PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA : The British & Irish Lions vs The Barbarians will likely be the only match people talk about this weekend. However there are loads of big games and champions to be crowned.
Lions v Barbarians: This is going to be a cracker. The Lions will win but with the Baa Baas having one game and some training together under their belts the score will be closer than many would like. The Lions have had some training sessions but may still struggle with combos so it will be a much more even match. I expect scoring like it was an American All-star game.
England v CONSUR XV: CONSUR is the governing body of South America rugby. They will have an All-Star side play England in Uruguay in a warm-up match. It will be England dominating with the South Americans scoring some consolation tries.
Fiji v Japan will be the only match played in this round of the Pacific Nations Cup. Japan will likely win due to being a more structured outfit. If it becomes an open match Fiji can steal it.
RFU Championship :
Newcastle Falcons vs Bedford Blues
Newcastle defeated Bedford, 31-24, to give them a 49-33 win in the aggregate score. The victory means Newcastle have won promotion back to the Aviva Premiership.
Top 14 Final: Toulon v Castres
The Top 14 final is finally here. I want to say Castres will continue to surprise but they won’t. Toulon have shown a ruthless streak all season. This will continue as they do the double and win the Top 14 to go along with the HEC title.
Crusaders vs Waratahs
Brumbies vs Hurricanes
Highlanders vs Blues
Reds vs Melbourne Rebels
Stormers vs Southern Kings
Cheetahs vs Bulls
The race for playoff places continues and each conference has its own tight race. The Blues and Crusaders need to win and hope the other loses as they battle it out for second in the New Zealand Conference. The Cheetahs must beat the Bulls if they want to take first place away from the Bulls, meanwhile the Kings and Stormers are fighting to avoid relegation in the South Africa Conference. The Reds need to get back to their winning ways or the Brumbies will pull away from them in the Australia conference. All to play for, as they say.
Junior World Trophy:
Japan vs Canada
Portugal vs Namibia
Tonga vs Uruguay
Chile vs Italy
The Junior (Under-20) World Rugby Trophy is a second tier competition of the Junior World Cup, getting promoted to the Junior World Cup competition. The US won the JWT last year and will be in this year’s Junior World Cup. The Junior World Cup features mainly the top tier nations in international rugby. It is being held in Chile this year. The odds on favorites to win are Italy or Tonga.
USA RUGBY National Championships :
Over the course of the weekend 12 teams in 3 divisions will fight it out for the title of National Champion in Glendale Colorado. The teams are :
D1: Denver Barbarians, Life Running Eagles (GA), Seattle OPSB, New Orleans
D2: Snake River (ID), Wilmington (DE), Santa Rosa (CA), Wisconsin
D3: Belmont Shore D3 (CA), Old Blue of New York D3, Oceanside Chiefs (CA), Saratoga Stampede (NY)
College Rugby Championship 7s:
This is the reason, we are in Philly. This is the second most important 7s event in USA Rugby after Vegas. The teams competing are:
Pool A: UCLA, St. Joseph’s, Navy, Villanova
Pool B: Arizona, Dartmouth, Penn, Wisconsin
Pool C: Cal, Kutztown, Temple, Virginia Tech
Pool D: Penn State, N.C. State, Notre Dame, Northeastern
Pool E: Delaware, Florida, Texas, Life
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, @JunoirBlaber, @Declan Yeats, @Mathew Drew Turner and @Ebstide52, respectively. And until the next time… stay low and keep pumping those legs.