If you read the post below you’ll see my predictions for the Six Nations Championship, which starts this Saturday. You’ll also notice that I pull for Wales and that Wales faces England this weekend in London. It’s a great rivalry between the two countries and one that Wales probably ought to win since England has been on a bit of a injury induced downslide recently.
However, Wales has been struck by the injury of Gethin Jenkins. Jenkins is among the best props (read really big guys that that can run pretty fast too) in the world. That loss is especially painful since Wales was already going to be without hooker Matthew Rees. So that’s two forwards down for the Welsh who are facing an England team that’s healthy for the first time in a long while.
The good news, fullback Lee Byrne won his appeal against a two week suspension so he’ll be in the starting lineup Saturday for Wales. Byrne was facing suspension because during a club match he went off the field with an injury and then came back onto the pitch without waiting for the ref to wave him back on. That’s not a usually a big deal, but Byrne had been replaced with a sub so when he rejoined the game without the ref’s permission his team had 16 players. This was sorted out fairly quickly but the team that lost to the briefly extra manned team lodged a complaint (and rightfully so). Thus, Byrne was in hot water for a while but got off with just a fine.
Now onto more important things, my fantasy team.
You can go to scrum.com and make a fantasy team. There are prizes you can win but really fantasy sports are a good way to force you to stay informed about teams that you usually don’t care about. As I said in my predictions post (see below) I think France and Ireland are the best bets to win Six Nations so I picked a bunch of their guys along with a healthy dose of my boys from Wales. I also tried to get at least one person from each of the six teams.
The only rule was that you can’t have more than 4 people from one country. With that one restriction you had to pick 3 Front Row players, 2 Second Row players, 3 Back Row players, 1 Scrum Half, 1 Fly Half, 2 Center Backs, and 3 outside backs . So here is who I picked.
Martin Castrogiovanni – Italy (prop)
Ross Ford – Scotland (hooker)
Adam Jones – Wales (prop)
Simon Shaw – England (lock)
Paul O’Connell – Ireland (lock)
Jamie Heaslip – Ireland (No. 8 )
Ryan Jones – Wales (No. 8 )
Thierry Dusautoir – France (flanker)
Morgan Parra – France
Steven Jones – Wales
Mathieu Bastareaud – France
Brian O’Driscoll – Ireland
Shane Williams – Wales (wing) * My favorite player
Tommy Bowe – Ireland (wing)
Julien Malzieu – France (wing)