Fantasy Rugby Team of the Week: Round One

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ESPN Fantasy Rugby: Top scoring players after round one (1:01)

A look at the best performing players in ESPN fantasy rugby after round one of the Six Nations games. (1:01)

The opening round of ESPN Fantasy Rugby 2018 is done and dusted after a brilliant start to the latest edition of the Six Nations.

Wales kicked off the tournament with a big win over Scotland while Ireland sneaked a victory at the death over France thanks to a mammoth drop goal from Johnny Sexton.

England completed the round with a comfortable rout of Italy in Rome, but now all the eyes are on the stats list and fantasy scoreboard to see who leads who after the first round.

ESPN has compiled a list of the best fantasy players by position after the opening weekend.

Outside backs

Anthony Watson, England
19 points, 37% owned

The England winger showed great speed and power to score two tries in the opening stages of their win over Italy in Rome. Watson also ran more than 50 metres with ball in hand while completing more than five tackles which was enough to see him awarded man of the match and haul in 19 points.

Leigh Halfpenny, Wales
18 points (if selected as kicker), 45% owned

The Wales fullback sent a message to those who questioned his attacking ability by scoring two brilliant tries to help Warren Gatland's side start the Six Nations with a big win over Scotland. Halfpenny finished on 18 fantasy points after his brace of tries, four conversions and two penalties, as well as two points for starting the game.

Steff Evans, Wales
11 points, 4% owned

Another Welsh outside back to flourish at the Principality Stadium, Evans was heavily involved in the attacking play. The Scarlets wing showed raw pace to score a try in the corner and set up another, while his constant threat on counter attack saw him earn an extra point for running the ball for more than 50 metres.

Centres

Owen Farrell, England
17 points (if selected as kicker), 84% owned

The England playmaker was shaky early on with the boot, missing his first two shots at goa,l but found his groove as the match progressed. Farrell ended up with 17 points after a try, assist, five successful shots at goal as well as more than 10 tackles in the midfield.

Tommaso Benvenuti, Italy
12 points, 0.9% owned

The Italian centre did well to finish in the corner after a brilliant pass from Tommaso Allen gave the Azzurri a chance against England. He returned the favour laying on the last ball to Mattia Bellini to collect and assist, while he completed 10 tackles to finish on 12 points.

Fly-half

George Ford, England
11 points, 10% owned

Ford pulled the strings alongside Farrell as England pulled away from Italy in the latter stages in Rome. The England fly-half picked up a try and an assist while he also completed five tackles in a starting display that saw him edge Johnny Sexton (8 points, 35% owned) in our team of the week.

Scrum-half

Gareth Davies, Wales
8 points, 12% owned

Davies stepped up in the absence of the injured Rhys Webb to direct Wales around the park en route to an impressive victory. Sniped away for a try and ran more than 50 metres with ball in hand to haul in eight points in fantasy.

Front-row

Guilhem Guirado, France
12 points, 49% owned

The French captain put in a tireless defensive shift to see Les Bleus come within seconds of an unlikely win over Ireland. Guirado's tackle count was off the scale to see him collect five fantasy points and that effort went noticed by the host broadcaster who awarded the hooker man of the match to see him nab another five points.

Jefferson Poirot, France
5 points, 1% owned

The loosehead prop helped prevent Ireland from scoring a try in France with 17 tackles in around the ruck. That defensive shift saw Poirot pick up three points while a further two points came from starting the match.

Rabah Slimani, France
4 points, 38% owned

Slimani completes the all-French front row in the Fantasy team of the week, again due to his defence in Paris. The France tighthead completed several tackles which saw him bag three points along with two points for starting in the No. 3 jersey.

Second-row

Courtney Lawes, England
7 points, 6% owned

With 10 tackles and an assist, Lawes proved a cut above the rest of the second-row contenders, including teammate Maro Itoje (4 points) who was selected in seven times as many fantasy teams as the overlooked Lawes.

Sebastian Vahaamahina, France
5 points, 4% owned

Another French player rewarded for his defence. The towering second row threw his big frame around against Ireland which saw him pick up three fantasy points as well as a further two points for starting the match.

Back-row

Sam Simmonds, England
26 points, 9% owned

If there were any reservations over Simmonds' ability to fill the boots of Billy Vunipola, they were quashed in Rome. The Exeter No. 8 showed a great pair of heels to grab two tries and lay off the last pass for Jack Nowell for an assist while he also topped England's tackle stats to finish with a whopping 26 fantasy points in his Six Nations debut.

Aaron Shingler, Wales
8 points, 2% owned

The competition for spots in Wales' back row was immense coming into their opening game but Shingler put his mark on the blindside position with a man of the match display against Scotland. Shingler was everywhere on both sides of the ball to finish with eight points: five for the man of the match, two for a start and one for more than five tackles.

Kevin Gourdon, France
6 points, 31% owned

The skilful French back-row picked up from where he left off last season with another big shift against Ireland. Gourdon made 20 tackles to pick up four fantasy points along with his two points for starting the match.