Weekend Rugby Preview: June Tours, RWC Qualifiers, Super Rugby, Tier 3, USA Rugby News

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Fiji V Cook Islands

Fiji V Cook Islands

NEW YORK, NY- With the near conclusion of the  June International Tours and the completion of the Junior World Cup, there is a break from the chaos and insane amount of rugby that was being played. However, we still have 2 tour matches, 3 Rugby World Cup Qualifiers, the return of Super Rugby and a Tier 3 international cup competition. We also have to cover the week’s transactions and have  major news coming out of USA Rugby 7s program. With that, here’s the Weekend Rugby Preview:

Ladies first: 
The USA Women’s Eagles begin their 3 match warm-up tour for the Women’s Rugby World Cup in France in August, with a match against the RBS Women’s Six Nations 5th place finisher Wales. The 3 match tour goes until July 6th.

Here is this weekend’s schedule:
SAT – 28thJUN 14
TOUR Wales  –  USA

June Internationals – There is only one Men’s International scheduled as both South Africa and Scotland look to milk the June Tour cash cow. It will be the case of the immovable object versus the unstoppable force as Scotland is undefeated on tour while South Africa is undefeated. Look for newly crowned IRB World Junior Player of the Year, Handre Pollard to be playing fly-half for the Springboks.

Here is this weekend’s schedule:
SAT – 28thJUN 14
TOUR South Africa  –  Scotland

Super Rugby – The RWU Super Rugby Superman, Jamie Wall, has found time between recapping the All Blacks series sweep and the return of Super Rugby. Please CLICK HERE.

Rugby World Cup Qualifiers – There will be a huge pacific island clash this weekend. Fiji are attempting to qualify for another world cup. The upstarts standing in their way are from the tiny (yes even tinier than Fiji) Cook Islands. The Cook Islands player base is more from New Zealand than the Cook Islands themselves. With Fiji just playing three games in a row, they should be in better shape for this tilt.

Here is this weekend’s schedule:
SAT – 28thJUN 14
RWCQ Fiji  –  Cook Islands

NACRATier 3 
The NACRA Championship is the tournament similar to those in other IRB regions. This tournament is for the countries in North America and the Caribbean. NACRA has 2 zones with top level (championship) and a bottom level (cup). Each Championship zone has 3 teams while the Cup Zones have 4 each. The Zones are regionally divided, so there is a North Zone and South Zone. USA Rugby competes in the North Zone Championship division. The USA is represented by the USA South Regional all-star team, in order to develop talent and make the competition a much fairer one. This weekend features two matches as two Cup matches as Jamaica travels to face  foes The Bahamas and Mexico welcome The Turks and Caicos Islands. USA South will play a cross zone match against Guyana, who are no slouches.

Here is the weekend schedule:
SAT – 28TH JUN 14
NACRA CH Bahamas – Jamaica
NACRA CH Mexico – Turks & Caicos
NACRA CH USA South  –  Guyana

Confederation_of_African_Rugby_(logo)Africa Cup: The The Africa Cup 2014 will be the fourteenth edition of the continental tournament that involves the best African national teams, organized by the Confederation of African Rugby (CAR). Given their superiority, the South African national has rarely participated in the tournament and the 4 times the SARU has sent a U-23 team or amateur side, they go on to win it. There are up to 15 rugby countries in the Cup with the national participants in the main division, divided into three groups of 14 merit ( 1A, 1B, and 1C ), with promotion and relegation. Tournaments Divisions 1A and 1B’s games are often double as qualification games for the Rugby World Cup. This year the Division 1A Championship will be held between 26th June and 6th July 2014, at the Mahamasina Municipal Stadium in Antananarivo, Madagascar. The winner will qualify for the 2015 Rugby World Cup as Africa 1 and the runner up will qualify for the repechage. The weekend’s match-ups feature Kenya taking on Namibia and the home side, Madagascar facing off against Zimbabwe.

Here is the weekend schedule:
SAT – 28TH JUN 14
AFRC/RWCQ D1A Kenya – Namibia
AFRC/RWCQ D1A Zimbabwe – Madagascar

Waters in action

Waters in action

Conversion Kick:
Signings/Player Moves: London Welsh have announced the addition of Newport Gwent Dragons Openside flanker Darren Waters to their squad for the 2014/15 Aviva Premiership season. The Welsh also announced the signing of experienced center Tim Molenaar from Harlequins and Gloucester hooker Koree Britton ahead of next season…. Exeter were delighted to announce the signing of former Leicester 8man Thomas Waldrom…Meanwhile Leicester spent their money bolstering their front-row ranks as they added props Michele Rizzo and Aniseko Sio… Bath’s current coaching team of Mike Ford, Toby Booth and Neal Hatley have extended their contracts until at least the end of the 2015/2016 season and the club has added former Dragons head coach Darren Edwards to the backroom staff as a first team coach…Saracens announced the signing of Western Force prop, Kieran Longbottom, for the upcoming season after the current Super Rugby season ends. In Championship news, the schedule is out and it begins with promotion finalists Bristol taking on recently relegated Worcester in a mouth-watering clash.

In the Rabodirect news, Fraser McKenzie has returned to Edinburgh from Newcastle Falcons for the upcoming season, hoping to improve his Scotland chances. Edinburgh also confirmed the signing of center Phil Burleigh, from Super Rugby’s the  Highlanders on a two-year contract until 2016.

The Super Rugby Bulls have confirmed that 22-year-old promising young lock Paul Willemse will join Grenoble after the Currie Cup on a two-year deal. The Rebels announced that outside center Tamati Ellison inked a new contract at the franchise.

USA Rugby News and Updates: The USA Rugby AIG Men’s Collegiate All-Americans completed a two-match sweep of Cambridge University Wednesday with a 22-12 victory at Pine Banks Park on Thursday. Click HERE for the full match recap by USA Rugby.

Polar Bear Gone as per the USA Rugby Press Release sent out on Thursday:
Following a program review, Matt Hawkins will step down as head coach of the Men’s Eagles Sevens Thursday, USA Rugby announced….The new coaching staff will be announced in the next ten days.

Fitou FisiiahiFisiiahi was once a captain of the USA High School All-Americans and a 3-=star rated American football player. According to this video by KHON2 in Honolulu, Hawaii  he has decided to pass up an opportunity to play football at Oregon State University to play rugby at Kutztown University.

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, Jake Frechette and Declan Yeats, respectively.

And until the next time… stay low and keep pumping those legs!

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About the Author ()

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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