Fantasy Rugby: England and Ireland dominate Round 4 Team of the Week

England's Joe Cokanasiga breaks down the wing supported by Manu Tuilagi against Italy at Twickenham. John Patrick Fletcher/Action Plus via Getty Images

The penultimate round of the 2019 Six Nations is over -- Wales still have their sights firmly set on a Grand Slam after outlasting Scotland in Edinburgh, while England and Ireland both still have a shot of sneaking the title from under Welsh noses following dominant victories over Italy and France, respectively, if results elsewhere go their way.

But, the important question for ESPN Fantasy Rugby managers remains how well their team has fared this week. It wasn't a great week for Scottish, French, or Welsh players -- but, if you took our advice and stacked your team with English and Irish stars, you could have picked up a fair few points.

Anyway, here are the players who made the ESPN Fantasy Rugby team of the week -- and, given the scale of their victories, it's little surprise that white and green dominate the squad this week.

Outside Backs

Joe Cokanasiga

12 points, 7.5% owned

It was a decent Fantasy Rugby week for young-gun outside backs, with Cokanasiga wreaking havoc whenever he got his hands on the ball. In fact, about the only thing missing from his man-of-the-match performance was the try he so thoroughly deserved. If you want to be hyper-critical, some of his defensive positioning was a bit off, but that's really picking gnat's droppings out of pepper.

Gareth Anscombe

9 points, 1.5% owned

Bit of a cheat, this. Anscombe finished Saturday's game at Murrayfield as fullback, but had started at fly-half, where he had done most things -- except kick points -- absolutely right. He orchestrated both Wales' first-half tries, produced a couple of delicious offloads, and generally hinted at his prowess with ball in hand as he marshalled a first-half of next-level attack at Murrayfield. He looked less comfortable after switching to 15, but in a game of distinct attacking and defending halves for Wales, that's not altogether surprising.

Darcy Graham

9 points, 0.2% owned

The 21-year-old Edinburgh back has plenty to look back on with pride after his first start for Scotland. He more than held his own in the George North firing line, and scored a try that really should be a shoo-in on any tournament highlight reel. All that, and he made the ESPN Fantasy Rugby team of the week, too. What's the betting he'd trade a fair portion of it for a Scottish win?


Manu Tuilagi

16 points, 16.8% owned

The quirks of Fantasy Rugby are laid bare here and again later, with two outside centres topping the ranks of the midfielders. To be fair, Tuilagi thoroughly deserves to be included in the team of the week. He did a Cokanasiga in England's midfield, giving Italian defenders the run-around all afternoon. His brace was just reward for a fine performance.

Jonathan Davies

12 points, 30.5% owned

Some lovely work with ball in hand -- including a try of his own and the final pass for Josh Adams' touchdown to give Wales a 15-6 halftime lead meant Davies scored the bulk of his Fantasy Rugby points before halftime in Edinburgh. It is a good job players don't lose points for errors as he was caught out when Darcy Graham scored.


Tomasso Allan

12 points, 6% owned

It was the archetypal tough day at the office for Italy against a rampant England at Twickenham, so it's nice to see Allan get some Fantasy Rugby love with a spot in the team of the week. To be fair, he did well with the little ball he had -- creating and scoring the Azzurri's first, and then firing out the miss-pass that led to the second. Smart work on a difficult afternoon.


Conor Murray

6 points, 42.8% owned

Sunday's sniping, snapping performance was much closer to the Conor Murray rugby fans know and love. He gave rising starlet Antoine Dupont a torrid time, stamping his authority on the game in a manner that suggested he was putting the hyped young French gun firmly in his place. Really deserved more points. In fact, all the Irish players really deserve double points, such was their overwhelming dominance.

Front Row

Jamie George

15 points, 18.3% owned

A front row made entirely of hookers is always a possibility in Fantasy Rugby -- a bit like six consecutive numbers in the lottery. And this week it's happened. Eight of George's points came from the try he scored -- the injustice is that stunning pass that led to Tuilagi's second managed only three, such is the scoring system. Most of the rest came from hard tackling work, as George makes it increasingly difficult for Eddie Jones to drop him in favour of Dylan Hartley.

Rory Best

10 points, 24.3% owned

It was jolly decent of France to give Rory Best a winning, try-scoring send-off as he played his final Six Nations game at the Aviva. Let's be honest, Ireland were utterly in control, and -- until he was substituted to a rousing send-off in the second half -- Best was the head and the heart of the Irish performance.

Guilhem Guirado

5 points, 70.6% owned

In years to come, rugby historians will look at the score of Sunday's match between Ireland and France and consider that Les Bleus were competitive, when they were far from it. On a day that he'd, surely, rather forget, captain Guirado made the Fantasy Rugby team of the week. Which is scant consolation.

Second Row

George Kruis

12 points, 14.9% owned

Carried well, tackled hard, ran the lineout perfectly, scored a try -- and, unjustly, denied another three points by the Fantasy Rugby elves for an assist for his charge down that led to Shields' second touchdown.

James Ryan

10 points, 11.3% owned

The stats pretty much say it all. Ryan's 17 carries, 13 tackles, 18 running metres and a hit on the hapless Antoine Dupont so thunderous it drowned out the Big Bang equalled a thoroughly deserved man-of-the-match award for the Irish lock -- and garnered him 10 more-than-useful Fantasy Rugby points in the process.

Back Row

Brad Shields

20 points, 0.2% owned

Not a bad first Six Nations start for the Wasps flanker, who clearly enjoyed the high-octane all-action Super Rugby-style romp in the park at Twickenham as England ran riot. He scored twice -- which, remember, scores heavily among the forwards -- and did his fair share of tackling.

CJ Stander

14 points, 3.9% owned

Goodness, after Ryan, Stander was notably impressive in a thoroughly impressive Irish side. He pulled out all his usual tricks, carrying and making the hardest of yards and breaking the gain line -- but he threw in a little extra for good measure. That inside pass to Keith Earls was worthy of a Johnny Sexton, or a Finn Russell. Sublime.

Jack Conan

7 points, 3.9% owned

On as a replacement for the unfortunate Josh Van der Flier shortly before the half-hour, Conan made an immediate impression, getting in on the hard-carrying, hard-running lark that the Irish were happily using to bully France. He even joined in the try-scoring, notching up Ireland's third on 36 minutes, 13 after he'd first jogged on to the Aviva pitch.