NEW YORK, NY: Spring in Europe brings sunshine and warmth to the cities but also heats up the seats. And you can bet the seats will be warm in Hong Kong, Atlanta and for certain coaches in Europe’s 3 top leagues (Aviva Premiership, Rabodirect Pro 12 and Top 14). These coaches are under pressure to ensure their teams make the playoffs, avoid relegation or show some spirit so the fans have hope for next season. But enough about the weather, let’s talk some rugby:
Hong Kong 7s: The Hong Kong 7s kickoff when the USA take on Samoa, this morning at 6:24 A.M. EST. A win by either the AIG New Zealand All Black 7s side or The South African 7s Blitzbokke makes it a two-horse race. A win by any of the other nations and things are still open. But that doesn’t mean there isn’t plenty of drama… Like can Team USA finish in the Core 12? After a 1-2 start, that’s not looking good. For more information, check out our tournament preview.
RugbyWorld Cup Qualifier: The second RWCQ match between the USA and Uruguay (#USAvUru) should be a barn-burner, as the two teams tied last weekend in Montevideo, Uruguay. This means there will be no points difference to be factored in. It is simply win and your in the RWC2015. Our friend Ray’s Rugby has put together another great preview. But feel free to fire away with comments below.
Here is this weekend’s schedule:
SAT– 29th MAR 14
USA – Uruguay
Women’s Eagles Sevens Head Coach Ric Suggitt has announced the 12-player roster for the upcoming Guangzhou Sevens, the fourth leg of the 2013-14 IRB Women’s Sevens World Series:
1. Victoria Folayan
2. Kelly Griffin
3. Jillion Potter
4. Deven Owsiany
5. Amelia Villines
6. Lauren Doyle
7. Elana Meyers
8. Shaina Turley
9. Lorrie Clifford
10. Dana Meschisi
11. Alev Kelter
12. Rebekah Siebach
Women’s Eagles Sevens | Guangzhou Sevens Pool C
v Canada – Friday, April 4 – 10:00 P.M. ET
v Russia – Saturday, April 5 – 1:06 A.M. ET
v France – Saturday, April 5 – 3:50 A.M. ET
In the Southern Hemisphere, Super 15 is starting to near its midway point, surprisingly. Though the Northern and Southern Hemisphere will be dominating the news for the 15s rugby, the Eastern and Western have two events occurring that have worldwide implications.
Top 14: The leanish, meanish Top14 James Harrington is getting himself in playoff shape, along with the rest of the Top14 Clubs. Mssr. Harrington has a great recap of the tightest race in Europe. CLICK HERE.
Aviva Premiership: The East Midlands of England Machiavellian Rugger , Nick Hall, has a great preview of the weekend’s Premiership fixtures as four teams fight for the last two playoff place. To read, please CLICK HERE.
Rabodirect Pro12: In Spanish League football (soccer), the match-up between the capital city side Real Madrid and the side from Spain‘s second city, Barcelona is called the El Classico. This weekend’s clash between Irish rugby’s traditional top two provinces Munster and Leinster has been nicknamed The O’Classico, which is, quite frankly, brilliant! The match will determine who finishes top of the table and secures a home field advantage throughout the playoffs… Other scheduled matches that aren’t as prestigious as the O’Classico will see Glasgow try and secure a playoff spot when they host Ospreys. Zebre will welcome Newport-Gwent to Italy, as will Treviso when they face Edinburgh… Ulster travel to Wales to take on Cardiff. Of note about this match is the return of Cardiff club captain, Matthew Rees, who is returning from winning his battle with testicular cancer… Touching down a day after Ulster will be fellow Irish side Connacht as they face Scarlets.
Here is this weekend’s schedule:
FRI – 28TH MAR 14
Glasgow – Ospreys
SAT – 29TH MAR 14
Zebre – Newport-Gwent Dragons
Benetton Treviso – Edinburgh
Cardiff Blues – Ulster
Leinster – Munster
SUN – 30TH MAR 14
Scarlets – Connacht
Signings/Player Moves: Gloucester have announced that Scarlets fly-half Aled Thomas will join the club at the end of the season. Thomas will be joined for the 2014/2015 season by former England U20 international centre Mark Atkinson. Not done strengthening their squad for next season, Gloucester also added Ospreys centre Tom Isaacs… As discussed last week, London Irish have bolstered their front-row by signing Scotland tighthead prop Geoff Cross… Newcastle confirmed that experienced second-row Scott MacLeod has re-signed with the club. Also re-signing with the Falcons are Gonzalo Tiesi and Matt Thompson with two and one-year contracts respectively for each… In a long-rumored move, Ospreys and former Wales skipper Ryan Jones has confirmed he will leave the region at the end of the season to join Bristol… Scottish hookers Fraser Brown and Kevin Bryce have signed new two-year contracts with Glasgow Warriors, meaning they will be at the club until at least May 2016.
USA Rugby News and Updates: USA Rugby released a short list of seven audio tracks breaking down rules and regulations of the game. The tracks are in-depth explanations from referees regarding specific game areas and will serve as a checklist for the referees. The tracks cover kickoffs, the tackle, rucks, mauls, scrums, lineouts and kicks in general play. You can download the referee tracks from the USA Rugby Referee Resources page.
The USA Rugby Boys High School All-Americans finished their pool play at the Rosslyn Park National School Sevens 2-1-1 with wins against Yorkshire’s Bishop Burton College and ICEF Public Schools (ICEF is an American Charter School organization based out of California with a great story, worthy of reading up on). The HSAA lost to Gwent College of Wales and drew the Sherborne School in England. Unfortunately that record was not good enough to qualify for playoffs.
Carlin Isles makes his debut: The fastest man in rugby will make his 15s debut in Scotland at Hawick on Saturday in the colors of Ayr… Ayr is club within the Glasgow’s feeder system. With Stirling County, the club he was originally assigned to finished for the year, Isles was transferred to Ayr. Good luck Carlin!
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, Karen Ritter , Jamie Wall and Declan Yeats, respectively.
And until the next time… stay low and keep pumping those legs!