Cockerill, Cassang, Priestland, Halfpenny and Volavola

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Richard Cockerill

NEW YORK, NY – No more holiday welcomes, just a happy Friday. With a great first week of the new year we have the fixtures and transactions to cover. With that, today’s report will have news re: Cockerill, Cassang, Priestland, Halfpenny, Volavola and more.

News & Transactions:

Top14: Toulon have announced that former Leicester director of rugby Richard Cockerill will join them as a consultant until the end of the season. Former South Africa wing Cornal Hendricks’ proposed move to Toulon will not go ahead, the Top 14 outfit… Lyon announced the signing of former New Zealand and Hurricanes wing Hosea Gear on a contract until the end of this season… Clermont’s rising star at scrum-half Charlie Cassang has signed his professional contract, tying him to the club until 2020.

Rhys Priestland

Aviva Premiership: Wales international fly-half Rhys Priestland, center Max Clark and fullback Tom Homer have all committed their future to BathCastleford Tigers are set to push for £500,000 in compensation following the departure of wing Denny Solomona to Sale Sharks in December. BBC report they’ve seen court papers that allege Sale knew that he was under contract until November 2018, with compensation offers made… Northampton Saints announced the arrival of Western Province second-row David Ribbans.

Leigh Halfpenny

Pro 12: Welsh Rugby Union chief executive Martyn Phillips has revealed that the ‘best possible’ offer has been made to bring Leigh Halfpenny home… Cardiff Blues have bolstered their forward pack with the short-term loan signing of Welsh-qualified lock BJ Edwards from Bristol.

Super Rugby:  The Melbourne Rebels have signed utility back Ben Volavola ahead of the 2017 Super Rugby season.

USA Rugby: The developmental USA Falcons sevens side, coached by Paul Holmes, will embark on a 14-day, two-tournament tour of South America Tuesday, Jan. 3. Featuring two Men’s Eagles Sevens players capped on the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series, the Falcons will compete against the likes of Argentina, Canada, and Fiji at Punta del Este 7s in Uruguay Jan. 6-7 and Seven Viña in Chile Jan. 14-15. JP Eloff has been named captain of the squad… USA Rugby announced the hire of one of its most-capped Eagles, David Hodges, as general manager of the Men’s National Team… The first AIG Men’s Junior All-Americans Developmental Team won its series with Rugby Canada‘s under-19 squad, winning the second of two match-ups Monday, Jan. 2, at the Chula Vista Elite Athlete Training Center… The 2017 USA Rugby Emirates Airline Club National Playoffs will return to 2016 sites Kino Sports Complex, Founders Field, and Infinity Park at Glendale this coming spring, USA Rugby announced.

World Rugby: Eight teams will battle it out in the first leg of the Sudamérica Rugby Sevens in Uruguay with two HSBC Hong Kong Sevens qualifier spots up for grabs.

The weekend’s fixtures:

Champions Cup: Due to the incredibly sad death of Munster coach Axel Foley, their original match from between Munster and Racing 92 in October was rescheduled. Thankfully both teams and their respective leagues, the Pro 12 and Top 14 have accommodated the schedules to allow for the match.

Here is the schedule:
Sat- 7 Jan 2017
Racing 92 – Munster

Aviva Premiership: The 2016/2017 Aviva Premiership is into the second half of the season. This weekend began with Newcastle winning a tight one against Bath and Gloucester will face Worcester. Harlequins will welcome Sale, in-form Bristol are on the road against Northampton, Saracens and Exeter clash in a repeat of last year’s final and finally Leicester visit Wasps as the Andrew Mauger era begins.

Here are the results:
Fri – 6 Jan 2017
Newcastle Falcons 24-22 Bath

Here is the schedule:
Sat- 7 Jan 2017
Gloucester – Worcester Warriors
Harlequins – Sale Sharks
Northampton Saints – Bristol
Saracens – Exeter Chiefs
Sun – 8 Jan 2017
Wasps – Leicester Tigers

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… Two new teams from the 2015–16 Pro D2 season were promoted to Top 14 this year, Bayonne and Lyon in place of the two relegated teams, Agen and Oyonnax. The line-up for the weekend began with Montpellier defeating Bordeaux in a tight battle. The weekend continues with Brive – Grenoble, Pau and Lyon doing battle, La Rochelle and Castres clash. Stade Francais meet Toulouse and finally the match of the round sees Clermont Auvergne and Toulon go toe to toe.

Here are the results:
Fri – 6 Jan 2017
Montpellier 31-26 Bordeaux-Bègles

Here is the schedule:
Sat- 7 Jan 2017

Brive – Grenoble
Pau – Lyon
La Rochelle – Castres
Sun – 1 Dec 2017
Stade Français – Toulouse
Clermont Auvergne – Toulon

Pro 12: The 2016–17 Pro12 has hit the second half of the season. This weekend saw Newport-Gwent traveled to Treviso then the other Italian side Zebre were destroyed by Leinster, and Scarlets edged out Ulster. We then have Connacht and Ospreys facing off then finally, we have Glasgow going against Cardiff to complete the round.

Here are the results:
Fri – 6 Jan 2017
Newport Gwent Dragons 26-8 Benetton Treviso
Leinster 70-6 Zebre
Scarlets 16-13 Ulster

Here is the schedule:
Sat – 7 Jan 2017
Ospreys – Connacht
Glasgow Warriors – Cardiff Blues

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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