Diego Dominguez Out, Boudjellal, Ford, Champions Cup, Challenge Cup

Dominguez in happier times
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Dominguez in happier times
Dominguez in happier times

NEW YORK, NY – We actually believed that the high number of of fixtures in the European club cup competitions and SANZAR domestic competition playoffs would be our focus, today. However, there was some very big rugby news and transactions re Diego Dominguez Out, Boudjellal, Ford, Champions and Challenge Cup and more that are the lead stories. Without further adieu, here is the Global Rugby Recap.

News & Transactions:

Top 14: Toulon owner Mourad Boudjellal has sacked coach Diego Dominguez and replaced him with Mike Ford. French rugby site Rugbyrama broke the news on Monday. According to reports in the French media there was unhappiness among the Toulon coaching staff with claims that Ford had complained to Boudjellal about his role, which was apparently too small. Ford also criticised Dominguez’s failure to hold collective meetings with his entire staff.

Super Rugby: The Golden Lions announced the signing of Western Province prop Sithembiso Sithole for the 2017 season.

Aviva Premiership: Bristol have signed Edd Shervington on a short-term deal after losing Ross McMillan to a long-term injury. Shervington had announced his retirement at the end of last season, having spent two seasons with Wasps, and had planned to pursue a career in West End musicals, alongside running his own business in Wales but Shervington is now back due Bristol’s injury crisis at hooker.

Pro 12: New Zealand-born lock Brian Alainu’uese has joined Glasgow Warriors from Waikato for the rest of the PRO12 season.

usa_rugby_logoUSA Rugby: Crabbie’s Ginger Beer has joined the USA Rugby family as Official Alcoholic Ginger Beer, the national governing body announced Friday, bringing the global brand of more than 200 years to the United States… USA Rugby Trust is pleased to announce that AIG Ambassador Richie McCaw, the most-capped player in rugby union history, will be joining us for a one-on-one question-and-answer session at the Chicago Gala on November 3! Read more here.

World Rugby: The latest edition of the World Rugby Rankings are here, click here for the rankings.

The weekend’s fixtures:

The All Blacks Blackwashed the Wallabies in the 3rd match of series (Photo by Martin Hunter/Getty Images)

As always, Ladies first…
Women’s Exhibition: Top Women’s rugby sides and rivals Australia and New Zealand are set to battle in a two test exhibition series. The women were the curtain raiser to the Men’s match. New Zealand set the tone for the day by winning in style with a dominant performance.

Here is the schedule:
Sat – 22 Oct 2016
New Zealand 67-3 Australia

Bledisloe III: The Bledisloe was already going to remain in New Zealand for another year, that was already decided after the first two rounds of the Rugby Championship. The All Black winning streak continues and has arguably broken a record. There is some debate over the status of the competition and the previous record.

Here is the schedule:
Sat – 22 Oct 2016
New Zealand 37-10 Australia

Champions Cup
Champions Cup

European Champions Cup: The 2016/2017 European (Rugby) Champions Cup second week of action kicked off this weekend. It is becoming clear that only a few teams  teams still have a chance of making the quarterfinals. We have a fantastic preview of the round, if you click here.

European_Rugby_Challenge_Cup_LogoEuropean Challenge Cup: The second tier European Challenge Cup is a quality tournament in its own right. It is played by mid-table European clubs, they play good rugby and are looking to move up to the Champions Cup next season. The weekend began with Bath defeating Premiership rivals Bristol, La Rochelle thumped Top 14 Rival Bayonne, Stade Francias cruised past Timisoara. The next batch matches saw Cardiff knock off Pau, Newport-Gwent travelled to face Russian side Enisey-STM and became the second victims of the Russians, Treviso lost big to Gloucester, Brive edged out Worcester, Edinburgh scrapped past Harlequins, Lyon lost their tangle with the Ospreys and finally Newcastle destroyed Grenoble.

Here are the results:
Thu – 20 Oct 2016
Bath 22-6 Bristol
La Rochelle 51-24 Bayonne
Stade Français 27-0 Timisoara Saracens
Fri – 21 Oct 2016
Cardiff 27-12 Pau
Sat – 22 Oct 2016
Enisey-STM 38-18 Newport Gwent Dragons
Gloucester 37-8 Treviso
Worcester Warriors 24-25 Brive
Edinburgh 36-35 Harlequins
Lyon 13-31 Ospreys
Sat – 23 Oct 2016
Newcastle Falcons 50-7 Grenoble

(Photo by Johan Pretorius/Gallo Images)

2016 Currie Cup qualification: The tournament is a competition that will be played between 5 August and 15 October 2016 and will feature nine teams that qualified through the 2016 Currie Cup qualification competition. The 9 South African provincial unions are Pumas, Sharks, Blue Bulls, Western Province, Eastern Province, Boland, Griquas, Free State and Golden Lions. This will be the 78th edition of South Africa’s premier domestic rugby union competition. It is time for the final as the Free State Cheetahs will host the Blue Bulls. The  Cheetahs have had young talented players they couldn’t afford to keep and have lost to richer provinces like the Blue Bulls. However on this night the 78th Currie Cup went to the boys from Bloemfontein as the Cheetahs won.

Here are the results:
Sat – 21 Oct 2016
Free State Cheetahs 36-16 Blue Bulls

ITM Cup

Mitre 10 Cup: The Mitre 10 Cup (formally known “National Provincial Championship” or “NPC“) is the highest level of New Zealand domestic professional rugby union competition, contested annually from late August to early November and managed by the New Zealand Rugby Union (NZRU). Building off competitions dating back to the National Provincial Championship in 1976, with teams from a number of provinces, the Mitre 10 Cup officially started with the 2006 season with 14 teams after the National Provincial Championship (NPC) was split into this professional competition and the amateur Heartland Championship competition. The competition was known as the Air New Zealand Cup to the end of the 2009 season; the name then changed to the ITM Cup for the 2010 season after ITM, the trading name of Independent Timber Merchants Co-operative Ltd., a New Zealand building supplies retailer took over as lead sponsor. In 2016 the New Zealand-owned home improvement and garden retailer, Mitre 10 took over sponsorship after out-bidding ITM. For the Mitre 10 Cup competition it will involve the top 14 provincial unions of New Zealand.  The playoffs begin this week and in a Friday night lights affair Otago won at home against Bay of Plenty. Saturday saw Wellington upset and lose to North Harbor while Canterbury dominated against Counties-Manukau and Taranaki lost to Tasman after a 29 play phase leading to the game-winning try at the death ends the weekend.

Here are the results:
Fri – 21 Sep 2016
Otago 27-20 Bay of Plenty
Sat – 22 Oct 2016
Wellington Lions 37-40 North Harbour
Sun – 23 Oct 2016
Canterbury 22-7 Counties Manukau
Taranaki 29-34 Tasman

Aus. NRC: Australia’s third tier competition goes into its third year as the National Rugby Championship kicks off. Those with New York Rugby Club ties like me, will be supporting the two-time defending champs Brisbane City since one of their feeder clubs, is New York’s sister club West (Brisbane) Bulldogs. It is playoff time once again in the NRC. The top four sides in the regular season advance to the semifinals of the knock-out stage, which is followed by the final to decide the National Rugby Championship title. This year’s final saw a new winner of the title as NSW Country Eagles fell to this season’s giant killers, the Perth Spirit.

Here are the results:
Sat – 22 Oct 2016
NSW Country Eagles 16-20 Perth Spirit

Rugby Europe Logo

Rugby Europe: 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 Championship, Trophy, Conference 1 North &1 South and 2 North & 2 South over a two-year cycle. The Championship, 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 the Conference 2 North this weekend, Finland crushed Estonia and Denmark dominated Norway. In Conference 1 North, Latvia outlasted Luxembourg and in Conference 1 South its, Andorra were thrashed Malta.

Here are the results:
Sat – 15 Oct 2016
C2N: Finland 51-6 Estonia
C2N: Denmark 20-0 Norway
C1N: Latvia 31-24 Luxembourg
C1N: Andorra 15-63 Malta

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

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.