Global Rugby Recap: Wayne Smith, Liam Williams, Aviva, USA Rugby, Pro12

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Wayne Smith

Wayne Smith

NEW YORK, NY – The was no rest for the wicked nor weary this weekend. Regardless of Christmas sledding up on us in just hours, there was still plenty of rugby to report. It begins with
Player Transactions, USA Rugby & World Rugby updates. Then we rugby news that doesn’t fit in a conventional category. We’ll also look at the latest for Europe’s three top leagues. So, before St. Nick slides down a chimney, let’s get to the Global Rugby Recap:

Transactions:
Exeter Chiefs have announced that winger Tom James is to head back to former club Cardiff Blues at the end of the season.

In the Pro 12, Ulster announced that 28-year-old (and USA eligible) loosehead prop Callum Black has signed a new three-year contract with the side.

Wayne Smith, who was part of New Zealand‘s coaching staff from 2004 through to the team’s victory at World Cup 2011, and a Chiefs assistant coach from 2012-2014, will rejoin The All Blacks as a specialist defense coach for the 2015 season, it was announced on Sunday.

Liam Williams blacked up

Bad call Liam… real bad call!

Liam Williams Fiasco: Liam Williams, the Scarlets and Wales full-back, has apologized for any offense caused by his outfit worn on Saturday, December 20. Williams was pictured ‘blacked up’, apparently as Swansea City striker Wilfried Bony, and has come under fire on social media on Sunday. Why anyone still thinks this is a good call is beyond us.

Aviva Premiership News: Strange thing happened over the weekend after Saracens CEO Edward Griffiths called for the salary cap to be scrapped as it would “kill any hope of growth.” Saturday’s Daily Mail claims that Saracens and Bath are both under investigation for alleged salary cap breaches. The paper claims that an inquiry is under way after a ‘whistleblower‘ complained to Premiership Rugby’s salary cap auditor. Stay tuned to RWU for the latest news regarding this situation.

Super Rugby News:
The Western Province Rugby Football Union have decided against relocating from Newlands to the Cape Town Stadium. A Special General Meeting of the Western Province Rugby Football Union (WPRFU) was held at DHL Newlands on 17 December to give feedback and to discuss the investigation of the feasibility and desirability to relocate to the Cape Town Stadium. With Newlands owned by the member clubs of the WPRFU, it was a unamious vote. If you want a full explanation, Click Here.

USA Rugby News and Updates: According to a report in The Courier Mail, the Wallabies would like to play the Eagles in Chicago ahead of next year’s World Cup. The obvious success of the All Blacks v Eagles match has made the rugby world sit-up and take notice.

World Rugby News: The referees for the 2015 Womens 6 Nations were announced. They feature Jess Beard (NZL), Leah Berard (USA), Sara Cox (ENG), Claire Hodnett (ENG), Alhambra Nievas (ESP), Helen O’Reilly (IRE), Amy Perrett (AUS) and Sherry Trumbull (CAN). Click here for the appointments and fixtures.

WEEKEND FIXTURE LIST:
Top 14: After completing a Top14 preview that was full of headline news and scandal, Our Ligue Nationale de Rugby expert James Harrington got no rest as there was more big news including the arrival of Ma’a Nonu and more. For his fantastic Top 14 review, click here.

Aviva Premiership: With Christmas approaching, a key marker in the AP season is near and the league is only appearing more unpredictable. Sale upsetted in-form Exeter Harlequins kicked their way to victory at home against Newcastle… As expected it was one-way traffic as Saracens, at home, demolished London Welsh… In a playoff rematch 14 man, just like in the playoffs, Northampton beat LeicesterGloucester were no match for Bath and Wasps had a perfect start to life in Coventry against London Irish with a big win.

Here is the weekend’s schedule:
Fri – 19th Dec 14
Sale 18 – 11 Exeter
Sat – 20th Dec 14
Harlequins 15 – 7 Newcastle
Saracens 78 – 7 London Welsh
Northampton 23 – 19 Leicester
Gloucester 16 – 39 Bath
Sun – 21st Dec 14
Wasps 48 – 16 London Irish

Guiness Pro12 awardGuinness Pro 12: In the Pro 12, with clubs battling for either a playoff place or European Cup place, it was a hometown sweep weekend. It begun with the Cardiff Blues winning a Welsh derby against Scarlets, Edinburgh blanked Treviso and Connacht lost in Dublin to Leinster – in an Irish derby. Glasgow edged out Munster and Ulster were seen off by an in-form OspreysNewport-Gwent wrapped up the weekend with a win over Zebre.

Here is the weekend’s schedule:
Fri – 19th Dec 14
Cardiff Blues 21 – 9 Scarlets
Edinburgh 48 – 0 Benetton Treviso
Leinster 21 – 11 Connacht
Sat – 20th Dec 14
Glasgow Warriors 21 – 18 Munster
Ospreys 31 – 20 Ulster
Sun – 21st Dec 14
Newport-Gwent Dragons 25 – 11 Zebre

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… In case you missed our Rugby Wrap Up Radio</strong> launch, here it is. If you can’t listen now, please download and listen at your leisure. Use the play below for either choice.

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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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