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Picking your front row for Autumn Nations Series Fantasy Rugby

Picking your front row for Autumn Nations Series Fantasy Rugby

Samisoni Taukei’aho

It’s not long now before Fantasy Rugby managers across the globe will be poring over stats, weighing up their options and listening to their gut for this year’s Autumn Nations Series.

And with a plethora of choices for your Fantasy front row, a strong selection will undoubtedly separate the wheat from the chaff.

With extra points for picking winning nations playing away from home, it’s logical to start with the southern hemisphere props and hookers vying for your attention.

Pick your Fantasy Team

Southern Hemisphere

South Africa

The trio of Steven Kitshoff, Malcolm Marx and Frans Malherbe started the Springboks’ last three Rugby Championship matches, with all four wins coming when at least two featured from the off.

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All would be smart picks for your squad given the dominance of the Springbok pack, but the real value in Jacques Nienaber’s forwards is to be found on the bench.

With Nienaber expected to continue bringing on impact forwards early in the second-half, Sharks stars Ox Nche and Bongi Mbonambi could be ideal ‘super-sub’ picks.

New Zealand

As for the All Blacks, Samisoni Taukei’aho is the perfect hooker to boost your front row points.

The Tonga-born Chiefs star was the outright top scorer in the Rugby Championship, having crossed five times in five starts for the title holders.

Ethan de Groot could prove good value from their prop armoury, with the 24-year-old laying claim to the starting loosehead position after making his starting debut in August.

Australia

James Slipper has retained the captaincy despite the return of Michael Hooper to the Wallabies squad.

James Slipper Australia

Australia play five matches this autumn, so a nailed-on starter like loosehead Slipper could be the difference maker – just as he was against Scotland last weekend.

Argentina

But Argentina is the place to go to find quality front rowers at a reasonable price.

Thomas Gallo is a world class loosehead who has a penchant for crossing the whitewash, and at only 23, there is still plenty more to come.

And Leicester hooker Julian Montoya was one of the Gallagher Premiership’s standout performers in the two rounds he’s featured.

The Pumas captain’s all-round defensive game is up there with the best in the world and he will be a key part of any success Michael Cheika’s side claim in November.

Northern Hemisphere

England

With Jamie George ruled out of the Autumn Nations Series, Exeter Chiefs’ Luke Cowan-Dickie may well be undervalued, although George McGuigan is another option open to Eddie Jones at hooker.

Ellis Genge meanwhile is battling Mako Vunipola for the loosehead position, but the Gallagher Premiership champion is one of the finest in the business and is favourite to start.

France

Fabien Galthie won’t be happy with the lengthy list of absentees from France’s Autumn Nations Series squad, but it could be good news for Fantasy Rugby players.

With prop stalwarts Cyril Baille and Demba Bamba both still injured, Jean-Baptiste Gros and Uini Atonio are expected to lead the French pack in matches against Australia, South Africa and Japan.

Julien Marchand is nailed on starter at hooker and carries the ball well above average compared to those in his position.

Ireland

Tadhg Furlong, Dan Sheehan and Andrew Porter are a monster front row capable of rivalling their South African counterparts and will go head-to-head quite literally on 5 November.

Ireland’s Tadhg Furlong

All three started every Test in Ireland’s historic tour of New Zealand in the summer and played a huge role in their Triple Crown triumph.

Scotland

Fantasy Rugby managers best not overlook Scottish players with Zander Fagerson a shining light in Gregor Townsend’s line-up this year.

The Glasgow Warriors tighthead is sure to win plenty of tackling points and is a sure bet to start.

Italy

Danilo Fischetti’s tackling numbers may well even overshadow Fagerson’s.

The loosehead finished the Guinness Six Nations with more tackles than any other prop and the London Irish forward is lethal at turnovers too.

Wales

Ryan Elias scored three tries in the Autumn Nations Series last year and impressed immensely in the subsequent Guinness Six Nations.

The 27-year-old hooker went on to start every Test in South Africa and his improvement shows no sign of slowing down.

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