Weekend Rugby Preview: Aaron Mauger, Autumn Internationals, Aviva, Pro12, USA Rugby and NY7s

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Aaron Mauger
Aaron Mauger

NEW YORK, NY – Thanksgiving is over. Turkey is done and it is Leftovers Friday. In that same vein, the Autumn Internationals window is officially over, but there are leftovers..  Just as there were a couple of games before the window officially opened, there are a couple after it. These leftover internationals are joined on the rugby calendar by action in Europe’s 3 top leagues.  Before we look at the weekend fixture list though we have to get through a heavy week of  Player Transactions, a busy week in  USA Rugby News and World Rugby News . On top of this there are news and notes regarding weekend tournaments and Super Rugby news. If you still haven’t had your fill, there is a little bit of  Tier 3 action to be discussed before we can say the job is done. With all that to cover, we advise you loosen up your belt a few notches and get ready for a smorgasbord edition of  the Weekend Rugby Preview:

Uncoverted Try:
Transactions: In the Aviva Premiership, Wasps center Elliot Daly received a three-week ban after pleading guilty to acts contrary to good sportsmanship, at the RFU disciplinary hearing in London. Daly,  verbally abused referee Ian Tempest, and is barred from playing again until December 16th 2014Saracens have signed former Super Rugby Blues fly-half Baden Kerr. It is expected that Kerr will spend 6 months Saracns’ Greene King IPA Championship (the division below the Aviva Premiership) affiliate Bedford Blues before playing the 2015/2016 with Aviva Premiership…Exeter Chiefs announced that head coach Rob Baxter and his coaching staff have signed contract extensions through the 2018 season…Scotland flanker Blair Cowan also signed a contract extension through 2018 with his club, the London Irish…Former Leicester, Canterbury, Crusaders and New Zealand All Black center Aaron Mauger has accepted the head coach role at Leicester. Mauger will  join from the Crusaders for the 2015/2016 season and serve under Director of Rugby Richard Cockerill. Mauger will arrive to find that he will need a new option at fullback as according to reports, Leicester full-back Mathew Tait is set to join Top 14 club Bayonne on a 2 year deal at the end of the season.

In the Pro 12, Cardiff Blues announced that Welsh center Tom Isaacs, who will join them from Aviva Premiership side GloucesterGlasgow have signed two of their Scottish international backs, Stuart Hogg and Lee Jones, to  2 year extensions through 2017…Connacht Rugby and the IRFU announced that 24-year-old wing Niyi Adeolokun has signed a new 2 year deal which ties him to the province until June 2017. It is an impressive feat for Adeolokun as he only joined Connacht last June after catching the eye of the provincial coaches whilst playing for Dublin University… The Ospreys will be likely to sign a new prop soon as according to reports they are facing a front row crisis after Welsh international Nicky Smith was ruled out for four months with a pectoral injury.

Juan Smith
Juan Smith

Meanwhile in France, Toulon had to say goodbye to legendary second row Bakkies Botha this week as the Springbok announced his retirement from all rugby at the end of this season. Now they may have to say goodbye to a second World Cup winner and Springbok at the end of the season as there are reports Juan Smith is also set to retire… In case you haven’t had enough Toulon news, our Top 14 expert James Harrington, announced the signature of Argentina hooker Matias Cortese on a short-term deal. Jono Ross has signed a 2 and half year deal with Stade Français after joining the club as a medical joker for David Lyons about a month ago. Stade Français also signed Melbourne Rebels prop Paul Alo-Emile on a 3 year deal.

As for Super Rugby incoming transactions news, The Brumbies announced the signing of Australia sevens player Lausii Taliauli to a 1 year contract… The Melbourne Rebels have signed former Brumbies hooker Siliva Siliva on a 2 year contract through the 2017 season. The Western Force  signed fly-half Sias Ebersohn has signed a 3 year extension…Hika Elliot will rejoin the Chiefs as an injury replacement for injured All Black Nathan Harris who got his break and rose to All Black status as a result of Elliot succumbing to injury…The Sharks have acquired the services of the ITM Cup’s Southland Stags head coach Brad Mooar for the next two weeks to improve their attack.

Currie Cup Pumas coach Jimmy Stonehouse could leave the union after he received an offer to further his coaching career in Japan. He will make a decision before the end of next week.

USA 7s Eagles Women's Coach - Ric Sugitt
USA 7s Eagles Women’s Coach – Ric Sugitt

USA Rugby News and Updates: With USA Rugby’s Fifteens High Performance Manager, Billy Millard, and National Sevens Director Alex Magleby already presenting at the 2015 National Development Summit in January in Chicago, three more big names were added this week. New Men’s Eagles Sevens Head Coach Mike Friday and Assistant Coach Chris Brown will present in Chicago before they leave with the Eagles for the fourth leg of the 2014-15 HSBC Sevens World Series. Women’s Eagles Head Coach Pete Steinberg will be a part of a special set of NDS presentations about the 2014 Women’s World Cup and discuss the current state of women’s rugby.

As planning for the third annual World Rugby Women’s Sevens Series continues to build momentum, USA Rugby and Serevi announced today a partnership which will add a High School Rugby Sevens Festival and coaching clinic to the schedule of Atlanta 7s events. The high school tournament, featuring both boys and girls brackets, will allow players to sign up as teams or as individuals with the games culminating in finals to be played in between international matches inside Fifth Third Bank Stadium.

Speaking of the Women’s Sevens World Series, USA 7s Women’s head coach Ric Suggitt announced his squad for the Dubai  7s. Here is the squad – including the non-traveling reserves.

Women’s Eagles Sevens | Emirates Dubai Rugby Sevens
1. Kelly Griffin
2. Amelia Villines
3. Kathryn Johnson
4. Hannah Lopez
5. Jessica Javelet
6. Lauren Doyle
7. Victoria Folayan
8. Lorrie Clifford
9. Megan Bonny
10. Joanne Fa’avesi
11. Alev Kelter
12. Melissa Fowler

Women’s Eagles Sevens | Non-traveling Reserves
Ida Bernstein
Bianca Dalal
Hannah Lockwood
Dana Meschisi
Jane Paar

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Thanksgiving 7s Tournaments: If you are in the New York City area this weekend, you should definitely treat yourself to watching the New York 7s. Don’t be surprised to see Johnathan Wicklow Barberie running around. Once again the tournament is hosted by AIG Rugby.  In accordance with this AIG Rugby’s mission of growing the game and the New York Rugby Club, they ask that you bring your children out for the day and have them participate in the Rookie Rugby Program.  Please pass the info on to anyone you know who may want to have their child/children participate. Also partnering with New York Rugby for the New York 7s is Snapcall. Snapcall is a rather awesome new app that combines trivia and everything cool about watching sports and making predictions. For more information, you MUST READ this piece, click here.

If you want to play or watch a tournament before you get to New York, I recommend you check out the JAS 7s in Fairmont Park, Philadelphia. The tournament honors the memory of Josias A. Sterling, a young HS rugby player that lost his life when he was pulled out to sea unexpectedly while with his friends at the beach. Young Josias couldn’t swim, so the proceeds for this tournament benefit the Josias A. Sterling Foundation, an organization started in the Philadelphia area teaching young men and women to swim.

New Bulls Jersey
New Bulls Jersey

World Rugby News: Romania’s Mihai Macovei has received a 6 week suspension for striking an opponent in the face with his forearm during his side’s recent match against Canada in Bucharest. Macovei admitted the offense, which was contrary to Law 10.4 (a).

Big News in Super Rugby: The Crusaders are making plans to play next year’s Super Rugby match against the Hurricanes in Fiji. According to the New Zealand media, the Crusaders are looking at alternatives for the May 29 match as their home ground, the AMI Stadium, will be used for FIFA’s U20 World Cup in May and June.

Athletic apparel company Puma released pics of their new Bulls Super Rugby 2015 kit, which pays homage to the team’s loyal fans with  a striking Bull’s head weaved into the design.

WEEKEND FIXTURE LIST:
Autumn Internationals: There are only 2 matches going on this weekend as the vast majority of of players are back with their clubs. The 2 matches will see 2 powers of the Northern Hemisphere, England and Wales face Southern Hemisphere giants Australia and South Africa, respectively. Nick Hall will have preview of the England match later today.

Here is the weekend’s schedule:
SAT – 29TH NOV 14
TOUR Wales – South Africa
TOUR England – Australia

Top 14: Our Ligue Nationale de Rugby expert James Harrington has rolled out a Top14 preview fresher than your Thanksgiving day bread rolls. With the season heating up and big names back, it is going to be a weekend of intense action. The preview can be found if you click here.

Slammin' Sam Burgess
Slammin’ Sam Burgess

Aviva Premiership: England fans will be watching closely on Friday night as Slammin Sam Burgess will make his Bath debut against Harlequins. On Saturday, Leicester will welcome Wasps and Exeter hosts Saracens. The exile clubs of London, the London Irish and the London Welsh will face a challenge from midland sides Gloucester and  Northampton. In the northern part of the country Newcastle will welcome fellow northerners Sale.

Here is the weekend’s schedule:
Fri – 28th Nov 14
Bath – Harlequins
Sat – 29th Nov 14
Leicester Tigers – Wasps
Exeter – Saracens
Sun – 30th Nov 14
London Irish – Gloucester
London Welsh – Northampton
Newcastle Falcons – Sale Sharks

Guinness Pro 12: With one weekend of Pro 12 games before European action re-starts, there will be added spice to this weekend’s matches. The fixture list begins with an Irish derby as Munster takes on Ulster then Cardiff Blues will host Treviso. On Saturday, Zebre will receive a visit from Edinburgh, Leinster take on Ospreys, and Connacht meets Scarlets in the Irish west country. The final match of the weekend will see Dragons travel up to Scotland to face Glasgow.

Here is the weekend’s schedule:
Fri – 28th Nov 14
Munster – Ulster
Cardiff Blues – Treviso
Sat – 29th Nov 14
Zebre – Edinburgh
Leinster – Ospreys
Connacht – Scarlets
Sun – 30th Nov 14
Glasgow Warriors – Dragons

Tier 3 In Tier 3, there is only one game on tap this weekend and it is South America. 2016 Olympic hosts Brazil  clash with Paraguay in a test of two upcoming nations.

Here is the weekend’s schedule:
SAT – 29TH NOV 14
Brazil – Paraguay

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 as always, stay low and keep pumping those legs.

P.s.. Finally, a bit of shameless self promotion as the month is almost over: Please donate to my MOVEMBER Campaign via The Movember Foundation; The leading global organization committed to changing the face of men’s health. Click here for the info. Thanks!

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About Junoir Blaber 868 Articles
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.