Fall Rugby Previews, USA Rugby Speculation, Currie, ITM, South American Rugby Championship

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Photo: Courtesy of  USA Rugby

Photo: Courtesy of USA Rugby

NEW YORK, NY: This weekend didn’t feature loads of high-profile rugby however, there were plenty of newsworthy events. Our Fall rugby previews were just the tip of the iceberg but let’s now spin it wide and get to business.

Fall Rugby Previews : We’ve expanded our team and staff in our never-ending quest to take all of the happenings of world ruby and wrap it up nicely. We have coverage for all of the upcoming and ongoing fall action. Over the last few weeks we have brought you previews of The Currie Cup season of South Africa, The ITM Cup season including the Ranfurly Shield of New Zealand and The Australian Premier Grade .

New to our staff is James Harrington , a Munster born Irishman who provided a Rabodirect Pro 12 preview. James is French based so he will handle all our Top 14. coverage. James wrote his Top 14 preview to challenge RWU’s Top 14 preview we will see which preview is fairing better at the midway point of the season.  We added Nick Hall and he begun his Aviva Premiership preview predicting the top 7 for the regular season. Nick will be back this week with predictions on which team is relegated and who wins the playoffs. Still to come are previews of the Canadian Rugby Championship in partnership with  Ray’s Rugby.

We will also be rolling previews of the USA women’s Premier League, Division 1 and Division 2  the USA Division 1, 2 and 3 season for men, along with my idea for men’s division 4.  We’re considering some more levels, including youth, but that process is still in its early stages.

usa_rugby_logoUSA Rugby MNT Backroom Speculation: There was lots to talk following the USA loss to Canada in Charleston, South Carolina a few weeks back in the RWCQ 1st leg. The return leg in Canada was a better display but  was still not good enough. RWU interviewed both USA Rugby CEO Nigel Melville and Men’s National Team Head Coach Mike Tolkin in the days following the loss.  Following our interviews, forwards coach Dan Payne stepped down to focus on a growing role at Life University.  Also resigning were scrum coach Derek Dowling and attack coach Tony Smeeth. The only remaining assistant is kicking coach Chris O’Brien.

It has been speculated by our friends at Rugbymag  that “Seattle-OPSB Head Coach Justin Fitzpatrick, who also coached the forwards during the Collegiate All Americans during their tour of New Zealand…was at the USA v Canada match in Toronto as an educated observer.” It was also noted “that Former England flyhalf and Argentina HP Manager Les Cusworth was with the USA team more as someone helping assess their High Performance needs and looking at the national team’s structure.” It was implied that Cusworth is unlikely to move to the SU because of his family but his experience and advice in managing a developing tier 2 nation – which Argentina was – into a Tier 1 as HP director would be priceless. Finally, the article stated, “it appears  Tolkin is taking a trip to the UK to meet with some coaches and look at some potential future staff-members.”  We hope the likes of Geoff Alley are being considered to help with the skills and attack, if Coach Tolkin is looking around.

The Currie Cup: This year’s edition of the Currie Cup may be the closest ever. Western Province and the Golden Lions fought to a stand still,  while the Cheetahs snuffed out Griquas and the Sharks were too much for the Blue Bulls. Here are the results:
FRI – 29TH AUG 13
Golden Lions 31 – 31 Western Province
SAT – 30TH AUG 13
Free State Cheetahs 40 – 20 Griquas
Sharks 34 – 18 Blue Bulls

Hawkes-Bay-Ranfurly-Shield-2013_2996601The ITM Cup: Otago only held the  Ranfurly Shield for 9 days before Hawkes’ Bay took it off their hands. In other weekend action, Auckland beat Bay of Plenty, North Harbour and Northland shared points in a draw. Meanwhile, Taranaki pipped Southland and Wellington demolished Manawatu. Here are the weekend’s results and the midweek schedule:

SAT – 31ST AUG 13
Auckland 32 – 17 Bay Of Plenty
North Harbour 33 – 33 Northland
Southland 14 – 15 Taranaki
SUN – 1ST SEP 13
Wellington 42 – 15 Manawatu
Otago 19 – 20 Hawkes Bay
Wed – 4th Sep 13
Auckland – Counties Manukau
Thu – 5th Sep 13
Bay Of Plenty – Canterbury

SAMC: The South American Rugby Championship is the battle to find the best team in South America barring Argentina, the firm number 1. The B Division battle for promotion has been going on the past week. Paraguay will win promotion as they finish 3-0. Here are the results:
SAT – 31ST AUG 13
Venezuela 29 – 25 Peru
Paraguay 25 – 15 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.

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Born in Osu, Accra, Ghana, West Africa, Junoir Blaber is a rare commodity; while most Ghanians eat, sleep and dream Soccer (football), Junoir is all about Rugby. A self-proclaimed Rugbyologist, he has been involved in Rugby as a ref, coach, administrator and player since Columbus discovered Ohio. His useful/trivial rugby knowledge qualify Blaber as RWU's Senior Correspondent & known in rugby circles as The Rugby Rain Man. He can also be found moonlighting for our American partners at MeetTheMatts.com.

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