Weekend Rugby Preview: USA Rugby News, Autumn Internationals, LV= Cup and more

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England and New Zealand renew a historic rivalry
England and New Zealand renew a historic rivalry

NEW YORK, NY – It is that really special time of the year when worlds collide as North meets South. Despite the continued financial power of the northern leagues, the SANZAR nations of South Africa, Australia and New Zealand continue to post winning tour records but could this be the November that changes it all. Before we look at the Autumn internationals, we will cover Player Transactions , USA Rugby News and IRB News. Not to be lost in the mix is the always ongoing season of the Top 14. It rounds off withTier 3 action in the European Nations Cup. Let’s get to the Weekend Rugby Preview on the hop:

Penalty Kick:
Transactions: Stop us if you have heard this before, according to reports in the English press, Leicester Tigers have agreed to help begin a new era in USA professional rugby by playing an All-star XV from the National Rugby Football League (NRFL). RugbyLaw LLC, a Minnesota based sports and entertainment company and the founding entity of the NRFL. It is at this point that something starts smelling rotten in Denmark. We will keep you posted if this becomes a reality or not…. Saracens have signed former Northampton Saints and Bath hooker Brett Sharman until the end of the season…Gloucester have signed 20-year-old back-row forward Ross Moriarty to a new contract with the club.

Cardiff Blues announced that wing George Watkins has left the Guinness PRO12 region and returned to his former club, Bristol Rugby.

One of the two Lolos that coach Racing Metro,  co-coach Laurent Labit was handed a ban for his disparaging comments against the referee in his side’s 23-19 Top 14 loss against Stade Français last month. Labit will be banned from all access to grounds, dressing-rooms and entry areas in all Top 14 and European Cup games up until February 15, the LNR announced on Thursday. Racing were also hit with a 50,000 euros fine for his words which were seen as tainting the reputation and integrity of South African referee Jaco van Heerden…The 2015/2016 Top 14 Final will be played at FC Barcelona’s Nou Camp stadium, the LNR confirmed earlier this week after it was revealed that there was a schedule clash with the Stade De France as a result of the football Euro 2016.

USA Rugby News and Updates: Some big wraps need to go out to USA Rugby Event Communications Manager Laura Gill and Communications Coordinator Chad Wise. It may seem like brown nosing to some but after a week realizing what USA Rugby is lacking, a little bit of credit should go to these two for their help while RWU was in Chicago and quickly responding to our requests.

One of those requests were regarding the televising of USA Games for the Autumn internationals and the schedule on the website was quickly updated. Here is the list:
Date Opponent Result/Time Location Broadcast Tickets
November 8, 2014 vs. Romania 11:30 A.M. ET Stadionul National Arcul de Triumf – Bucharest, Romania RugbyTV.ro
November 15, 2014 vs. Tonga 11:45 A.M. ET Kingsholm Stadium IRB Live
November 21, 2014 vs. Fiji 1:00 P.M. ET Stade de la Rabine – Vannes, France IRB Live

In other USA news tickets for Atlanta 7s – the U.S. leg of the 2014-15 IRB Women’s Sevens World Series – will go on sale during the Women’s Premier League National Championship in Marietta, Ga., the weekend of Nov. 7-9.

The field is set for the 2014 USA Rugby Women’s Division I College Fall Championship and qualifier for next May’s National Championship. Hosted by ACRA, the road to the 2015 USA Rugby College National Championship Series begins with the Rounds of 16 and eight Nov. 15-16. Dartmouth College, Notre Dame College, University of Northern Iowa, and Vassar College will host the 4 regional brackets. Click here for the full national bracket.

IRB News: The IRB released the official list or Referee assignments for the upcoming Autumn internationals. Click here for the pdf  list and say “thank you, sir!”

WEEKEND FIXTURE LIST:

USA celebrating a win over Romania in 2012
USA celebrating a win over Romania in 2012

Autumn Internationals: The Autumn Internationals are in full swing and completely abide by the IRB international window allowing for the release of all international players. The weekend begins as Canada face Namibia in England which pits two teams riding two different streaks, losing for Canada and winning for Namibia. Saturday begins the smorgasbord of action as the Maori All Blacks play the second of two matches against Japan in Japan. The big one for the weekend will see the inventors of the game against the all-time best when England clash with New Zealand. The inevitable match decided in the dying minutes between Wales and Australia will also occur. Ireland will run-out at home against South Africa while Scotland take on Argentina in an intriguing fixture. France will take on a Fiji team that is consistently inconsistent.

Later matches on Saturday can only be described as smaller tilts as lower ranked Tier 1 sides go against Tier 2 sides and Tier 2s facing off against each other. We will see Italy welcome a dangerous Samoa side, while Georgia host Tonga. Hong Kong will challenge Russia and the good old USA travels to Romania.

RWU has preview of the Romania and USA match by clicking here and clicking here will get you a preview of the England-New Zealand match.

Here is the weekend’s schedule:
Fri – 7th Nov 14
TOUR Canada – Namibia
Sat – 8thNov 14
TOUR Japan – Maori AB
TOUR England – New Zealand
TOUR Wales – Australia
TOUR Italy – Samoa
TOUR Georgia – Tonga
TOUR Ireland – South Africa
TOUR Scotland – Argentina
TOUR France – Fiji
TOUR Hong Kong – Russia
TOUR Romania – USA

Top 14: Our Ligue Nationale de Rugby expert James Harrington has not forgotten his duties just because the French international season has begun. A key reason for this is that the Top 14 insists on playing big games during the international season. A preview can be found if you click here.

LV=Cup: With the rugby calendar so full, the LV= Cup has developed into one of the premier developmental tournaments for young players in Wales and England. It has the 12 Aviva premiership teams along with the 4 Welsh regions battle it out to find a champion. The main thing it does is it lets starts of tomorrow showcase their abilities. During a full weekend of action, Scarlets will welcome an on-fire Northampton, while Saracens travel south to face Ospreys. Harlequins host the Dragons and Newcastle will roll out the red carpet as Cardiff makes the trip north. Exeter will also take on Bath then Wasps play London Irish, London Welsh will host Gloucester and Leicester face Sale Sharks in an enticing battle of two clubs with good academies.

Here is the weekend’s schedule:
Fri – 7th Nov 14
Scarlets – Northampton
Ospreys – Saracens
Harlequins – Newport Gwent Dragons
Newcastle – Cardiff Blues
Sat – 8th Nov 14
Exeter – Bath
Sun – 9th Nov 14
Wasps – London Irish
London Welsh – Gloucester
Leicester – Sale Sharks

Israel rugby trying get their hot streak re-started
Israel rugby trying get their hot streak re-started

Tier 3 In Tier 3, The men’s European Nations Cup consists of 7 divisions, each with 4-6 teams. The matches determine who will get promoted and relegated form groups 1A, 1B, 2A – 2Dd and 3A. Saturday’s fixture list sees action between 1B and 2C. Ukraine will travel to Moldova, while the Czech Republic will have the pleasure of Malta‘s company. Israel will try and kick start their winning streak on the road in Croatia and lowly nations Luxembourg and Austria meet.

Here is the weekend’s schedule:
Sat – 8th Nov 14
Moldova – Ukraine
Czech Republic – Malta
Croatia – Israel
Luxembourg – Austria

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.

PS: In a bit of shameless self promotion, feel free to donate to my MOVEMBER Campaign at http://us.movember.com/mospace/1862480

About Junoir Blaber 867 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.