Biarritz-Bayonne No!, London Welsh, Women’s Super Series, Tier 2/3 Cups, USA Rugby and World Rugby News

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Bayonne-BiarritzNEW YORK, NY – It was an interesting weekend. The developments off-the-pitch seemed to overshadow the on-the-pitch action. We had plenty of team and player news with the biggest fixture news being the Super Rugby semis. There is still loads to cover, so pull up a chair and get comfy as we dive into the global recap:

News & Transactions:

Top 14: The proposed merger between rival Basque clubs Biarritz and Bayonne will not happen following a resounding “no” vote in Bayonne. The creation of a single Basque club had been rumored for some time and with both sides now relegated to the Pro D2, their respective presidents saw it as an economic necessity, despite strong resistance from within the supporters’ ranks. Now the idea seems dead for good after Bayonne’s amateur association voted 70 percent against such a venture on Friday… That bit of news, along with the announcement that Joe Rokocoko is set to stay at Bayonne despite their relegation to Pro D2 and interest from the Top 14, was positive but couldn’t outshine some key departures. Brive announced the arrival of versatile flyhalf/center Bayonne back Matthieu Ugalde on a two-year deal ahead of the new Top 14 season. Bayonne’s captain, Australian Mark Chisholm, is set to leave the relegated French club and return to Australia… In other news, recently promoted Pau have continued their recruitment drive with the arrival of Fijian winger Watisoni Votu from Perpignan on a two-year deal.

220px-London_welsh_badgeAviva Premiership: London Welsh confirmed that after three seasons at the Kassam Stadium, including two seasons of playing in the Premiership, they will leave Oxford and return to Old Deer Park in southwest London for the 2015/16 Championship season. The club says that it will play at Old Deer Park while it continues to look at other facilities appropriate for hosting top level rugby.

Guinness Pro 12: Cardiff Blues have announced the appointment of Ex-Great Britain rugby league international Graham Steadman as the new defense coach at the region. Steadman makes the move to Cardiff after having worked the last three seasons in England with the Newcastle Falcons of the Aviva Premiership.

Super Rugby: Israel Folau is set to sign a three-year extension with the ARU to stay in Australia, according to reports from Fox Sports The Kings announced the signing of Toulouse prop Schalk Ferreira, who returns to the South African team he played for before leaving for France, to a two-year contract… Pat Lambie is set to make his return to action after being passed fit following a neck injury that had sidelined him.

Currie Cup: With the search for a Super Rugby coach still ongoing, Sharks Director of Rugby Gary Gold will coach their Currie Cup side this year.

usa_rugby_logoUSA Rugby News/Updates: The Men’s Eagles announced their Pacific Nations Cup roster over the weekend; click here for the full roster. Of note, Chris Wyles and Blaine Scully have been named captain and vice captain respectively, as the Men’s Eagles prepare for a four-match World Rugby Pacific Nations Cup campaign…. USA Rugby announced the first annual Men’s Junior and Collegiate Stars and Stripes Camp presented by WellDog. Athletes selected into the USA Rugby national high-performance training program will assemble at California Maritime Academy in Vallejo, Calif., July 14–19, 2015.  The camp will culminate with the inaugural Junior and Collegiate Stars and Stripes match at the week’s end. For more information on the camps and the sponsor WellDog, click here.

World Rugby News: With global excitement building ahead of Rugby World Cup 2015, Tournament Organizers, England Rugby 2015, today unveiled the official design that will be featured on the tickets for the 48 matches. For more information, click here.

Super Series Day 1As for the weekend’s fixtures:

Women’s Rugby Super Series – The third biggest series in Women’s rugby, behind the Rugby World Cup and the 6 Nations, is the Super Series. The Super Series is a four-team match between the USA, Canada, England and New Zealand. It is being held in different cities in the Alberta province of Canada from 27 June to 6 July. The first match saw a young USA side dominated by England; match recap can be found here. Then, hosts Canada fought bravely before going down to New Zealand.

Here are the results:
Sat – 27th Jun 15
USA 10 – 39 England
Canada 22 – 40 New Zealand

Match Day 2 will see England battle New Zealand, while neighbors and bitter rivals USA and Canada go at it. Here is the live-streaming link for the Women’s Super Rugby Series in Canada so you can follow all the action http://livestream.com/rugbycanadaofficial.

Here is the schedule:
Wed – 1st Jul 15
New Zealand -England
Canada – USA

Super Rugby: And then there were two. The two teams come from the land of the long white cloud. Both teams had to defeat a team from Australia. Our Super Rugby expert, Kiwi , has his review of the Super Rugby semi-finals and the success of the Kiwi teams here.

The Currie Cup
The Currie Cup

2015 Currie Cup Qualification: This tournament is a competition between seven teams and will be played between 12 June and 25 July 2015, with the winner qualifying for the 2015 Currie Cup Premier Division. The remaining six teams will play in the 2015 Currie Cup First Division. In round three, Falcons edged out the SouthWest District Eagles; Boland Cavaliers fell short against Border Bulldogs; and Leopards had no answer for Griquas.

Here are the results:
Sat – 27th Jun 15
Boland Cavaliers 15–22 Border Bulldogs
Falcons 22–17 SWD Eagles
Leopards 21–48 Griquas

Exhibition Matches – In non-test match action, a French Barbarians side, made up of the best available players in France, not on the national side, are touring Argentina and played their second game against the host nation, having won the first one. The second match saw a much more determined Argentina side show up and shut down the French BaaBaas attack to win comfortably.

Here are the results:
Fri – 26th Jun 15
Argentina 21 -9 French Barbarians

Africa Cup: The Africa Cup 2015 will be the fifteenth edition of the continental tournament that involves the best African national teams, organized by the Rugby Afrique , formerly known as the Confederation of African Rugby (CAR). Given their superiority, the South African national team has rarely participated in the tournament. The four times the SARU has participated, they sent either a U-23 team or amateur side, and went 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, 2West, 2SouthEast, and 2South), with promotion and relegation. Tournament Divisions 1A and 1B’s games often double as qualification games for the Rugby World Cup. In 1C, there is a three-way tournament between Nigeria, Zambia and Zimbabwe ‘A’. In weekend action, Zambia were too much for Zimbabwe ‘A’, who were on a short turnaround. In Division 2 Southeast, Rwanda defeated Congo-Kinshasa ‘A’, a late fill in for Burundi who pulled out the week of the tournament. Congo-Kinshasa defeated neighborly rivals Congo-Brazzaville in the battle of the best rugby nation in Africa named Congo. Unfortunately, we could only confirm the winners and not the score… Finally in 1A, Kenya easily defeated Tunisia as the battle for the top team in Africa continues.

Here are the results:
Sat – 27th Jun 15
1C: Zambia 19 -12 Zimbabwe ‘A’
2 SE SF: Rwanda Winner – Loser Congo-Kinshasa ‘A’
2 SE SF: Congo-Kinshasa Winner – Loser Congo-Brazzaville

Sun – 28th Jun 15
1A: Kenya 46 – 15 Tunisia

In the midweek, we will see the Division 2 Southeast final. The final will see Rwanda take on host Congo-Kinshasa for the title.

Here is the schedule:
Tue – 30th Jun 15
Congo-Kinshasa – Rwanda

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.

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.