World Rugby has launched a Rugby World Cup 2023 Fantasy game ahead of the tournament in France, and we have broken down who the most expensive players in the game are.
The free-to-play game was officially unveiled on August 30, and with it was the confirmation of the players’ price tags.
Each fantasy manager has 100 credits to spend on 15 players, of which there must be two props, one hooker, two locks, three loose forwards, one scrum-half, one fly-half, two centres and three outside backs.
Now, before you go bargain hunting for the hidden gems, Planet Rugby highlights the players that carry the heftiest price tags in each position.
There is no split in the outside backs for wingers and fullbacks, so fantasy managers can load up in either position if they wish to do so.
However, the men at the back do come at a hefty price tag, with France’s Damian Penaud and South Africa’s Makazole Mapimpi costing ten credits, i.e. ten per cent of the budget.
Thomas Ramos (France), Duhan van der Merwe (Scotland) and Cheslin Kolbe (South Africa) are cheaper alternatives at nine credits each.
Ireland’s James Lowe costs nine credits, with Freddie Steward (England), Melvyn Jaminet, Gabin Villiere (both France) and Willie Le Roux (South Africa) all worth 8.5 credits.
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Onto the centres and three players share the highest price tag in the midfield at 10 credits; they are Fiji’s sensational Semi Radradra, France’s defensive captain Gael Fickou and New Zealand’s speedy Rieko Ioane.
If you don’t fancy any of the trio, then Bundee Aki might be your pick at 9.5 credits, with countryman Garry Ringrose close behind him at nine credits.
South Africa’s Damian de Allende and Andre Esterhuizen will set you back nine credits apiece, with Samu Kerevi, Josua Tuisova, Robbie Henshaw and Jordie Barrett all one credit cheaper.
The number tens have a high potential of points, and that is reflected in their price tags as the four most expensive fly-halves are also the most expensive players in the game.
Matthieu Jalibert (France), Johnny Sexton (Ireland), Richie Mo’unga (New Zealand) and Finn Russell (Scotland) all cost 13 credits.
The next most expensive is Mo’unga teammate Beauden Barrett (12), with England’s Owen Farrell following closely behind on 11 credits.
Farrell’s teammates Marcus Smith and George Ford cost ten credits apiece, as does All Blacks’ pivot Damian McKenzie, Springboks’ playmaker Manie Libbok and Wales’ veteran Dan Biggar.
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Unsurprisingly, one scrum-half stands alone as the most expensive number-nine in France captain Antoine Dupont (11).
Behind Les Bleus’ skipper is All Blacks veteran Aaron Smith (10) and Springboks’ scrum-half Faf de Klerk (9.5).
Ireland’s Jamison Gibson-Park is slightly cheaper at nine credits, with Ben Youngs (England), Conor Murray (Ireland), and Cobus Reinach (South Africa) all costing 8.5 credits.
Like the outside backs, the flankers and number eights are grouped together as loose forwards.
There are four players who share the most expensive loose forward tag at 7.5 credit, and they are Gregory Alldritt (France), Caelan Doris, Josh van der Flier (both Ireland), Siya Kolisi and Pieter Steph du Toit (both South Africa).
Just below them at seven credits are Francois Cros, Charles Ollivon (both France), Jack Conan (Ireland), Sam Cane, Ardie Savea (both New Zealand), Hamish Watson (Scotland) and Duane Vermeulen (South Africa).
The most expensive lock in Rugby World Cup 2023 Fantasy is Springboks’ centurion Eben Etzebeth.
South Africa’s enforcer will cost nine credits, edging him ahead of Ireland’s duo of Tadhg Beirne and James Ryan and the All Blacks, Sam Whitelock and Brodie Retallick, the quartet all costing 8.5 credits.
Scott Barrett stands alone as the sole lock that will cost eight credits, with Iain Henderson just behind him on 7.5.
With a hooker’s ability to score tries at the back of rolling mauls, there is a significant price increase for the men in the middle of the front row.
Springboks’ hooker Malcolm Marx and England’s Jamie George will take up 10 credits as the most expensive hookers in the game.
— Springboks (@Springboks) August 25, 2023
If you are not keen on spending 10 per cent of your budget on either of the pair, there are slightly cheaper options in Julien Marchand (France), Codie Taylor (New Zealand), and Bongi Mbonambi (South Africa) who will all set you back nine credits.
Ireland’s Dan Sheehan (9.0) and Ronan Kelleher (8.5) also offer cheaper alternatives, as does Peato Mauvaka (France), Rob Herring (Ireland), Dane Coles (New Zealand) and George Turner (Scotland), who are all eight credits.
Two players share the tag of the most expensive props in the game; they are Ireland’s Tadhg Furlong and South Africa’s Steven Kitshoff.
Either of the pair will cost you 6.5 credits, with a host of props just behind them, costing you six credits.
England’s Ellis Genge and Kyle Sinckler will both cost six credits, as will Springboks duo Frans Malherbe and Trevor Nyakane.
Ireland’s Andrew Porter, Australia’s Taniela Tupou and France’s Cyril Baille will also cost you six credits, rounding out the nine most expensive props.