Danny Wilson, Brok Harris, Women’s Eagles NASC, George North Incident

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Danny Wilson

NEW YORK, NY – We hope you had a great Christmas and Boxing Day. We also hope you are enjoying Hannakuh leftovers and Kwanzaa – and any other holiday you celebrate that we are forgetting… We are back after the holiday break with all of the fixtures and rugby news, that you may have missed. This weekend’s news will be re: Dan Wilson, Brok Harris, USA Eagles NASC, George North Incident.

News & Transactions:

Pro 12: Cardiff head coach Danny Wilson is excited to be part of Wales’ backroom staff on their tour to the Pacific Islands in June 2017. The Blues boss, his attack coach Matt Sherratt and Scarlets backs coach Stephen Jones will join tour head coach Robin McBryde for the two-Test series, alongside Wales’ existing squad management…Newport Gwent Dragons’ experienced prop Brok Harris has put pen to paper extending his contract with the Welsh region.

USA Rugby: More than 90 athletes have accepted invitations to the Women’s Eagles National All-Star Competition to be held at the Tigertown Complex in Lakeland, Fla., Dec. 29, 2016, through Jan. 3, 2017. Beginning about eight months from kickoff of Women’s Rugby World Cup 2017, the NASC will produce a greater WRWC player pool for Head Coach Pete Steinberg and staff, consisting of around 35 or 40 players. The core group will then assume the focus of the national team’s attention in the final build-up to Ireland, which may include international matches held domestically. For the full roster of invites, read more here…The AIG Women’s Junior All-Americans National All-Star Competition gets underway Monday, Dec. 26, with 41 athletes set for a six-day assembly also at the  Tigertown Complex in Lakeland, Fla. WJAA Head Coach Wil Snape and staff are preparing for a 2017 competition year as the Women’s Eagles build towards the WRWC while the AIG Women’s Collegiate All-Americans competed in 2016, and will have its eligible athletes available at the senior NASC. The list of WJAA roster attendees and coaching staff, can be found here.

World Rugby: According to a World Rugby Press Release, building on their superb performances at Rugby World Cup 2015, tier two nations enjoyed another fine year in 2016. World Rugby’s Head of Competitions and Performance Mark Egan reflects on the last 12 months. To read the piece, go here… World Rugby has comments on the latest developments in the George North head injury incident.

The weekend’s fixtures:

(Photo by Christopher Lee/Getty Images for Aviva)

Aviva Premiership: The 2016/2017 Aviva Premiership gets ready to hit the midway point at holiday time. This weekend began with Sale losing to Northampton, Saracens won a tough match against Newcastle and Bath lost a fantastic and exciting match to Wasps. Leicester fell big to Midland rivals Exeter, Worcester lost to 14 man Bristol in a big bottom of the table match. And finally Gloucester will go up against Harlequins in Big Game 9 in Twickenham.

Here are the results: 
Fri – 23 Dec 2016
Northampton Saints 24-5 Sale Sharks
Sat- 24 Dec 2016
Saracens 21-6 Newcastle Falcons
Wasps 40-26 Bath
Exeter Chiefs 31-10 Leicester Tigers
Mon – 26 Dec 2016
Bristol 28-20 Worcester Warriors

Here is the schedule:
Tue – 27 Dec 2016
Harlequins – Gloucester

Bouclier Brennus – Top 14 trophy

Top 14: The Top 14 season continues. The twelve teams this season are champions Racing 92, runners-up Toulon, Clermont, Montpellier, Toulouse, Castres, Bordeaux, Brive, La Rochelle, Grenoble, Pau and Stade Français… The line-up for the weekend began with Grenoble upsetting Toulouse. The weekend continues as Brive topped Lyon, Bayonne got crushed La Rochelle, Bordeaux-Begles were edged by Pau. Clermont Auvergne thumped Stade Francais, Racing got back to their winning ways against Castres and finally the match of the round saw Montpellier outlast Toulon.

Here are the results:
Fri – 22 Dec 2016
Grenoble 26-22 Toulouse
Sat – 23 Dec 2016
Brive 22-6 Lyon
Bayonne 17-42 La Rochelle
Bordeaux-Bègles 16-18 Pau
Clermont Auvergne 46-10 Stade Français
Racing 92 23-10 Castres
Montpellier 33-29 Toulon

Pro 12: The 2016–17 Pro12 has hit the biggest weekend(s) in their calendar. That is because the holiday season is also local derby season. This weekend saw the Italian derby as Treviso defeated Zebre. Then we had one of the two Irish derbies as Ulster were dominant against Connacht. Boxing Day saw some long standing rivalries return as Cardiff knocked off Newport-Gwent, then there was the 1872 Cup, which saw Edinbugh and Glasgow clash once again, as they have done since 1872, Glasgow won the first leg. The biggest one, was the other Irish derby, the O’Classico, as Munster won easily against Leinster. Final match of the weekend will see Ospreys against Scarlets to complete the round.

Here are the results:
Fri – 23 Dec 2016
Treviso 23-12 Zebre
Ulster 23-7 Connacht
Mon – 26 Dec 2016
Cardiff Blues 27-16 Newport Gwent Dragons
Edinburgh 12-25 Glasgow Warriors
Munster 29-17 Leinster

Here is the schedule:
Tue – 27 Dec 2016
Ospreys – Scarlets

North African Tri Nations: There is a Tri-lateral tournament going on this week. The 2016 North African Tri Nations kicked off. The tournament features Algeria, Morocco, and Tunisia. A Tunisia victory over Algeria in the final match of the tournament, means that Morocco are the Champions.

Here are the results:
Sun – 17 Dec 2016
Algeria 11-12 Morocco
Wed – 21 Dec 2016
Tunisia 12-14 Morocco
Sat – 24 Dec 2016
Algeria 15-16 Tunisia

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, @Brian C Cole 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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