NEW YORK, NY – Welcome to another ripe and ready edition of the Weekend Preview. Super Rugby has is in its semi-finals, we’ve got updates on the Top 14 and news about the Premeirship 7s. We also have the latest transfer news/rumors and USA Rugby updates. With that, let’s not muck around and get to the Weekend Rugby Preview:
Commonwealth Games: The Commonwealth Games are the third-largest multi-sport event in the world (behind the Summer and Winter Olympics), involving athletes from the Commonwealth of Nations. The Commonwealth of Nations have 53 members but 71 teams participate in the Commonwealth Games, as a number of dependent territories compete under their own flag (United Kingdom is broken up into Scotland, Wales, England and Northern Ireland for instance). The games bring together globally popular sports and peculiarly “Commonwealth” sports, such as rugby 7s, which made its debut in 1998 (a year before the IRB Sevens Circuit had its debut season). The Commonwealth Games Rugby 7s competition will begin in Glasgow, Scotland on 26-27 July. Click on the hyperlink for a complete squad list and schedule.
Top 14: Our Top 14 specialist-Du-jour James Harrington, has two pieces of news to share. Firstly, it appears that four have been arrested in the machete attacks on the 3 Clermont Players. Secondly, it appears that over the next two Saturdays 7/26 and 8/2, Grenoble will play two warm-up matches against the Argentina Pumas, as the Pumas warm-up for The Rugby Championship.
Premiership 7s: The premier club 7s tournament is getting ready to roll. This year, the 4 welsh regions have been added to the mix. Maybe a sign of future things to come considering the impasse between Regional Rugby Wales and the Wales Rugby Union. The Blues, Dragons, Ospreys and Scarlets have all confirmed their squad as they compete in the Premiership 7sfor the first time.
Transactions: Big Red Management, the agents who represent Adam Jones, have confirmed that the Wales tighthead will not be joining London Welsh. The non-signing of Jones didn’t stop the Welsh from making their 24th signing of the off-season by adding lock James Down from the Cardiff Blues..Saracens long lasting relationship with Greene King IPA Championship side the Bedford Blues continues to benefit both teams as Sarries annouced that 8 young tyros will be going on season long loans to Bedford to show their wares. Lock Eoin Sheriff will head to Goldington Road on a season-long loan along with Scott Spurling, Matt Hankin also making the move are England U20 World Cup winners Nathan Earle, Hayden Thompson-Stringer, Nick Tompkins, Maro Itoje and Aaron Morris…Former Sale Sharks flanker Magnus Lund is returning to the club he debuted and played with for 6 season. After that stint with Sale, he then 6 years in Biarritz. Lund signed with Sale for one season. Sale is also in the process of trying to extend the contract of talismanic fly-half Danny Cipriani, who is in the final year of his contract with the club… Super Rugby Hurricanes and Samoa flanker Jack Lam will link up with Greene King IPA Championship side Bristol by the end of the week.
Sean Reidy of ITM side Counties Manukau has signed a short-term contract with Ulster and is hoping to make it long-term as he qualifies for Ireland by way of his grandfather. Glasgow Warriors have signed Cheetahs front-row Rossouw de Klerk, on a two-year deal, subject to a visa and medical.
French internationals Dimitri Szarzewski, Bernard le Roux and Luc Ducalcon have all signed contract extensions with Racing Métro. to stay with the Paris based club until 2019… Samoan international second-row Pelu Taele signed a two-year contract with Bayonne… Pro D2 side Agen announced that crowd favorite and mythical legend Rupeni Caucaunibuca passed all of the club’s fitness tests and will play for them in the upcoming season.
According to the news out of Australia, the Reds have allegedly signed former NRL and AFL sensation Karmichael Hunt. Western Province Rugby have signed former South African U20 and Bulls hooker Bongi Mbonambi, ahead of 2015. AIG Maori All Blacks and Blues flanker and captain Luke Braid has resigned for one more season along with fellow flanker Brendon O’Connor and wing Frank Halai have all signed one year deals while scrum-half Bryn Hall has re-signed until the end of 2016.
Pumas Having Fun: One of the many rugby rain men sent me some photos of and the background on a wonderful story. There is rugby club in Buenos Aires that has small program for children with Down Syndrome. In a huge reward for these kids, earlier this week they were invited to a Pumas training session and got to play and hang out with their heroes. Click Here for the full story and photos. It is a story that for some reason makes it so hot in the room, my eyeballs start to sweat.
USA Rugby News and Updates: The USA Rugby AIG Boys High School All-Americans, sponsored by Aircraft Charter Solutions, lost the second match of their Rugby 4 nations mini-tournament. The tournament features the Italy U-18s, Uruguay U-18/19s and the the U-18s of the host nation, Argentina. The USA opened with tough loss to the hosts and then they couldn’t keep up with Italy. Please CLICK HERE for a match report.
The USA men’s national team, the Eagles, have had their November tours schedule has been released. It starts with the big one, the match-up against the AIG All Blacks, then a 3 week trip to Europe. Here is the schedule.
Men’s Eagles | Fall Tour 2014
v New Zealand – Saturday, Nov. 1 – Chicago, Ill.
v Romania – Saturday, Nov. 8 – Bucharest, Romania
v Tonga – Saturday, Nov. 15 – Europe, Location TBD
v Fiji – Saturday, Nov. 22 – Vannes, France
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.