Sonny Bill, Nick Macleod, Golden Lions, ENC, USA Rugby and World Rugby News

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Sonny Bill Williams

NEW YORK, NY – The rugby world did not stop for Easter Weekend, Easter Monday or Dingus Day and neither does our coverage.  There are the three top European leagues to review, another entertaining round of Super Rugby action and an important Tier 2 match to cover. Before we get to that though, we have to cover all the important News & Transactions in the rugby world. With that said its time to dive into the Global Rugby Recap.

News & Transactions:

#Top 14: Toulon owner Mourad Boudjellal has revealed that talks took place with the agent of Sonny Bill Williams about bringing the All Black back to France last week.

Pro 12: Edinburgh confirmed the signing of Western Force center Solomoni ‘Junior’ Rasolea on a two-year deal… Munster have completed the signing of experienced prop John Andress, who will arrive from Edinburgh ahead of next season, the latter confirmed… Dragons have announced that they have signed experienced fly-half Nick Macleod, who will join them ahead of next season from Sale Sharks.

Super Rugby: SANZAAR chief executive Andy Marinos has poured cold water on news that a clash between the Super Rugby and Champions Cup winners is near. European Professional Club Rugby (EPCR) on Friday issued a statement that they were in talks about a proposed game between the champions. But that is news to Marinos, who told Fairfax Media that SANZAAR has not spoken with EPCR and believes there’s been some “wire crossing”… The Lions have retained the services of several of their players and head coach Johan Ackermann for the 2017 season and beyond. A Golden Lions Rugby Union (GLRU) statement said the organization has negotiated long-term contract extensions with most of their senior players to compliment the contract extensions of their senior coaching staff. The players who have signed new deals are: Warren Whiteley, Jaco Kriel, Julian Redelinghuys, Malcolm Marx, Robbie Coetzee, Jacques van Rooyen, Dylan Smith, Ruan Dreyer, Robert Kruger, Ruan Ackermann, Fabian Booysen, Jano Venter, Dillon Smit, Elton Jantjies, Harold Vorster, Lionel Mapoe, Rohan Janse van Rensburg, Andries Coetzee and Courtnall Skosan.

usa_rugby_logoUSA Rugby: Men’s Eagles Sevens Head Coach Mike Friday is preparing for the next two rounds of the 2015-16 HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series with a 21-man High Performance Camp at the Olympic Training Center March 24-28. Click here for the full roster which includes NFL player Nate Ebner.

World Rugby: World Rugby confirmed that England’s Joe Marler will face an independent misconduct hearing is scheduled to take place on 5 April in London.

The weekend’s fixtures:

Aviva Cup
Aviva Cup

Aviva Premiership: Due to the 2015 RWC, the 2015/2016 Aviva Premiership is not taking any breaks during the 6N. And with the start their European Cup place and playoff push, things are only getting more intense. The weekend begun with the match of the round as Exeter fell to  Saracens, Gloucester fell in a close one to Bath, and Worcester doubled up on kicks to London Irish to win a relegation six pointer. On Sunday, Sale shocked Leicester do to a bit of Danny Cipriani magic, Newcastle fell to an in-form Wasps, and finally in the other clash of the weekend, Northampton won a fierce battle against Harlequins.

Here are the results:
Sat – 26 Mar 2016
Saracens 36-18 Exeter Chiefs
Gloucester 12-17 Bath
Worcester Warriors 12-6 London Irish
Sun – 27 Mar 2016
Sale Sharks 27-20 Leicester Tigers
Newcastle Falcons 20-34 Wasps
Northampton Saints 29-23 Harlequins

Bouclier Brennus - Top 14 trophy
Bouclier Brennus #Top14

Top 14: The Top 14 has a full slate of matches this weekend also. Round 19 was an important round with playoff ramifications. The first match of the weekend saw Racing lose by a point to Toulon in the match of the round, then Montpellier comfortably beat Agen as Brive narrowly defeated Castres, Grenoble got a big win against La Rochelle and Pau easily won against relegation bound Oyonnax . The final two matches of the round saw Bordeaux-Begles fall victim to a furious fight back from Clermont-Auvergne and in the other anticipated match of the round, Toulouse crushed Stade Francias.

Here are the results:
Sat – 26 Mar 2016
Racing 92 20-21 Toulon
Agen 21-45 Montpellier
Brive 23-22 Castres
Grenoble 39-23 La Rochelle
Pau 25-6 Oyonnax
Sun – 27 Mar 2016
Bordeaux-Begles 19-24 Clermont-Auvergne
Toulouse 36-3 Stade Francais

Guiness Pro12 awardGuinness Pro 12: The Pro 12 has a very big round of its own as the playoffs loom. Zebre traveled to Limerick and were crushed by Munster while their fellow Italians, Treviso, received a similar drubbing in Cardiff courtesy of the Cardiff Blues. In an important clash with playoff ramifications, Glasgow defeated Ulster, Ospreys fell to Scarlets, Connacht won by slimmest margin possible against Leinster in another playoff position battle. Final match of the weekend saw Newport-Gwent fall short against Edinburgh.

Here are the results:
Fri – 25 Mar 2016
Munster 47-0 Zebre
Cardiff Blues 56-8 Benetton Treviso
Glasgow Warriors 27-17 Ulster
Sat – 26 Mar 2016
Ospreys 16-25 Scarlets
Connacht 7-6 Leinster
Sun – 27 Mar 2016
Newport-Gwent Dragons 15-16 Edinburgh

Super Rugby Trophy 2016
Super Rugby Trophy

Super Rugby: Super Rugby completed the fifth round of the newly re-formatted tournament that crosses 7 time zones. As for this round of fixtures, it started with the Hurricanes cruising past the Kings. In the other matches this weekend, the Chiefs showed off to their fans in their home opener and crushed the Force while the Rebels were soundly defeated by the Highlanders. The Sunwolvess narrowly lost to the Bulls, The Cheetahs fought bravely but lost to the Brumbies, the Crusaders continued their SA tour with a win against the Sharks, the Stomers traveled to Argentina to face Los Jaguares scrapped a win. The final match saw rivals since creation, the Reds and the Waratahs do battle and the Waratahs narrowly won.

Here are the results:
Fri – 25 Mar 2016
Hurricanes 42-20 Kings
Sat – 26 Mar 2016
Chiefs 53-10 Force
Rebels 3-27 Highlanders
Sunwolves 27-30 Bulls
Cheetahs 18-25 Brumbies
Sharks 14-19 Crusaders
Jaguares 8-13 Stormers
Sun – 27 Mar 2016
Reds 13-15 Waratahs

Rugby Europe Logo

European Nations Cup: The ENC, or the 6 Nations “B” , is the premier tournament for the second-tier nations of Europe. Unbeknownst 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, where the best teams in Europe not called England, Ireland, France, Italy, Wales or Scotland reside, has no promotion option – only relegation back to 1B. Hopefully promotion from 1A to the proper 6N will eventually occur… but we aren’t banking on it.

In 2B this weekend, Andorra were physically outmatched by Latvia.

Here are the results:
Sat – 26 Mar 2016
2B: Andorra 10-34 Latvia

That is 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, Ronan Nelson, Kyle Phillips 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.