30th July 2017



RMF Watchlist: Bargain Hookers

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 hookers.

Mike Haywood

Northampton - £211k

Each of the players that make our bargain hookers watchlist are ones that you can rest assured turn out every week, and the foremost of those is Mike Haywood. 

Along with Kieran Brookes and Alex Waller in the front row, the Northampton trio can be expected to be involved in virtually every game for the club throughout the season, and it was this consistency that helped Mike Haywood become the second highest point scoring hooker in the game last season.

While Dylan Hartley will certainly be involved during the opening and closing stages of the season, it would be a shrewd fantasy coach that would pair both Hartley and Haywood, capitalising on the latter’s consistency and the former’s impact.

Haywood is currently chosen by 6% of fantasy coaches.

Rob Buchanan

Harlequins - £171k

Another player on the periphery of Eddie Jones’ England squad is Rob Buchanan who started all but two games for Harlequins last season. His fantasy performances bar a few dips in form remained consistently high, and he was also one of the higher performers for metres made, which left him as the fourth highest scoring hooker.

While his metres and line outs are strong influences on his score, perhaps one area where his competition have an edge is their passes per game; where Buchanan sits just below 1, Hibbard and Haywood are nearly at 3 per game.

That said, Buchanan can be expected to have another good season and provide a strong contribution to your fantasy score.

Rob Buchanan is currently selected for 2% of squads.

Richard Hibbard

Gloucester - £211k

Richard Hibbard was involved in every game of last season, and indeed started all but one, and it’s that consistency that solidifies his choice as a bargain hooker.

While his performances rather matched those of Gloucester through the previous campaign, the new season looks exciting for the Cherry and Whites, who with their new coaching team will be aiming for a top six finish. Hibbard can certainly be at the heart of that.

Perhaps the two areas that let Hibbard down compared to Hayward are the amount of line outs won, which sits at about 75%, and his increased tackles missed - his tackle success rate sits at 83% compared to Hayward’s 91%.

16% of fantasy coaches have selected Hibbard for their squads.

The Rugby Magazine

Written by Edward Kerr
Follow @edwardrkerr · @therugbymag

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