NEW YORK, NY – The final weekend of pool play in the Heineken Cup and Amlin Cup are upon us and while one might think these ultra important classes may dominate the headlines but there is news regarding the Welsh Rugby Drama, Women’s 7s Series, Commonwealth Games, Signings and more. With all that cover its time for us to just jump right into the Weekend Rugby Preview.
Heineken Cup: This weekend’s matches will be filled with teams battling to qualify for the playoffs as pool winners or wildcards . A few teams have all but qualified, however they must still win to assure a home match for the quarterfinal and semifinal. That said James Harrington has got a great preview of all the match-ups and what’s at stake. The East Midlands Machiavellian rugger Nick Hall will cover our staff picks and thoughts.
Amlin Challenge Cup: With only the pool winners progressing to the quarters, pool leaders will be looking to punch their tickets. Our guy, Mr. Harrington has a preview of this weekend’s matches. Five matches were already played yesterday and now the puzzle is a lot clearer.
Here are the results:
Thu – 16th JAN 2014
Mogliano Rugby 12 – 24 Newport Gwent Dragons
Bath 54 – 13 Bordeaux-Begles
Newcastle 28 – 0 Bucuresti
Brive 31 – 9 Calvisano
Lusitanos 15 – 48 Stade Francais
6Nations Squad announcements: The premier rugby tournament of the Northern Hemisphere season kicks off in a little less than a month. Each of the 6 nations released the squad.provincial squad list for the tournament. Click on the country for each nations list.
Atlanta 7s: The pools and schedule for the Atlanta 7s will held at Fifth-Third Bank at Kennesaw State University on February 15th and 16th. The tournament is the second of five stops on the Womens 7s World Series. The 15th will also see the USA Rugby home leg of their RWC qualifier two match series against Uruguay.
The three Pools confirmed by the International Rugby Board:
Pool A – Australia, Canada, United States, China
Pool B – New Zealand, England, Ireland, Netherlands
Pool C – Russia, Spain, Brazil, Japan
Commonwealth Games: The Commonwealth Games of 2014 will be held in Glasgow. For the uninitiated the Commonwealth Games are a mini-olympics held every 4 years, contested by members of the Commonwealth of Nations , which is an organization made up of nations that are or were a commonwealth of the United Kingdom. There are events often unique to the Games that aren’t in the Olympics, like netball and rugby (Rugby 7s was approved in 1998. Its approval in the Commonwealth games helped strengthen the pitch to the Olympic committee).
The four Pools confirmed by the International Rugby Board and Commonwealth Games Federation are:
Pool A – New Zealand, Canada, Scotland, Nigeria
Pool B – South Africa, Kenya, Cook Islands, Trinidad and Tobago
Pool C – Samoa, Wales, Papua New Guinea, Malaysia
Pool D – England, Australia, Sri Lanka, Uganda
Signings/Player Moves: This was a busy week in the transfer market, we will try and catch you up on all the comings and goings. Greene King IPA Championship (Formerly the RFU Championship, division under Aviva Premiership) side Bristol has shown their hands and they are focused on promotion and competing in the Aviva Premiership. Last week Dwayne Peel, this week Bath prop Anthony Perenise and now, possibly Wales Flanker and 3 cap British and Irish Lion Ryan Jones. Jones has yet to confirm his move. Newport -Gwent Backrower Ieuan Jones has confirmed his move to Cardiff at the end of the season. The Sale Sharks have confirmed that James Gaskell and Henry Thomas will both leave at the end of this season. Also leaving their club at the end of this season will be Freddie Burns of Gloucester. The domino effect of Burns departure has Rhys Priestland possibly staying at Scarlets now and Gloucester coach Nigel Davies, saying they will need two new fly-halfs. Not goinng anywhere will be 6 Wasps players that resigned with club. The sextet are club captain Chris Bell, Andrea Masi, Carlo Festuccia, Kearnan Myall, Jake Cooper-Woolley and Charlie Davies.
Welsh Regions vs WRU: As the drama between the Welsh Rugby Union and Regional Rugby Wales continues, the RRW has underlined support for the Rugby Champions Cup, a new competition proposed by England’s Aviva Premiership clubs to replace the Heineken Cup next season. The two parties meet this week in the hopes of hashing out new agreement for the future, with the WRU promising to resolve the matter by the end of the month. The WRU also has the IRB and ERC support in wishing to stick with the Heineken Cup so only time will tell how it plays out. Rest assured that we will keep in the loop
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, Jaime Loyd and Declan Yeats, respectively.
And until the next time… stay low and keep pumping those legs.