NEW YORK, NY: This weekend, less high-profile rugby takes center stage. The Rugby Championship is on a travel break. There are no Rugby World Cup Qualifiers, the Rabodirect Pro 12 and the Aviva Premiership kickoff next weekend. We have plenty of domestic action and news so lets get to the Weekend Rugby Preview.
USA Rugby MNT Backroom Changes: It has been a tough few weeks for the USA Rugby Men’s national team program. There was the horrendous performance in the first leg of the Rugby World Cup Qualifying series against Canada in Charleston, S.C. The performance had our readers livid and with lots to say. The return leg in Canada was a more spirited performance but still lacking. RWU went to both USA Rugby CEO Nigel Melville and Men’s National Team Head Coach Mike Tolkin for answers. There was no hint of the massive backroom changes about to occur.
In back to back days, forwards coach Dan Payne stepped down, followed by scrum coach Derek Dowling and attack coach Tony Smeeth. This indicates that all parties are decidedly unhappy about the current state of affairs. We will leave it to you to speculate whether the three jumped ship or were pushed of the plank. Payne stepped down for an expanded role at Life University, to help develop women’s rugby and soccer at Life. Also the recent steeping down of the senior men’s club (not the college team) coach, James Isaacson, means he will have to be a more involved Director of Rugby.
Josh Lewsey: The English RWC03 winning fullback/wing has been appointed as the new Head of Rugby for Wales. He will be responsible for all rugby in Wales, excluding the Wales national team. From Rabodirect Pro 12 down to community level, he will be running all operational and strategic management of the national game. Lewsey replaces Joe Lydon in the role, who joined the RFU earlier this year.
Paul Treu: As we called it a couple of weeks back, former coach of the South Africa 7s team, Paul Treu will take over as the head coach of the Kenya 7s side. Paul is a friend of RWU and we wish him the best. Here he is at the Las Vegas 7s talking with RWU.
The Currie Cup: This year’s currie cup has showcased some great young talent, with so many senior players unavailable. As a result, there has been an incredible display of quality rugby and close matches. Long may it continue. Here is this weekend’s schedule:
FRI – 29TH AUG 13
Golden Lions – Western Province
SAT – 30TH AUG 13
Free State Cheetahs – Griquas
Sharks – Blue Bulls
The ITM Cup: Last week, we touched on the topsy-turvy expected season of rugby that ITM Cup has been producing. A team that got manhandled the previous week can comeout the next week and be the manhandlers. After a strong performance the previous week, this week Counties Manukau got taken apart by Tasman. Wellington beat North Harbour and Canterbury shellacked Waikato. Here are the midweek results and this weekend’s schedule:
WED – 28TH AUG 13
Wellington 35 – 27 North Harbour
THU – 29TH AUG 13
Canterbury 47 – 10 Waikato
FRI – 30TH AUG 13
Counties Manukau 20 – 40 Tasman
SAT – 31ST AUG 13
Auckland – Bay Of Plenty
North Harbour – Northland
Southland – Taranaki
SUN – 1ST SEP 13
Wellington – Manawatu
Otago – Hawkes Bay
SAMC: The SAMC is the South American Rugby Championship. It is the battle to find the 2nd best team in South America with Argentina the firm number 1. The B Division battle for promotion has been going on over the past week. Here are the results and the weekend schedule:
SUN – 25TH AUG 13
Paraguay 22 – 0 Peru
Colombia 32 – 14 Venezuela
TUE – 27TH AUG 13
Paraguay 48 – 7 Venezuela
Peru 28 – 27 Colombia
SAT – 31ST AUG 13
Venezuela – Peru
Paraguay – Colombia
That’s it for now, feel free to comment below, look for and “Like” our Facebook Rugby Wrap Up Page and follow us on Twitter @: RugbyWrapUp, Junoir Blaber, DJ Eberle, Nick Hall, James Harrington, Cody Kuxmann and Declan Yeats, respectively.And until the next time… stay low and keep pumping those legs.