Bonneval, Mujati, Coetzee, Koch, Summer Tests, Currie Cup, Africa Cup, USA Rugby and World Rugby News

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Brian Mujati in his Northampton Days
Brian Mujati in his Northampton Days

BUFFALO, NY – Despite the short road trip to checkout the Queen City, we still managed to cover all the action. We have all the latest news from around the world and the fixture list in the Weekend Preview.

News & Transactions:

Top 14: Toulouse academy product Arthur Bonneval signed a new three-year deal through 2018 with Toulouse. If that last name sounds familiar, it is because he is the brother of current French international Hugo and son of former French international ErikSteve Meehan officially arrived at Toulon to replaces Pierre Mignoni as their backs coach for next season. Toulon Head Coach Bernard Laporte confirmed that the club will recruit replacements for World Cup-bound Wallabies Matt Giteau and Drew Mitchell, if they make the final RWC squad.

Aviva Premiership: Sale signed Racing 92 tighthead Brian Mujati for next season. Mujati will be listening to, newly signed attack/skills coach Paul Deacon, who will be joining the club as  with immediate effect from Rugby League side Wigan… Former England forwards coach John Wells extended his contract with Newcastle and will continue as head coach. Wells will be coaching the Falcons recently signed loosehead prop Alex Rogers, who signed a permanent contract, following an impressive season last year when dual-registered with Blaydon RFC. Newcastle have signed tighthead prop Paddy Ryan from French side Libourne on a two-year deal, to be the other bookend to their front row with Rogers.

Guinness Pro 12: Neath-Swansea Ospreys announced that lock James King has become the latest player to commit to the region by signing a three-year deal.

Marcell-Coetzee-Sharks-1
Marcell Coetzee

Super Rugby: The Sharks had a busy week as they announced that Springbok loose-forward Marcell Coetzee had re-signed for two years. Then they came out with the sad news that Springbok lock Pieter-Steph du Toit confirmed that he would leave the franchise at the end of his contract, which expires in October 2015…  The Hurricanes announced the re-signing of New Zealand U20 and Maori All Black flyhalf Otere Black for a further two years. The Hurricanes also gave Black company in the backline in the form of Blues midfield back Pita Ahki on a two year deal to try and address the departures of Conrad Smith, Ma’a Nonu and Rey Lee-Lo…  The Rebels announced the re-signing of front-row pair, hooker Pat Leafa and prop Tim Metcher, who re-commit to the team until 2017 and 2016 respectively… …The Reds re-signed loose forward Curtis Browning and utility back Chris Feauai-Sautia ahead of the 2016 season… The Chiefs announced the signing of Crusaders and All Blacks lock Dominic Bird on a two-year contract… The Crusaders recruited fly-half trio Marty McKenzie, Ben Volavola and Richie Mo’unga for their 2016 Super Rugby campaign… World XV coach Robbie Deans has poured cold water on suggestions that he will be taking over the reins as the Stormers‘ new coach.

Currie Cup: Western Province youth team prop Jean-Pierre Smith will return to Cape Town from the Brumbies in Australia and will form part of WP’s 2015 Currie Cup squad. Outstanding Pumas tighthead prop Vincent Koch, who will be making his Springbok debut this weekend will return to the Stormers for Super Rugby in 2016, it has been confirmed. The Pumas also announced that along with Koch, Renaldo Bothma and Giant Mtyanda will be loaned to the Sharks for Super Rugby… The Blue Bulls announced that promising full-back Jesse Kriel has signed a contract extension with the union until 2018 along with several players. The other players are: current Junior Springboks RG Snyman, Hanro Liebenberg, Ivan van Zyl, Abongile Nonkontwana, Njabulo Gumede (all until October 2017) and Jason Jenkins until October 2018, as well as Warrick Gelant and Tinus de Beer who are contracted until October 2016 and JT Jackson until October 2017.

usa_rugby_logoUSA Rugby News/Updates: USA Rugby annually recognizes collegiate scholar-athletes who demonstrate a commitment to academic and athletic excellence. This national distinction is shared by more than 200 rugby student-athletes for the 2014-15 academic year. Click here for a complete list of the honor roll.

World Rugby News: There was double celebration for Fiji at the Pacific Games in Port Moresby as their men’s and women’s teams both claimed gold medals in the rugby sevens competition. Fiji’s women edged a tight battle with Australia, before their male counterparts ran out convincing winners over Samoa to also win gold at the Pacific Games 2015 in Port Moresby. All World Rugby tournaments to adopt RWC player welfare standards. In case you want a refresher on what those standards are, click here. Reaffirming its commitment to maintaining a level playing field, World Rugby has announced details of an additional 27 per cent increase in anti-doping education, testing and research funding over the next four years.

As for the weekend’s fixtures:

Fiji looks ready for the MAB challenge
Fiji looks ready for the Maori All Black challenge

Test Matches: There is only one test this weekend, technically this weekend. The Namibia versus Russia is the only official test and it is a must win for Namibia, if they hope to have decent Rugby World Cup showing. The two non-tests will still b two top level matches. South Africa will take on a World 15 and Fiji will welcome the Maori All Blacks.

Here is the schedule:
Sat – 11th Jul 15
Namibia – Russia
South Africa – World XV
Fiji – Maori All Blacks

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 5, Boland Cavaliers face off against Falcons, SouthWest District Eagles are home against Border Bullldogs and finally Griffons will tangle with the Leopards.

Here is the schedule:
Sat – 11th Jul 15
Boland Cavaliers – Falcons
Griffons – Leopards
SWD Eagles – Border Bulldogs

Rugby AfriqueAfrica 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 most tournaments. 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. Division 1B’s championships is being held in Uganda from 5 July to 11 July. The midweek action saw Uganda dominate Mauritius, Senegal fell short against Botswana and Madagascar just got by Cote d’Ivoire.

Here are the results:
Wed – 8th Jul 15
1B: Uganda 35 – 11 Mauritius
1B: Senegal 21 – 26 Botswana
1B: Madagascar 30 – 26 Cote d’Ivoire

In the final weekend of action, regional rivals Cote d’Ivoire battles Senegal, Uganda meets Botswana and Madagascar and Mauritius will get it on.

Here is the schedule:
Fri – 11th Jul 15
1B:  Cote d’Ivoire – Senegal
1B: Uganda – Botswana
1B: Madagascar – Mauritius

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.