Bryan Redpath, Atlanta 7s, ENC, LV= Cup, WRPC, NACRA, USA Rugby, World Rugby News

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Bryan Redpath
Bryan Redpath: Leaving Sale with immediate effect

NEW YORK, NY –  In a departure from the previous rounds of the 6 Nations, only 1 of Of Europe‘s 3 premier domestic competitions, The Top #14, Aviva Premiership and Guinesss Pro 12, will be in action this weekend. The Aviva Premiership and the Pro 12 are taking a break while the Top14 has a full slate of matches scheduled. In addition to the the Top14 and the 6N, the fixture list for the weekend also includes the Women’s 6 Nations and the U-20 6 Nations. The other major “domestic” club competitions taking place are the LV= Cup in the northern hemisphere and Super Rugby in the Southern hemisphere. There are loads of international competitions on the fixture list, beginning with the third leg of the Women’s Sevens World Series, the Atlanta 7s. There is also action from two divisions of the European Nations Cup, the World Rugby Pacific Challenge and the NACRA Championships. If that wasn’t enough we still have to make our way through Transfer Rumors, Player Transactions, USA Rugby and World Rugby news before we can get to the fixtures. Having said all of that let’s just get into the Weekend Rugby Preview:

Atlanta 7s: The third leg of their Sevens World Series will be played this weekend in the beautiful city of Atlanta. As we have done all this season, our Team USA analysis and tournament predictions can be found by clicking here.

Player Transactions:
#Top14: Our Top 14 Rugby expert James Harrington has done a wonderful job of covering the rumors regarding David Smith‘s possible Toulon departure, Alofa Alofa‘s re-signing and other transaction news in his piece on this weekend’s action that can be found if you just click here.

Aviva Premiership: Sale Sharks announced that head coach Bryan Redpath has left his position with the club with immediate effect.He has taken up the role as head coach at Championship side Yorkshire (formerly-known-as Leeds) Carnegie.. Continuing with Yorkshire Carnegie news Newcastle Falcons announced the signing of thier highly-rated prop Ben Harris for the 2015/16 season… Saracens have confirmed that Super Rugby Stormers lock/backrower Michael Rhodes will join for the 2015/16 season…Bath have re-signed lock and club captain Stuart Hooper for next season and the club also confirmed that back-row forward David Sisi will be released and go on season-long loan to London Irish for the 2015/16 season.

Guinness Pro12: Edinburgh backrower and captain Mike Coman has extended his contract with the club for a year, taking him through to May of 2016…Scarlets have confirmed that former fly-half Aled Thomas will be making a return to his home region in the Pro12 next season and leave Premiership side Gloucester.

Super Rugby: The Brumbies have announced the re-signing of three veteran forwards. Lock Sam Carter, lock/blindside flanker Scott Fardy and hooker Josh Mann-Rea have all extended their contracts for two more seasons.

USA Rugby News/Updates: USA Rugby Director of Performance Alex Magleby, has gotten to work changing things. As per the USA Rugby website “in addition to the international pathway being revamped for women’s rugby in the United States so too is the Talent Identification process. More domestic competitions are set to be reviewed by USA Rugby staff, who will in turn promote athletes into the newly-designed pathway. The increased scouting is combined with USA Rugby Academy Camps, Eagle Recruitment Festivals, and the growing Olympic Development Academy program to create the most comprehensive approach to selections ever for the women’s game.

usa_rugby_logoUSA Rugby announced  that the 2015 College  National Championship Series will take place May 9at Fifth Third Bank Stadium on the campus of Kennesaw State University in Georgia. This is the same site currently hosting the Atlanta 7s. KSU will host the Men’s D1A, D1AA, and Women’s DI and DII Finals… New York Athletic Club’s (NYAC) Athlete’s Fund has awarded USA Rugby Trust a $10,000 grant to benefit the Men’s Eagles’ XVs team as training for 2015 Rugby World Cup in England begins …The AIG Men’s Junior All-Americans roster for the North America qualifier for the World Rugby’s U20 Junior World Rugby Trophy in Portugal later this year has been announced. The team will take on Canada on March 23 and March 27 at Shawnigan Lake School and Westhills Stadium, respectively. Click here to read more.

World Rugby News: A group of specialists supported by a concussion prevention team of experts will guide a review of World Rugby’s concussion protocols that could see local trials in 2016…In that same vein, World Rugby and leading brain injury charity Headway have given their backing to the latest initiative from the Rugby Football Union on concussion. The RFU’s new online concussion education courses are aimed at players, coaches and match officials across the community game.

As for the weekend’s fixtures:
Super Rugby: Our resident Kiwi and Super Rugby Expert Jamie Wall was in impressive form last weekend with fantastic and concise preview. It went so well that he has managed to repeat the feat this week.  For his of  his preview of round 5, just click here.

Top 14:  What a time for the Top14 to not have a bye and play on a 6N weekend. The playoff race is as tight as it has been in years and a good number of the clubs in the hunt are missing key players due to national team duty. Our Top 14 Rugby expert James Harrington has a spectacular preview of the weekend’s action if you just click here.

6nations logoRBS 6 Nations: The fourth round of the 6 nations is upon us and it is still clear as mud as to who will win it all. Ireland are the leaders but they are far from being comfortably ahead. Wales will try to make it a three way race for the title when they meet this weekend. Our Midlands rugby scholar, Nick Hall has great preview of the round and our expert panel’s picks if you click here.

RBS Women’s 6 Nations: Our women’s rugby expert Scheenagh Harrington has put together a thorough preview of the fourth round of the women’s 6N that makes you feel like you have watched all the games and have a clear idea of the storylines in each match. To gain that understanding you just need to click here.

RBS U-20 6 Nations: Just like the men, the rising stars of European rugby, the U-20s will face off this weekend.  Scotland will take on England in their own Calcutta Cup affair, while Italy faces France in a Junior level Garibaldi Cup match and finally Wales welcomes Ireland to the dragon’s lair.

Here is the weekend’s schedule:
Fri – 13th Mar 2015
England U20s – Scotland U20s
Italy U20s – France U20s
Wales U20s – Ireland U20s

European Nations Cup:The ENC, or the 6 Nations “B” , is the premier tournament for the second-tier nations of Europe. Unbeknown to some, the ENC consists of seven divisions, each featuring between four and six teams. The matches played will determine who will get promoted and relegated from groups 1B, 2A – 2D, and 3A over a two-year cycle. Division 1A is where the six best teams not in the RBS 6 Nations reside and has no promotion to the Europe’s premier international rugby competition, only relegation back to 1B.

In 1A this weekend, Russia travel to Tbilisi to face Georgia in an epic grudge match while another rivalry is renewed, the Iberian derby, when Portugal clashes with Spain. Germany will then take on Romania in a non-rivalry match that should still be interesting. In 1B, Belgium, who were relegated from 1A after last year, will take on upstarts Moldova.

Here is the weekend’s schedule:
Sat – 14th Mar 2015
1A: Georgia – Russia
1A: Portugal – Spain
1A: Germany – Romania

1B: Belgium – Moldova

LV=Cup: The LV= Cup will be on center stage this weekend. This cup is sometimes referred to as the Anglo-Welsh competition. It serves as an important developmental tournament for young players in Wales and England. This weekend will be the semi-finals of the cup and will be a clash of 4 Aviva Premiership sides. Leicester Tigers will welcome an Exeter Chiefs side that has looked promising in Europe and in the AP. While Northampton will face Saracens in a match-up that many believe will determine the winner of the Cup. The two clubs have such strong academies that they should easily defeat whoever they face in the final.

Here is the weekend’s schedule:
Sat – 14th Mar 2015
Leicester Tigers – Exeter Chiefs
Sun – 15th Mar 2015
Saracens – Northampton Saints

WPRC CaptainsWorld Rugby Pacific Challenge: The WRPC,  was formerly known as the IRB Pacific Rugby Cup, but to make sure it wasn’t confused with the Pacific Nations Cup, it was re-branded.  It has actually been held in an Australasian country since 2006. It features the National ‘A’ representative teams from the Asia-Pacific region, and  is run by World Rugby through FORU, the Federation of Oceania Rugby Unions. This year’s development teams are from Japan, Samoa, Tonga and Fiji as one would expect. In a move to improve their program, Argentina (Pampas XV) joined last year and this year they are accompanied by Canada…In round 1 midweek action, Canada A destroyed Junior Japan, Samoa A edged out Tonga A as did Pampas XV against Fiji Warriors… In round 2 action this weekend Pampas XV will try to keep their win streak alive against Tonga A, Samoa A takes on Canada A and Junior Japan will take on Fiji Warriors.

Here are the Midweek results:
Tuesday – 10th Mar 2015
Junior Japan 17–69 Canada A
Samoa A 30–28 Tonga A
Pampas XV 22–20 Fiji Warriors

Here is the weekend’s schedule:
Sat – 14th Mar 2015
Pampas XV – Tonga A
Samoa A – Canada A
Junior Japan – Fiji Warriors

NACRANACRA CHAMPIONSHIPS 2015:  Lost in the shuffle last week was the kicking off of the North America and Caribbean Rugby Association (NACRA) Championship. The NACRA Championship is for the countries in North America and the Caribbean. NACRA has 2 zones with top level (championship) and a bottom level (cup). Each Championship zone has 3 teams while the Cup Zones have 4 each. The Zones are regionally divided, so there is a North Zone and South Zone. USA Rugby competes in the North Zone Championship division. The USA is represented by the USA South Regional all-star team, in order to develop talent and make the competition a much fairer one… In action last week, Mexico upended USA South, Bermuda crushed Turks & Caicos, Guyana made light work of Barbados. The British Virgin Islands outlasted St. Lucia and St. Vincent and the Grenadines fought to a stand still with Curacao.

The matches for this weekend will see the Cayman Islands welcome USA South, Bermuda battle Bahamas, Trinidad & Tobago will do battle with Barbados. The British Virgin Islands will face Curacao and finally St Vincent and the Grenadines take on St Lucia.

Here are the results:
Sat – 7th Mar 15
North Zone Championship League:
USA South 25-50 Mexico
North Zone Cup League:
Turks and Caicos Islands 3-55 Bermuda
South Zone Championship League:
Barbados 22-48 Guyana
South Zone Cup League:
St Lucia 14-22 British Virgin Islands
St Vincent and the Grenadines 24-24 Curacao

Here is the weekend’s schedule:
SAT – 14th Mar 15
North Zone Championship League
Cayman Islands – USA South
North Zone Cup League
Bermuda – Bahamas
South Zone Championship League
Trinidad & Tobago – Barbados
South Zone Cup League
British Virgin Islands – Curacao
St Vincent and the Grenadines – St Lucia

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, James Harrington, Jamie Wall, Nick Hall, DJ Eberle, Jake Frechette, Scheenagh Harrington, Jamie Loyd, Cody Kuxmann, Karen Ritter and Declan Yeats, respectively.

And as always, stay low and keep pumping those legs.

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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.