayed during both games.
Brand director at Canterbury Charlotte Cox hopes that the new scheme will help develop the next crop of grassroots players.
“Canterbury is excited to launch a campaign that highlights our ambition to champion inclusion and community in rugby, as well as supporting our goals to develop grassroots players and local teams. By donating rugby kits to schools and providing inspiration and support through the Be Part Of Good campaign, we hope to show our commitment to the game and empower the next generation of players and fans to be part of a game for everyone,” she said.
The kits can be unlocked online with the aid of social media users by using the hashtags #Canterbury and #BePartOfGood on Twitter, Instagram or Facebook, with a kit being donated after every 500 posts containing the criteria. Schools may also be nominated on the site http://www.canterbury.com/BePartOfGood, where there will also be a counter as to how many kits have been given away.
Former England international and Canterbury ambassador Will Greenwood believes that this is the perfect time to launch the campaign with the Rugby World Cup building momentum ahead of its opening on September 20th.
“Inspiring the next generation of rugby fans is something I’ve always been passionate about and any barrier to the game which can be removed is good news. Donating kits just before a Rugby World Cup – when kids are most likely to be inclined to take up the game – is perfect timing and I’d encourage everybody to get involved. It only takes one Tweet, or one Instagram post and you’re helping to kit out another child in a Canterbury rugby kit,” he added.
The campaign will continue to be promoted at both Ireland and England’s home warm-up games over the next month as Canterbury hope to help spread the love of rugby across the border.
New ‘British League’ to Begin Within Two Years
A club chairman has claimed that a ‘British League’ will be made within the next two years merging two major leagues together according to reports
An anonymous leading club chairman has told The Rugby Paper that a British League could be created in the next two years.
It is believed that the CVC group, whom are looking to secure a 27 percent share in the PRO14 following a similar deal with the English Premiership earlier this year, are looking to make a major change to the leagues.
The former owners of Formula One and Moto GP are apparently looking to merge the two competitions if they claim a stake in the PRO14.
With a deal sealed to buy into the Premiership during last season, the 13 clubs that own Premier Rugby Ltd will be receiving around £13.5m a piece following the completion of a deal worth around £275m.
It is thought that a similar deal would be on the cards for the PRO14 side’s if they claim their stake in the competition.
The merging of the competitions is of the best interest of the CVC group according to the source and they believe that the Welsh clubs would be very encouraged by the idea.
“A British League will happen in two years’ time. It will happen because it is the best outcome for the game in the four home countries and for CVC. It will appeal to the Welsh regions in particular and the Premiership clubs. Not one is profitable with the exception of Exeter and a British League will go along way towards providing stability,” they said.
The source went on to further discuss how the move could be a real boost for the Welsh regions especially.
“In Wales, it will be seen as the only opportunity to be sustainable Their regions lost between £5m-£6m last year. They have been kept going by the generosity of a few backers and the danger is they will get even fewer unless something radical is done. Fixtures like Cardiff Blues against Bristol, Dragons versus Gloucester, Ospreys against Bath and Scarlets against Saracens will stop the downward spiral of attendances in Wales,” they continued.
Although the Welsh regions appear to be the biggest beneficiaries of the potential merger, it seems as though the Irish provinces are not guaranteed to be involved and the league could go ahead without them.
“Commercially, they could be as much as 50 per cent better off. It will be important to have all four Irish provinces on board but, if necessary, we will go ahead and do it without them,” they finished.
The league is an interesting possibility, but it could cause potential problems by undermining the Champions and Challenge Cups, as well as they question of what happens to the Irish teams if they don’t sign up? All is up in the air at the moment and we will have to wait and see if this project becomes a reality.
Jones Adds Five More to England Training Squad
Eddie Jones has brought in five more players for this week’s World Cup training preparations, while three others have been sent away
That means that Jones has added a further five players to the squad that trained last week, with Mike Brown, Alex Dombrandt, Marcus Smith, Tom Dunn and Ollie Thornley all coming in for a chance to impress.
However, Danny Cipriani, Sam Underhill and Anthony Watson have been sent off site to do specialised strength and conditioning training.
Jones has explained that the rotation of player’s duties is to keep the squad fresh and allow others to impress.
“Our preparation is about making sure the players peak for the World Cup. It’s not about being ready now for it. Some players we feel will benefit now from being away from the camp for a little bit and will do specialised strength and conditioning work. We want to keep the squad fresh and alive which is important and we want to make sure there is a little bit of cooperative competition for selection and edge around,” he said.
The head coach also spoke of how the workload will continue to increase for the squad this coming week while they train in Bristol.
“We are in Bristol this week as a bit of a change of scenery and pace. We have got good facilities and will continue to work very hard on particularly our physical conditioning but also our ability to implement our game plan under those physical conditions. The ante goes up again in this week. The players who have come in from the Premiership final will increase their contribution and the other guys are in their fourth week and are starting to get near good physical condition,” he added.
All of this work is in preparation for the World Cup however, England will play four warm-up games before the tournament itself. They face Wales on August 11th and 17th, before playing Ireland on August 24th and then Italy on September 6th.
The five players added to the squad will be hoping to impress over the next week and by bringing them in it shows Jones is still not certain of his final 31-man squad for Japan meaning places are up for grabs.
Check out the full 40-man training squad below.
Dan Cole (Leicester Tigers, 85 caps)
Tom Curry (Sale Sharks, 10 caps)
Alex Dombrandt (Harlequins, uncapped)
Tom Dunn (Bath Rugby, uncapped)
Charlie Ewels (Bath Rugby, 10 caps)
Ellis Genge (Leicester Tigers, 9 caps)
Jamie George (Saracens, 37 caps)
Maro Itoje (Saracens, 27 caps)
George Kruis (Saracens, 32 caps)
Joe Launchbury (Wasps, 58 caps)
Courtney Lawes (Northampton Saints, 71 caps)
Lewis Ludlam (Northampton Saints, uncapped)
Joe Marler (Harlequins, 59 caps)
Ben Moon (Exeter Chiefs, 8 caps)
Brad Shields (Wasps, 8 caps)
Kyle Sinckler (Harlequins, 22 caps)
Jack Singleton (Saracens, uncapped)
Billy Vunipola (Saracens, 41 caps)
Mako Vunipola (Saracens, 53 caps)
Harry Williams (Exeter Chiefs, 17 caps)
Mark Wilson (Newcastle Falcons / Sale Sharks, 13 caps)
Mike Brown (Harlequins, 72 caps)
Joe Cokanasiga (Bath Rugby, 4 caps)
Elliot Daly (Saracens, 30 caps)
Owen Farrell (Saracens, 70 caps)
George Ford (Leicester Tigers, 55 caps)
Piers Francis (Northampton Saints, 4 caps)
Willi Heinz (Gloucester Rugby, uncapped)
Jonathan Joseph (Bath Rugby, 40 caps)
Jonny May (Leicester Tigers, 45 caps)
Ruaridh McConnochie (Bath Rugby, uncapped)
Jack Nowell (Exeter Chiefs, 33 caps)
Henry Slade (Exeter Chiefs, 22 caps)
Marcus Smith (Harlequins, upcapped)
Ben Spencer (Saracens, 3 caps)
Ben Te’o (unattached, 18 caps)
Ollie Thorley (Gloucester Rugby, uncapped)
Manu Tuilagi (Leicester Tigers, 32 caps)
Ben Youngs (Leicester Tigers, 85 caps)
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