Robbie Deans, Montpelier, Amsterdam 7s, Player Moves, USA Rugby and World Rugby News

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Robbie Deans
Robbie Deans

NEW YORK, NY – Now that the chunk of our staff has recovered from the Memorial Day Weekend [4 days] break, we’d be remiss if we didn’t thank those that serve and served in their respective country’s armed forces. Without your sacrifice and bravery, we wouldn’t be chatting freely about rugby. Thank you.

Now a look at what’s been happening in this great game of  rugby…

Ladies first:

Amsterdam 7s: The final leg of the Women’s series is complete.  For a review of the action and out USA Women’s analysis click here.

Player Transactions:

Guinness Pro12: Former Australia coach Robbie Deans has ruled himself out of the running to join Leinster for next season… Treviso coach Umberto Casellato secured the signatures of Enrico Bacchin, Simone Ragusi and Matteo Zanusso to new contracts… Connacht have announced that forwards Dave Heffernan, Danny Qualter, JP Cooney and versatile back Shane O’Leary have signed new one-year deals.

Aviva Premiership: Wasps have confirmed the signing of veteran Wallabies flanker George Smith from relegated Top 14 side Lyon.

#TOP14: Montpellier announced that 19 players will leave the club at the end of the season, including former All Black Rene Ranger and ex-Springbok Wynand Olivier. Our Top 14 expert, , will cover this in his playoff preview report.

usa_rugby_logoUSA Rugby News/Updates: The USA announced it High Performance referee camps. Click here to read. According to UK papers, London Irish are set to play a regular season Aviva Premiership fixture in New York sometime next year…James Madison won the DII college 7s championship with a 40-22 win over University of Wisconsin-Whitewater in the final. Penn State won a rematch of the 15s college championship in the 7s college championship against Central Washington 47-26Lindenwood beat the Davenport Panthers 28-10 to claim the DI 7s National Championship.

World Rugby News: World Rugby will broadcast this year’s U20 Championship to more than 100 countries around the globe. As teams arrive in northern Italy for the eighth edition of the tournament, organizers have announced that the event from 2-20 June will be screened to more than 160 million homes.

Super Rugby LogoAs for the weekend’s fixtures:
Super Rugby: Our Super Rugby expert, Kiwi , has a great review of another big week of super rugby action. For his great review, Click Here.

#Top14: Our Top 14 expert, , covers the heart breaking final week of the Top 14. It is just cruel how one team is relegated and another misses the playoffs by the slimmest margins. Click Here for his review.

Aviva Premiership: It was an incredible weekend of playoff drama. It is too much to try and cover in the recap, so our Aviva Expert, Nick Hall is Johnny-on-the-Spot with his review, just click here.

Guinness Pro 12: Playoff rugby has begun and the Glasgow Warriors have confirmed their place in the final once again. The Warriors edged out Ulster thanks to a late kick courtesy of a silly Ulster penalty and a late try complimented by a great conversion kick. The Ospreys were denied an injury-time try by the TMO as Munster advanced to the Pro12 Final, winning 21-18 at Thomond Park.

Here are the results:
Fri – 22nd May 15
Glasgow Warriors 16-14 Ulster

Sat – 16th May 15
Munster – Ospreys

Victorious Georgia

Junior World Rugby TrophyThe Junior (Under-20) World Rugby Trophy is a tournament for the second tier nations of rugby at the U-20 level. The winner gets promoted to the Junior World Cup competition which features, the top tier nations in international rugby. It is being held in Portugal this year. The USA failed to qualify this year and lost out to Canada. The teams playing this year are Canada, Uruguay, Portugal, Georgia, Namibia, Fiji, Tonga and Hong Kong. Georgia are the new U20 Trophy Champions, it is their first time winning this trophy. They won it against a very game Canada side.  Uruguay defeated Tonga in a barn-burner for third place. Fiji won against Namibia for fifth and host Portugal got their first win against Hong Kong.

Here are the results:
Sun – 24th May 15
Fixtures (local times)
Final: Georgia 49-24 Canada
Third place play-off: Uruguay 44-43- Tonga
Fifth place play-off: Fiji 36-24 Namibia
Seventh place play-off: Portugal 47-21 Hong Kong

Africa Cup: The Africa Cup 2015 will be the fifthteenth edition of the continental tournament that involves the best African national teams, organized by the Confederation of African Rugby (CAR). Given their superiority, the South African national team has rarely participated in the tournament and the 4 times the SARU has, they sent either a U-23 team or amateur side, they go on to win it. Beyond South Africa, there are up to 27 rugby countries in the Cup with the national participants in the two divisions with each division divided into three groups ( 1A, 1B, 1C, 2A, 2B, and 2C ), with promotion and relegation. Tournaments Divisions 1A and 1B’s games are often double as qualification games for the Rugby World Cup. In division 2 North Championships, Burkina Faso crushed Benin, Togo fell to  Mali and Niger to my personal disappoint dispatched Ghana.

Here result:
Sun – 24th May 15
North 2: Burkina Faso 67-3 Benin
North 2: Mali 31-12 Togo
North 2: Niger 28-10 Ghana

In division 2 North midweek action, Burkina Faso plays against Togo, Benin faces Niger challenges Ghana takes on Mali.

Here is the week’s schedule:
Wed – 27th May 15
North 2: Burkina Faso – Togo
North 2: Niger – Benin
North 2: Ghana – Mali

rugby europeEuropean Nations Cup:The ENC, or the 6 Nations “B” , is the premier tournament for the second-tier nations of Europe. Believe it or not, 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 aka the 6 Nations B is where the six best teams in the rest of Europe reside and there is no promotion to the Europe’s premier international rugby competition, only relegation back to 1B…This weekend sees Ukraine edged out Netherlands,  Finland defeated Turkey and Norway spanked Bulgaria.

Here is the weekend’s schedule:
Sat – 23rd May 15
1B: Ukraine 18 – 10 Netherlands
2D: Finland 20 – 12 Turkey
2D: Norway 43 – 0 Bulgaria

South American Championships (SAMC) 2015: The SAMC is the same as the ENC – except it’s South America, a minor detail – and that has 4 divisions featuring 15 teams. It is the battle to find the 2nd best team in South America with Argentina the firm number 1. The top division is called the CONSUR division and features Argentina’s B team, Uruguay and Chile. Speaking of the CONSUR division, this weekend saw Paraguay get crushed by the continental giants, Argentina. In an Exhibition match,the Fiji Warriors outlasted Uruguay. The Warriors will no face an Argentina second side in the midweek.

Here is the weekend’s schedule:
Sat – 9th May 15
Paraguay 7 – 71 Argentina
Exhibition Match: Fiji Warriors 30 – 22 Uruguay

Here is the week’s schedule:
Wed – 27th May 15
Exhibition Match: Argentina – Fiji Warriors

Japan_women_
Japan Winners

The Asian Rugby Championship, which is similar to the ENC (European Nation’s Cup) but with 5 divisions with the 3 most dominant teams, the tri-nations of Korea, Hong Kong, and Japan in the top division. There are 4 teams in division 1 and 2 then division 3 is broken up into East, Central and West with 3 teams each before we finally get to division 4 with 7. Believe it or not this is allegedly streamlined from previous years where it was just 5 divisions and 5 teams in each…As for the weekend’s fixtures, Hong Kong will take on the giants of Asia, Japan. In weekend action, Hong Kong and Japan was called off due to torrential rain. The two nations split the point but Japan is still assured the title. In midweek D3 action, Uzbekistan will wrestle with India.

A women’s championship also wrapped up this weekend. The top division in that championship is a 4 nations tournament featuring Hong Kong, Japan, Kazakhstan, and Singapore.  Japan cause a huge upset as the were able to tie raining champions Kazakhstan 2 weeks ago then defeated Hong Kong by enough of a point margin to become the 2015 Women’s championship winner.

Sat – 23rd May 15
Top: Hong Kong 0 – 0 Japan (match called)
Women’s 4N: Hong Kong 12 – 27 Japan

Here is the week’s schedule:
Wed – 27th May 15
D3 Central: Uzbekistan – India

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, Audrey Youn, Akweley Okine, Rocky Brown 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.