25th July 2017



RMF Watchlist: Bargain Fullbacks

In the build up to the new Premiership Rugby season, The Scout is on hand to help you build a solid squad for the season by selecting a handful of premium and bargain players for each position.

In this article, we are going to take a look at bargain fullbacks.

Telusa Veainu

Leicester - £259k

In the games he played last season, the Leicester flyer put in some superb fantasy performances, and while his appearance count is down to 12 from 19 in his first season at the club, we can expect the same quality performances for a higher number of games this season.

Leicester start their season with a run of games they will be hoping to win, before meeting Exeter at Welford Road in round 5; plenty of opportunity for the fleet-footed Veainu to clock up a solid amount of points.

While he didn’t beat Haley for defenders beaten or Woodward for clean breaks, this is down to number of games played; he topped the metres per game for fullbacks. 

The addition of kick metres to the points scoring this year will bring an extra dimension to fullbacks, with those more inclined to kicking able to clock up some extra points, but don’t let that pull you away from a player who constantly reminds us of his counter-attacking talent.

Telusa Veainu is currently selected by 22% of players.

Michael Haley

Sale - £181k

After coming off the bench in game week 6 last season, Mike Haley never looked back. He started every game from that point, tallying some impressive performances and topping the points scoring for dedicated fullbacks.

His key strength areas over the season were defenders beaten and clean breaks, but the number of passes per game he put in helped him rise some way above many of the other fullbacks with regards to fantasy points.

Kicking off the season away at Wasps will not have been the start they wanted up in Salford, but Newcastle and London Irish in rounds 2 and 3 will afford Haley the opportunity to register some fantasy points. It is worth noting though that his fantasy performances were stunted by increased quality of opposition.

Haley is currently selected by 2% of players.

Jason Woodward

Gloucester - £193k

Gloucester’s new man Woodward was another who had a good season once the campaign had got underway in earnest; despite the fact that his first two games registered negative fantasy point scores (against Wasps and Saracens), he pushed these aside to become the second best point scoring dedicated fullback behind Michael Haley.

Of our three fullbacks here, Woodward’s tackle success is the highest, though he did concede eight penalties to Haley and Veainu’s one each, and while his attacking stats do not exceed his competition, he continued to put in some solid fantasy performances.

Gloucester do have one of the toughest starts to the season however; after they have kicked off at Kingsholm against Exeter, they head onto the road to face Harlequins and then Leicester. Not three games in which one would expect a fullback to clock up the points, but Woodward did do remarkably well in the same fixtures for Bristol last year.

21% of fantasy coaches have chosen Woodward in their squad.

The Scout thinks he is worth the punt, do you?

The Rugby Magazine

Written by Edward Kerr
Follow @edwardrkerr · @therugbymag

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