The second round of the Six Nations is rapidly approaching, with another banging weekend of action ahead of the players and fans.
Ahead of the action, Planet Rugby takes a closer look into who to keep, bench or sell from the top-performing XV in Round One.
Top Performing players
Before we get into what to do with the players, here is the top fantasy XV from the weekend.
Back-three: Duhan van der Merwe (SCO): 38 pts Monty Ioane (ITA): 38 pts Rio Dyer (WAL): 36 pts
Centres: Huw Jones (SCO): 23 pts Bundee Aki (IRE): 19 pts
Fly-half: Finn Russell (SCO): 47 pts
Scrum-half: Alex Mitchell (ENG): 22 pts
Back-row: Aaron Wainwright (WAL): 56 pts Ethan Roots (ENG): 37 pts Tommy Reffell (WAL): 34 pts
Second-row: Tadhg Beirne (IRE): 44 pts Joe McCarthy (IRE): 33 pts
Props: Pierre Schoeman (SCO): 28 pts Cyril Baille (FRA): 16 pts
Hooker: Dan Sheehan (IRE): 28 pts
🤩 This Weekend's top Fantasy Points scorers 🙌
— Guinness Men's Six Nations (@SixNationsRugby) February 5, 2024
Straight away, it is clear that the keep section will be the most populated this week, with some of the competition’s biggest names sparkling in Round One.
From the back-three the only player we advise to keep for the next round and probably the whole tournament is Duhan van der Merwe who will always be a try threat and a points machine in fantasy. It was tempting to put Italian Monty Ioane in this category, but the strength of Ireland over the Azzurri drops him to the bench section.
Ireland’s Bundee Aki is another option to keep throughout the tournament. His form at the moment is off the charts typified by robust running and clever interplay. The rampant centre facing Italy makes him a no-brainer to keep.
Van der Merwe’s compatriot Finn Russell is another lovely option, as we all know he will flex from his box of tricks wherever possible. He also kicked at 100% from the tee last weekend, adding further to his value in fantasy.
In the pack, the entire back-row is worth keeping simply because of their extreme work-rate. Wales star Aaron Wainwright is a great example of this, as is compatriot Tommy Reffell, who is a king of the breakdown. Meanwhile, England recently capped Ethan Roots already has a man-of-the-match award on his mantlepiece and appears to be key to the balance of the Red Rose back-row.
Putting in the hard yards 💪
— England Rugby (@EnglandRugby) February 4, 2024
Playing against Italy or not, it would be silly to get rid of the Ireland lock duo of Tadhg Beirne and Joe McCarthy who are streets ahead of their opposite numbers in both fantasy and general.
Frenchman Cyril Baille is always worth keeping; he works hard and is very effective for his side. Dan Sheehan of Ireland will be the best hooker in the competition throughout.
It is a tough call for the stars in this category with Scotland’s Huw Jones to the bench being the most difficult of decisions. The centre is magnificent, but the French midfield of Gael Fickou and Jonathan Danty are likely to be fired up after last week’s loss. Remember the Scot will be useful to keep in your squad.
The same goes for Ioane who inevitably will make a lot of metres and carries but ultimately his influence will be nullified by the strength of Ireland as an opposition.
Finally in this section was another hard choice, but the power game of France means Scotland prop Pierre Schoeman will have less influence but like everyone else in his side.
The only player in this section this week is Welshman Rio Dyer and it is no fault of his own. The wing is very rapid and is a try threat but there is no telling which Wales side will arrive at the weekend making him a risky pick.
Players might be better off drafting Louis Bielle-Biarrey, who is cheaper, into their squads with the young wing set to play a role in France’s attempted bounce back at Murrayfield.
Try 10 pts
Try assist 4 pts
Try conversion 2 pts
Penalty kick 3 pts
Drop goal 5 pts
Defenders beaten 2 pts
Carried metres 1 pt per 10m made (i.e: 19m = 1 pt)
50-22 7 pts
Tackles 1 pt
Breakdown steals 5 pts
Lineout steals 7 pts
Penalty conceded – 1 pt
Captain Points multiplied by 2
Supersub Points multiplied by 3 (if he starts as a sub and comes in. Otherwise, points divided by 2)
Official Guinness Six Nations Player of the Match 15 pts
Yellow card – 3 pts
Red card – 6 pts