Rugby Union

Fantasy World Cup Selections Part 1: Picking the back three

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Rugby World Cup fantasy is always a difficult time of year with the initial squad picking, team name and changing it all over again several times before the tournament kicks off. 

Part one has me looking at the back three options, including a few options you can't be without and some riskier choices that could make the difference and claim you bragging rights.

Here are the names to keep an eye out for ahead of kick off.


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Isreal Folau (Australia)

Folau is top of my list and he should be yours too. Yes he is in a tough pool but this player does it day in and day out against all opponents.

Standing at six feet four inches and 227 pounds he is a mountain, but it's not just size and strength he brings to the game. Israel Folau is an extraordinary talent and sums up the modern game with his electrifying speed and line execution from Aussie Rules and Rugby League.

Expect this man to top the try scoring charts and lead Australia in the attack.

Julian Savea (New Zealand)

Same height and weight as Folau, the former sevens player stormed on to the international scene by running a trio of tries past Ireland.

Savea has phenomenal pace and a lethal step to create a real handful and deadly attacking force. Frequently compared to the great Lomu, Savea has be awarded the IRB World Young Player of the Year award and has a track record internationally to make Jason Robinson blush and take note.

Can he step it up to the next level and replicate previous form this September? I definitely think so.

Lee Halfpenny (Wales)

The first of my Northern Hemisphere selections, he is key to Wales progressing through the group stages.

Arguably the best kicker in the world right now, Halfpenny has the composure to keep Wales' score board ticking over through his boot but also through his intelligent running and line breaking speed.

He may not score as many tries as the previous two, but will win a man of the match award, assist and score a couple and provide you with a very good kicking option in a pool where it could be a game of penalties.

Anthony Watson/Jonny May (England)

The first of my wildcard selections starts with the English wingers.

Both blessed with electric pace and an eye for a weak shoulder or the slightest bit of space, they will be key to finishing off tough opponents and taking England to the next level. 

Both are relatively inexperienced in terms of International caps but both have fantastic try scoring records and the ability to produce the goods out of no where. 

Jonny May would be the riskier of the two, and has drawn his critics in the past (me for starters) but what he has done recently is slice open the worlds best and claim the winger shirt for his own. New Zealand fear him and lets hope he can replicate that on a consistent basis. Don't like the added risk? Stick with Watson.

Ben Smith (New Zealand)

Selected by few, but is one of the world's top wingers at the moment but rarely seems to get the recognition he deserves.

Smith, unlike his namesake Conrad, has failed to really nail an All Black shirt down until very recently. Viewed as a utility back this winger has really hit good form with a hatrick of tries against Australia in the opening game of the Rugby Championship, he he can emulate that performance and form come the world cup and in a relatively weak pool he could be a real difference. 

Alesana Tuilagi (Samoa)

Six foot 4 inches.
244 pounds.
Two World Cups.
Four tries.

Those figures speak of a serious force.

The epitome of Samoa and Samoan rugby, always plays with passion, physically and deceptive pace. This experienced winger has serious stats and a real talent for find the try line.

With 1% selection in teams and a group containing USA and Japan i'd back him to cross the white wash a few times. 

Agree or disagree? Let me know your thoughts!

Fancy battling against Ben?

Join his Give Me Sport League on ESPN Fantasy Rugby and use the league pin: 1118648-3320

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