Six Nations 2014 Round 1 – Players and Teams to Watch

Six Nations 2014 is here and it looks like it will be a difficult campaign for most fans unless they support Wales or England who look set to scrap it out for the title again.  Wales have won two Six Nations titles on the trot and dominated the British and Irish Lions squad to Australia last year, but which players will you be picking for fantasy rugby competitions like www.testrugby.com ?

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Here are the Six Nations 2013 Round 1 team lists to help you select starting players.

http://www.superrugbytips.com/p/rbs-six-nations-2012-rugby-squads.html

For managers new to fantasy rugby games it is important to pick players who score tries and kick goals. It is also important to select players who will play the full eighty minutes.  This is where it can be better to select players from teams with limited depth.  Tom Youngs and Dylan Hartley will most likely share minutes at hooker for England, so they are not the best choice selections.

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Wales vs Italy
A player like Leigh Halfpenny is an ideal selection.  He kicks goals and is a guaranteed starting outside back which is rare these days.  With Wales hosting Italy in Round 1 then expect some five pointers by the Red Dragons, although it is only 12 months ago that Italy beat France in their opening match, so they can’t be taken lightly!

Italy now boast an experienced team with Sergio Parisse at the helm.  He is awww.testrugby.com stud since he usually scores tries, gets plenty of go forward and makes tackles.  Captains usually stay on the full 80 minutes too, which means that they have more opportunity to score points.  I am also splashing out on Welsh lock Alun Wyn Jones given that he should also play the full eighty minutes.

My team has also picked up a bargain in Welsh centre Scott Williams.  He is teaming up with Jamie Roberts in the midfield and is great value at $737,000.

Other worthwhile Welsh selections are Richard Hibberd and at least one of their loose forwards in Toby Faletau, Dan Lydiate or Justin Tipuric.  I personally like Toby Faletau’s ball carrying ability.  George North is a star try scorer and definitely worth the investment.

My prediction : Wales should win at home, but Italy are no longer the easy-beats of the competition.  Wales by 14 points.

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France vs England
At the time of writing this neither of these teams have been named.  England have dropped Chris Ashton from their squad, but there are definitely some England players worth selecting in your team with Courtney Lawes an option at lock, although Joe Launchbury could be better value.  Big Billy Vunipola could be an option with his ability to get go forward, although we will have to wait and see who Stuart Lancaster names to start.  Owen Farrell is a safe option to select for www.testrugby.com managers, while Billy Twelvetrees and Johnny May could be some absolute bargains depending on who is named to start.

I am staying clear of France after their disappointing 2013 and knowing that Phillipe Saint Andre is bound to make inconsistent selections.  Loose forward Louis Picamoles is usually worth a shot, while centre Wes Fofana is a class act.  Usual captain Thierry Dusautoir is usually their most consistent performer, but his role in the Six Nations is questionable.

My pick: France will be desperate after 2013, but England need to win this to have a genuine chance at winning the Six Nations 2014.  My pick England by 6 points.

Ireland vs Scotland
Can the over the hill Ireland team getting a winning start at home against Scotland?  The short answer is yes!  Ireland under new coach Joe Schmidt will take some confidence from their last appearance which ironically was a loss, but a narrow one against the All Blacks.  There are plenty of bargains in these two teams while some other players a compulsory selections.

Jonathan Sexton is a must have, while although Jamie Heaslip and Paul OÇonnell will shoulder most of the responsibility at loose forward and lock, under them there are some money savings to be made.  The Ireland team hasn’t been named, but get amongst a cheap Irish lock or loose forward if you need to save money.

For Scotland, their squad has been named and Tim Swinson is a bargain priced lock.  First five eighth Duncan Weir is an absolute bargain for those wanting to take a punt on the young pivot.

My pick:  Ireland can turn over a new leaf under coach Joe Schmidt but they must beat Scotland this weekend to have any shot at winning the Six Nations 2014.

Who are you picking to win Six Nations 2014 Round 1?

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