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Join The42's Fantasy Rugger league and show your Six Nations knowledge

We spoke to one of the men behind the new fantasy rugby website about their in-depth scoring system.

THE SIX NATIONS is the most wonderful time of the rugby year for many supporters, and very often part of the enjoyment is handing a beating to your friends in fantasy rugby.

Jonathan Sexton celebrates with Devin Toner after he scored the opening try Does Sexton make your squad despite missing the first game? Source: James Crombie/INPHO

There are always nagging complaints at the end of the tournament, however, as the beaten fantasy managers claim a points scoring system accounting only for kicks, tries and assists doesn’t accurately allow their rugby knowledge to come to the fore.

It’s a sentiment the creators of the new Fantasy Rugger website have long agreed with and their motivation for setting up a fantasy rugby competition that allocates points within a more in-depth scoring system.

“Other leagues just award the tries and assists,” says Michael Storan, one of the men behind Fantasy Rugger.

“Jamie Roberts could make a linebreak, beat three defenders and offload to George North, but North would run in and get the five points for the try. We started looking at it in the summer and we got the stats together to reward all the major actions in the game.

“We did quite a lot of work, ran regression analyses, and got stats people in to see how important each one of these things is to the game. How important is it that a turnover happens? How important is a missed tackle? There’s all that stuff behind it.”

Fantasy Rugger brings statistics such as clean breaks, offloads, metres gained, lineouts won, lineouts stolen and penalty concessions into the mix, aiming to provide a far more comprehensive view of each player’s performance.

Scores The scoring system for Fantasy Rugger. Source: Fantasy Rugger

That in turn should mean the shrewder fantasy rugby manager earning additional points, while the need to pick players in specific positions also adds to the level of realism. No longer can we simply select eight back rows and seven wings.

Storan, along with his brother Bart [the "technical whizz"] and Dave Walker [whose background is in online marketing], has been getting “really good feedback” on the website so far.

A number of professional rugby players, including Ian Madigan, Jordi Murphy and Jason Harris-Wright, have signed up to play too, lending Fantasy Rugger some notable testimonials.

Storan and his co-founders believe that a more statistical-based analysis of rugby is the way forward for the modern fan. Indeed, another section of their site allows users to see the average stats for professional players across the course of the season.

“We think is a more interesting way of looking at analysis rather than the subjective stuff you get from other places,” says Storan. “You can actually say that these numbers back up your point.”

Stats This is what the numbers say about Ireland's strongest XV. Source: Fantasy Rugger

Having seen the success of fantasy football based around the Premier League, Storan has big ambitions for Fantasy Rugger over the coming year.

“We’ve got high hopes. I think at the moment, we’re just trying to get people using it for the Six Nations.

“Loads of people have been saying that this is what they’ve been looking for. With the World Cup coming up, it’s a great year to be doing it. We want to be the best in the Northern Hemisphere.”

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Here at The42, we’ve started up a league of our own ahead of the Six Nations. We’re inviting you to join us and see if you can outwit us over the coming weeks. The details are below, so if you head to Fantasy Rugger and create a team, you can join our league:

League name: The42′s Six Nations League

League code: Gj8RhR

There will be a grand prize of some shiny new The42 merchandise for the person who tops the league at the end of the Six Nations, but the real reward here is the bragging rights the title will bring.

Sign up using the details above before 20:05 Irish time on Friday and we’ll provide updates after each round of games.

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About the author:

Murray Kinsella

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