NEW YORK, NY – Welcome to the first Global Rugby Recap of 2015. Despite the New Year holiday, everything rolled on as usual in the rugby world – and we will do the same. We begin with Transfer Rumors, Player Transactions, World Rugby news. Then we look at the fixtures in Europe’s three top leagues. With no further adieu, let’s get into the Global Rugby Recap:
Transactions: This time of year is affectionately known as silly season, since just about every top player you can think off is mention to be on the move, usually to a big-name club.
We begin with the rumor mill of in the Aviva Premiership… there are rumors that Geoff Parling will leave Leicester at at the end of the season and head to Premiership rivals Exeter… Gloucester, meanwhile, have announced that England eightman Ben Morgan has extended his stay at the club.
In the Pro12, According to Press Association Sport, Wales flyhalf Rhys Priestland is set to announce that he will leave Welsh Regional side the Scarlets to join Aviva Premiership side Bath after next year’s World Cup. Good news for Scarlets was that another one of their Welsh internationals, second-row Jake Ball, has become the latest player to sign a National Dual Contract.
In Super Rugby, Australia U-20 international Andrew Kellaway, has officially joined the New South Wales Waratahs Super Rugby franchise as a squad member.
USA Rugby News and Updates: This was a quiet weekend on USA Rugby news front.
WEEKEND FIXTURE LIST:
Top 14: What a wild weekend it was in the Top 14, full of upsets and controversy, which has become par for the course so maybe it wasn’t such a wild weekend for the most unpredictable league in Europe. Our Ligue Nationale de Rugby expert James Harrington will put together another wonderful recap – click here to read it.
Aviva Premiership: This weekend marked the start of the second half of the AP season. Our East Midlands man, Nicholas Hall, has put together a great review of the rounds talking points, which he will post later this week. Mr. Hall also took the time to ring in 2015 by creating New Year’s resolutions for all the teams in the AP. We will also release that over the week.
As for the weekend’s action, table-toppers Northampton won a shootout against Newcastle while second-place Saracens kept pace by dispatching London Irish. Exeter‘s slump in form continued with a narrow defeat to Gloucester and Leicester ground out a victory against Bath. Maybe their playoff ambitions shouldn’t be so easily dismissed? Wasps continue their impressive new-home form in Coventry with a demolition of Sale and Harlequins had to muster every drop of class to get by a fierce London Welsh.
Here are the results:
Fri – 2nd Jan 15
Northampton 39 – 31 Newcastle
Sat – 3rd Jan 15
Saracens 22 – 6 London Irish
Exeter 25 – 26 Gloucester
Sun – 4th Jan 15
Leicester 17 – 8 Bath
Wasps 41 – 16 Sale
London Welsh 13 – 24 Harlequins
Guinness Pro 12: In the Pro 12, the New Year’s Day weekend featured the second leg of regional derbies, many of which were the return leg of the Boxing Day fixtures. In case you missed it earlier, on New Year’s Day itself, fans in Wales and Ireland were asked to shake off their hangovers and head to the stadiums, which saw Dragons lose to Cardiff in a turgid affair. Meanwhile, the mighty men of Munster lost to the upstarts from Connacht… Friday saw the second match in the 1872 Cup and is played between Glasgow and Edinburgh, as the two cities have been rugby rivals dating back that far. The capital city boys of Edinburgh won the encounter by 12, which allowed them to lift the cup courtesy of an aggregate score over both matches of 26-24.
Saturday, Ospreys went down to long-time rivals Scarlets, while across the Irish Sea, Leinster’s clinical second-half performance saw them overcome Ulster… Saturday also saw the second match of the Italy derby, when Italian side Treviso beat Zebre.
Here are the results:
Thu – 1st Jan 15
Newport Gwent Dragons 9 – 11 Cardiff Blues
Connacht 24 – 16 Munster
Fri- 2nd Jan 15
Edinburgh 20 – 8 Glasgow Warriors
Sat – 3rd Jan 15
Benetton Treviso 17 – 15 Zebre
Leinster 24 – 11 Ulster
Scarlets 22 – 10 Ospreys
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.
Click the play button below to listen to our latest Rugby Wrap Up Radio segment. You can also download and listen to it at your leisure. Matt McCarthy and Nick Hall discuss the American players thriving overseas with professional contracts and the glut of flyhalves that are presenting a good problem for England Head Coach Stuart Lancaster.