Alex Lozowski's top fantasy picks, tips and the new faces set so impress for Saracens
While we wait for warm up games, squad announcements and injury news to hit the headlines this summer in eager anticipation of the 2019 Rugby World Cup, England and Saracens star Alex Lozowski speaks to The Rugby Magazine about his top fantasy rugby picks, shares the inside line on potential points scorers and how Saracens are shaping up in preparation of a season start bereft of a strong England contingent.
All is quiet in the Northern Hemisphere as far as the sport of Rugby Union goes this July. The closest you can hope to come to eye-catching content is the unfortunate demise of players injured during pre-World Cup training camps and the hopeful nature of the replacement fringe player's hopes of stealing their way into a comfy first-class seat to Japan.
Wasps and former Hurricanes star Brad Shields is at risk of being the first man to fall afoul of the former category, while Alex 'The Dominator" Dombrandt is edging closer to falling into the latter, awaiting news of Shields' foot ligament.
We at The Rugby Magazine cannot complain, however, while excitement at TRM HQ continues to mount in the lead up to our debut fantasy World Cup. The game has been painstakingly crafted and tweaked, and now, we eagerly listen to the international rugby insiders giving us their top tips and fantasy picks.
First, we spoke to one of your favourite rugby journalists, pundits and presenters, former England and Lions lock Martin Bayfield. Bayfs opted for tighthead prop Kyle Sinckler for his top fantasy pick and captain, spoke in reverence about the legendary Alun Wyn Jones and much more.
This week, we speak to a man that seems set to fall agonisingly short of a chance to take part in England's charge for a second William Webb Ellis trophy, Saracens centre and 5-time England international Alex Lozowski. See why the 26-year-old utility back would not go without in his fantasy side, who he'd captain for double points and the inside line on how the World Cup will affect the reigning Premiership and European Champions.
Who would you have in your fantasy team?
"As a goal kicker, it’s good to have Owen [Farrell] in your team. He makes most of his kicks so that’s probably what you need.
“One I quite like is Jamie [George], I’d have him in my team. Mostly because of driving lineout tries, he’s throwing the ball in so he’s often at the back there. So he might sneak a few tries, he’s probably my little tip.
“Obviously England have a good driving lineout and Jamie gets quite a few tries with Saracens that way, he obviously scores his fair share off weaving runs and whatever, but he does get a few from having the ball at the back of a driving lineout. So that might be a little tip for those that need a few tries.”
Who would you have as your captain between Owen and Jamie George?
“I think probably Owen just because he’ll kick the goals and you’re guaranteed shots at goal in the game. Yeah, I think I’d go for Owen, but it’s a tough one with Jamie. Don’t show this to Jamie.”
How much does the change of personal during and after a world cup affect you guys?
“I think for us, hopefully not too much. We’ve seen in seasons gone by, especially last season, how well we did in the Premiership Rugby Cup, we got into the final, and we also won the A-League. So, a lot of those guys coming through will now get an opportunity; with the World Cup. They’ve obviously been proving themselves in seasons gone by and they know the way we want to play. It’s been very consistent, from the first team right down through to the academy level, how we want to play and everyone is very on-board with that.
“So there should be no misunderstanding on tactics and out style of play. So hopefully with our guys coming through it should be quite seamless. Those guys are very excited and are chomping at the bit to get their opportunity as well. I’m excited to be a part of it.”
Who else should we look at this year?
"I think somebody like Rotui Segum who’s been doing a job all year for the A-Team and then when he’s had a chance in the Premiership as well he’s doing really well. Obviously, we all know about Max Malins, who’s obviously very talented and has had his own share of exposure already. He’s really going to come through now.
“Another one, one of the lads who I get on with very well in my changing room, is Matt Gallagher who, again, when he’s played in the Premiership he’s played really well. He never lets you down and does a great job. I think those guys now, at the early part of the season, will be coming through.
“I’ve named all backs there, haven’t I?
“I’m excited to see those guys play and I know they’re going to do brilliantly for us.”