Non-RWC Weekend Rugby Preview: Picomoles, Salary Cap, Clever, ITM, Currie, USA RUgby And World Rugby News

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Louis Picamoles

Louis Picamoles

NEW YORK, NY – We know, we know!! We missed you too! Awash in our RWC coverage, the Weekend Preview got lost. On top of the that little tournament happening over in England, there has been rugby happening all over the globe. In particular two of the top 3 leagues in Europe, with the third kicking off this weekend. Not to mention all of SANZAR‘s domestic club competitions. So in today’s edition we will catch you up on the standings and the weekend’s fixtures. Immediately after we update you on all the transactions you may have missed. So with no further delay, let’s get into The Weekend Rugby Preview:

News & Transactions:

Top 14: Louis Picamoles has ended speculation over a potential move to the Aviva Premiership (rumors said Bath or Northampton), insisting that he has made no decision over his future, which only furthers the rumors.

Aviva Premiership: Premiership Rugby Limited (PRL) have confirmed that certain clubs in breach of last season’s salary caps have been dealt with through ‘confidential settlements’. Speculation that clubs have breached the salary cap in the past has been more or less confirmed by the governing body, who also stressed the need for confidentiality. The news comes following a board meeting on Thursday, that the clubs have been punished according by PRL and the punishments will not be released to the public at anytime. PRL also announced that the salary cap for the league will rise in 2016/17 and 2017/18. Next season will see a rise to £6.5 million from the current £5.5m, with a further rise of £500,000 to £7 million from 2017… Dave Ewers became the latest Exeter player to commit his long-term future to the Chiefs Worcester Warriors director of rugby Dean Ryan has made it clear that he is not interested in taking over from Stuart Lancaster as England’s head coach… Newcastle Falcons announced the signing of Argentine international wing/fullback Belisario Agulla, who will join the club after four years with French club Agen.

Pro 12: Scotland flanker John Hardie has signed a two-year contract with Scottish Rugby, which will see him join Edinburgh Wales scrum-half Gareth Davies has revealed that he hopes to extend his contract at the Scarlets for a couple more years… Wales center Tyler Morgan will require surgery on his shoulder but should recover in time to be fit for the Six Nations Newport Gwent Dragons have asked for the permission of the WRU to sell star number eight Taulupe Faletau, according to reports.

Todd Clever

Todd Clever

USA Rugby: Championship venues have been announced for college rugby’s fall season.  The fourth Men’s Division II pool in the regional round will be hosted by Des Moines Rugby Foundation at Des Moines Rugby Club Grounds in the capital city of Iowa. Recent host to the 2015 USA Rugby Emirates Airline Club 7s National Championships, Iowa has a growing rugby fanbase for championship events… OTC hosts Men’s Eagles Sevens High Performance Camp ahead of Halloween 7s A total of 24 Olympic hopefuls will look to overcome the ‘YAKA YARD’ from Friday, Oct. 23, to Thursday, Oct. 29. Following the penultimate Camp ahead of the 2015-16 HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series, Head Coach Mike Friday and co. will select 24 players to compete in the Halloween 7s tournament as the USA Falcons and USA Hawks. Click here for a list attendees… FootcareXpress, a partner of Insite Precision Insoles, is excited to announce a partnership with USA Rugby… The USA Rugby Referee Department announced the appointment of Paul Bretz as the new West Zone Manager. The Zone Manager provides processes and programs that facilitate the identification and development of referees, referee coaches, performance reviewers, and administrators within the Western region.

The Todd Clever saga has dominated the conversation in the USA rugby community this week. Earlier this week a one-sided story was posted by Deep South Rugby and then taken down. Later this week, our friends Rugby Today posted this piece. I speak for myself when I say it appears there is enough blame to go around for both parties.

World Rugby: It is with great sadness that World Rugby announced that World Rugby Sevens Operations Manager Beth Coalter passed away peacefully yesterday following a short illness.

Aviva Premiership LogoThe weekend’s fixtures:

Aviva Premiership: The 2015/2016 Aviva Premiership had a great first weekend of action. So with the season underway, each team still has plenty of hope for a good season. this weekend will be the kickoff of the the Premiership. The second round begins tonight as Gloucester plays Saracens, Sale Sharks host Worcester Warriors. On Saturday, Northampton clash with Newcastle, Wasp and Bath clash, and Exeter does battle with the London Irish. Finally on Sunday, Leicester play Harlequins.

Here is the schedule:
Fri – 23 Oct 2015
Gloucester – Saracens
Sale Sharks – Worcester Warriors
Sat – 24 Oct 2015
Northampton Saints – Newcastle Falcons
Wasps  – Bath
Exeter Chiefs – London Irish
Sun – 25 Oct 2015
Leicester Tigers – Harlequins

Top 14: The 2015/2016 #Top14 returned to action last week and it was an exciting weekend. This weekend hopes to keep it going as big spenders Racing 92 face off against defending champions Stade Francais. Castres play Grenoble, Pau tackle Brive, Toulon welcome Oyonnax, Bordeaux clash with Toulouse, and Montpellier take on leaders Clermont. La Rochelle finish off the weekend by playing Agen.

Here is the schedule:
Fri – 23 Oct 2015
Racing 92 – Stade Francais
Sat – 24 Oct 2015
Castres – Grenoble
Pau – Brive
Toulon – Oyonnax
Bordeaux Begles – Toulouse
Montpellier – Clermont Auvergne
Sun – 25 Oct 2015
La Rochelle – Agen

Guiness Pro12 awardGuinness Pro 12: The Pro 12 season also started up last week. This week though will see the return of all the international team stars, so the action will go up a notch. It begins tonight with Scarlets playing Munster, Newport-Gwent host Treviso, Ulster will welcome Cardiff Blues and finally Leinster will take on the challenge of the defending champions Glasgow Warriors.  On Saturday, Edinburgh travel to Italy to face Zebre and finally we will see Ospreys versus Connacht.

Here is the schedule:
Fri – 23 Oct 2015
Scarlets – Munster
Newport Gwent Dragons – Benetton Treviso
Ulster – Cardiff Blues
Leinster – Glasgow Warriors
Sat – 24 Oct 2015
Zebre – Edinburgh
Ospreys – Connacht

European 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… All 4 sub-divisions of division 2 will be in action this weekend. in 2A, Czech Republic plays Switzerland, 2B will have Hungary play Lithuania, 2C has Austria and Luxembourg doing battle and finally Bulgaria and Finland are in action in 2D.

Here is the schedule:
Sat – 24 Oct 2015
2A: Czech Republic – Switzerland
2B: Hungary – Lithuania
2C: Austria – Luxembourg
2D: Bulgaria – Finland

ITM Cupitm_cup: It is finals time in the ITM, if you were curious of our pre-season predictions, CLICK HERE. The Championship (lower division) final saw Hawkes Bay, lift the trophy by winning by slimmest margin possible in an instant classic of a match against Wellington. In the Premiership, it will be a battle of traditional rivals. Canterbury and Auckland who have won 15 titles between them and traditionally dominated the ITM (Auckland in the ’90s and early ’00s and Canterbury in late ’00s and ’10s) will do battle for the title.

Here are the results:
Fri – 23 Oct 15
Championship Final
Hawkes Bay 26-25 Wellington

Here is the schedule:
Sat – 24 Oct 15
Premiership Final
Canterbury – Auckland

The Currie Cup

The Currie Cup

Currie Cup: The 77th edition of the Currie Cup is also preparing for its finals. Western Province, the province that has won the most Currie Cups over the years and is returning to prominence will face the fun to watch high flying attack of the Golden Lions. The Loins won the title two season ago and lost to Western Province last year. It will be an exciting rematch and game of contrasting styles.

Here is the schedule:
Sat – 24 Oct 2015
Championship Final
Golden Lions – Western Province

Aus. NRC: Australia’s third tier competition goes into its second year as the National Rugby Championship has kicked off. We took the time to provide a preview and explain the competition, just CLICK HERE. Those with New York Rugby Club ties like me, will be supporting the defending champs Brisbane City since one of their feeder clubs, is New York’s sister club West (Brisbane) Bulldogs. Brisbane City and the UC Vikings have topped the table all season. The two sides are the one and two seeds going into the 4 team playoffs. UC Vikings secured their place in the final by way of a dominating performance against Melbourne. Brisbane City will be heavy favorites against the Sydney Stars.

Here are the results:
Fri – 23 Oct 15
University of Canberra Vikings 50 – 34 Melbourne Rising

Here is the schedule:
Sat – 24 Oct 2015
Brisbane City – Sydney Stars

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, Ronan Nelson, Kaitlin McCabe, Rocky Brown and Declan Yeats, respectively.

And remember to stay low and keep pumping those legs!

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About the Author ()

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.

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