The coronavirus outbreak has already claimed France vs. Ireland and England vs. Italy on what would have been the final weekend of the 2020 Six Nations — but Wales vs. Scotland is still scheduled to go ahead on Saturday as planned.
This weekend’s game will mark the final match of the Fantasy Rugby tournament for 2020. For this week only, managers are allowed nine free transfers and up to 10 players from either Wales or Scotland in their final team selection.
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Nine Welshmen and six Scots make up our prediction for this unusual final Fantasy Rugby round’s team of the week. It is a simple choice as you will decide between Welsh and Scottish players in each position.
15 – Stuart Hogg
Well over half of ESPN’s Fantasy Rugby managers already have the Scot in their team — and rightly so. Wales’ Leigh Halfpenny is a class act, of that there is no doubt, but Hogg is on another level.
14 – Sean Maitland
His two-try performance against France alone is enough for Maitland — who had been fairly quiet until Les Bleus came to Edinburgh — to get the nod over opposite number George North.
13 – Nick Tompkins
A first Six Nations to dream of for the Welshman who backed up a try-scoring off-the-bench opener with some impressive midfield performances.
12 – Hadleigh Parkes
It should come as no surprise to see an all-Wales centre partnership. Parkes and Tompkins are one and two in the ESPN Fantasy Rugby rankings for centres. Expect big points from this duo.
11 – Liam Williams
In just his second game after coming back from injury and out of what is arguably his best position, Williams will still cause all sorts of mayhem out wide.
10 – Dan Biggar
Harsh on Adam Hastings — and picking the young Scot ahead of the Northampton star would be entirely understandable — but Biggar has been the bigger Fantasy Rugby points-scorer this tournament.
9 – Rhys Webb
Saturday will mark his first international start in three years. But in two off-the-bench outings to date, Webb has pushed himself into fourth in the scrum-half Fantasy Rugby rankings.
1 – Rory Sutherland
Sutherland and tighthead cohort Fagerson have been as solid as Edinburgh granite throughout this year’s Six Nations. That’s why they’re both in our Fantasy Rugby composite XV.
2 – Ken Owens
Gregor Townsend has gone for a horses for courses selection with the mobile Stuart McInally — and his try-scoring habit — at hooker, but Wales’ Ken Owens has a Lions’ pedigree that really cannot be ignored.
3 – Zander Fagerson
Not many tight-heads regularly get the better of France’s Jefferson Poirot at scrum-time. Fagerson did last time out — and more than deserves his place here, though Wyn Jones is certain to test his mettle.
4 – Alun Wyn Jones
Jones is set to equal Richie McCaw’s international caps’ record in Cardiff this weekend. There’s literally no need to say anything else. Legend.
5 – Grant Gilchrist
About as far from flash as it’s possible to get, but the boiler room is not necessarily a place for flash. Gilchrist just does his job without fuss or palaver.
6 – James Ritchie
Most people will remember the thump he took against France — but Ritchie is more than a punchbag. He’s a gnarly, nutty, troublemaker of a flanker … and just what any Fantasy Rugby team needs.
7 – Justin Tipuric
What can you say about Tips that hasn’t already been said? He is everything a coach could want from a wing-forward … and then some. Opposite number Hamish Watson would also make a strong choice, but the Welshman wins it on the Fantasy Rugby numbers this year.
8 – Josh Navidi
You want tackle frenzy, breakdown belligerence and go-forward with attitude? Who else ya gonna call?