Tom Wood, Danny Wilson, Shaun Edwards, Gonzalo Tiesi, SR Playoffs

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Tom Wood

Tom Wood

NEW YORK, NY – Another long week of craziness is behind us. Time for us to do what we do best, be rugby journalists. Once again, we have light fixture list but plenty to report in the Weekend Rugby Preview for you, with updates re: Tom Wood, Danny Wilson, Shaun Edwards, Gonzalo Tiesi, Super Rugby Playoffs and more… so without delay, here you go.

News & Transactions:

Aviva Premiership: Northampton Saints announced six players have signed new contracts with the Premiership club. Newly-appointed club captain Tom Wood leads the list, with freshly capped England internationals Teimana Harrison and Paul Hill also putting pen to paper. The other three are also forwards, flankers Jamie Gibson and Ben Nutley are joined by prop Adam Parkins in committing themselves to black, green and gold… London Irish announced the signing of full-back Ben Ransom from reigning Premiership champions Saracens ahead of the 2016/17 season.

Danny Wilson

Danny Wilson

Pro 12: Cardiff Blues confirmed that head coach Danny Wilson has signed a one-year contract extension on top of the region ahead of the the three-year deal he signed at the start of last season… Ospreys  announced that Paul James has become the latest player to recommit to the region, staying until 2018.  The Dragons announced that former Cardiff Blues loosehead prop Thomas Davies has signed a one-year deal with them… In a surprising move, Zebre and Italy international center Gonzalo García has signed for Fédérale 2 club Cahors. The 32-year-old was willing to put his international future in doubt and finalized a move to join a club in France’s fourth division, beneath Fédérale 1, the Pro D2 and Top 14.

Shaun Edwards

Top14: The possibility of Franco Mostert getting out of his contract with Top 14 side Lyon looks more unlikely than ever. Mostert, capped by the Springboks for the first time during the recent series with Ireland, had previously signed a two-year deal to move to France next season but was working on renegotiating it but Lyon won’t hear of any re-negotiation… It was rumored that Diego Dominguez was on his way out with Toulon Management, however according to Midi Olympique those differences have now been settled, with Dominguez to take charge of a coaching staff that consists of Steve Meehan (backs), Jacques Delmas (lineout), Marc Del Maso (scrum) and Shaun Edwards (defence)… You will notice that Edwards’ name has been crossed out. That is because, The Welsh Rugby Union has blocked the Wales’ defence coach  from taking up a coaching role at Toulon.

Gonzalo Tiesi

Gonzalo Tiesi

Super Rugby: Argentina center Gonzalo Tiesi (left) announced his retirement from rugby on the social networking site Twitter… As reported last week, The Sharks confirmed that former Springbok number eight and captain Gary Teichmann will replace John Smit as their new chief executive. Stephen Saad, the chairman of The Sharks board of directors, announced Teichmann’s appointment which is effective from August 2… The Melbourne Rebels forward pack has been boosted with the signing of  Australian U20s prop Tyrel Lomax from the Brumbies and Australian lock Alex Toolis from Edinburgh of the Pro 12. Both players signed for two years from the start of 2017… The Crusaders announced that speedy winger Jone Macilai has recommitted to the franchise for another two years… Western Force added to their second-row depth with the signing of Ben Matwijow, who will join them from the Reds on a one-year deal… According to reports, Code-hopper Jarryd Hayne has held talks with the Australian Rugby Union to discuss a possible move to the Waratahs.

usa_rugby_logoUSA Rugby: The USA Rugby Boys High School All-Americans finished their second two-match tour of Canada in three weeks with an undefeated record, conceding just three points in 160 minutes of play to BC Rugby’s under-18 team at University of British Columbia. The BHSAAs, full of student-athletes predominantly scouted from the Great Northwest Challenge and Rocky Mountain Rugby Challenge Regional Cup Tournaments held in the final weeks of June, were brought up to speed quickly by Head Coach Salty Thompson and assistants Scott Bracken and JD Stephenson. For a look at the team and recap of the matches, click here… Four competitive regions will settle which teams will represent that area at the 2016 USA Rugby Club 7s National Championships at Dick’s Sporting Good Park in Commerce City, Colo. Additionally, three other regions are hosting qualifying events, giving teams one last chance to jockey for position ahead of their regional championship tournaments. For more info, click here.

World Rugby: The 24 teams for rugby sevens’ debut on the Olympic Games stage at Rio 2016 have now been named with little over two weeks to go until kick-off. Click here to visit World Rugby’s Rio Hub.

The weekend’s fixtures:

pro-rugby-logo_smPRO Rugby: Round 14 of the inaugural season of PRO rugby rolls on. In this round, San Diego heads to Sacramento for another California derby. While Denver travels to San Fransisco, looking to keep their winning streak going. For some predictions of the match-ups this weekend check out Luke Bienstock’s piece.

Here is the schedule:
Sat – 23 Jul 2016
San Diego – Sacramento
Sun – 24 Jul 2016
Denver – San Francisco


Super Rugby: It has been 5 long months, 4 if you count the international season break, since the start of the Super Rugby season but we have finally reached the playoffs. The knockout round began with the Highlanders winning a war of attrition on a soggy pitch against the Brumbies. The round continues with the top seed Hurricanes hosting the Sharks. The second seed and most exciting team of the season, the Lions will take on the ever dangerous Crusaders. Final match of the weekend has the Stormers welcoming the Chiefs.

Here are the results:
Fri – 22 Jul 2016
Brumbies 9-15 Highlanders

Here is the schedule:
Sat – 23 Jul 2016
Hurricanes – Sharks
Lions – Crusaders
Stormers – Chiefs

Premiership 7s: The play-in qualifiers for entry into England’s Premiership Rugby 7s will be played in Cardiff at the Cardiff Arms Park over the weekend.  The 4 Welsh regions play in the English club 7s tournament, the premier pro club 7s tournament. Cardiff Blues will host the Newport Gwent Dragons, Ospreys and Scarlets for the right to play in the Singha Premiership 7s. The English qualifiers will be played on Saturday and will feature Exeter Chiefs, Bristol, Wasps and Bath.

Rugby AfriqueAfrica Cup: The Africa Cup 2016 will be the sixteenth 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, 2 West, 2 East, and 2 South), with promotion and relegation. In the 1A, this weekend Zimbabwe will face Uganda.

Here is the schedule:
Sat – 23 Jul 2016
1A: Zimbabwe – Uganda

2016 Currie Cup qualification: The tournament is a competition between which will be played between 9 April and 23 July 2016. It will feature all fourteen South African provincial unions plus the Welwitschias from Namibia and will also serve as a qualifying competition for the 2016 Currie Cup, the 78th edition of South Africa’s premier domestic rugby union competition. Nine teams from this competition will play in the 2016 Currie Cup Premier Division, while the remaining six teams will play in the 2016 Currie Cup First Division. Round fifteen’s fixtures begin with the Sharks traveling to face SouthWest District. Then on Saturday, Valke (Falcons) host Eastern Province while the Welwitschias take on Western Province. Other matches include Leopards against Griquas, Boland welcoming the Golden Lions, Border clashing with Free State and Griffons taking on Pumas.

Here is the schedule:
Fri – 22 Jul 2016
SWD Eagles – Sharks XV
Sat – 23 Jul 2016
Falcons – Eastern Province Kings
Welwitschias – Western Province
Leopards – Griquas
Boland Cavaliers – Golden Lions
Border Bulldogs – Free State
Griffons – Pumas

That’s all for now, please feel free to comment below, look for and “Like” our Facebook Rugby Wrap Up Page and follow us on Twitter@: RugbyWrapUp, Junoir Blaber, @MeetTheMatts, Luke Bienstock, Ronan Nelson, James Harrington and Declan Yeats.

And as always, 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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