Weekend Rugby Preview: USA vs Tonga, Lions vs. Waratahs, Tier 1, 2, 3

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Junoir Blaber

NEW YORK, NY – The USA vs Tonga match will garner attention as well as the USA Women vs France, this Friday. The rest of the weekend shapes up nicely, with more matches worth international attention, including the British & Irish Lions vs the New South Wales Waratahs. Lets look at the complete fixture list.

USA vs Tonga: Team USA has lost two close matches in a row. One to likely
Pacific Nations Cup champion Canada and the other last weekend to Ireland. The USA can’t win the PNC now but they would like to earn a second a place finish. Tonga will have 3 players suspended for the match, so this provides a real test of their depth. The match referee will be none other than USA rugby fan villain, Francisco Pastrana.

USA vs France: The USA women will face France in the final test of their 3 match series. USA won the first test 13-10, then lost the second narrowly 27-25. So with the series tied at 1-1 the decider will be the curtain-raiser as part of a doubleheader with the men. We would love for all rugby fans residing in southern California to get out in force behind both national teams.

Lions v Waratahs: In the midweek match, against the Combined Country semi-pros, the final score was CC 0 – 64 B & I Lions. The Lions take on the Waratahs minus their 16 Wallabies, of course. Expect the Lions to come out on fire as next weekend the test Series begins and making the matchday 23 will be incredibly tough.
Lions v Waratahs

Summer Tours: The Summer Tours continue. There is a 4-team mini-tournament in South Africa which will see the hosts taking on an out-of-form Scotland, while Italy face an in-form SamoaJapan will look to learn from their loss at the death to a second-string Wales team in a rematch… France will look to even up their series against the All Blacks in New ZealandCanada will look to do what the USA couldn’t and beat Ireland at home.
South Africa – Scotland
New Zealand – France
Canada – Ireland
Samoa – Italy
Japan – Wales
Argentina – England

Junior World Cup: The JWC is the yearly World Cup held for U-20 teams of the top-tier rugby playing nations. The USA is in it this year after winning the Junior World Trophy, the second tier competition. Here are the midweek results:
Australia  46 – 12  Fiji
France  19 – 26  South Africa 
Scotland  36 – 33  Samoa
England  109 – 0  USA
New Zealand  31 – 26  Ireland
Wales  25 – 20  Argentina

England breaking the century mark against the USA does hurt but hopefully the lads aren’t discouraged. They were in a really tough group. The USA will enter playoffs for 9-12th place. We will cover the playoffs for 1-4,5-8 and 9-12 on the weekend wrap-up. As playoffs won’t begin til next midweek.

Tbilisi Cup: This is an inaugural  tournament, created by the IRB and will be played from 7-16 June 2013 at the Avchala Stadium in Tbilisi. It is aimed at offering opportunities for second and third tier nations. The midweek result was:
Georgia 27 – 3 Uruguay
The match-ups for the weekend will be:
Georgia – SA President’s XV
Uruguay – Emerging Ireland

Nations Cup: The Tblisi Cup’s big brother tourney is The Nations Cup. It is aimed at providing more competition for tier one A sides, as well as select second tier nation. Both tournaments are part of the IRB’s  $50 million (U.S)  Strategic Investment program. The midweek results were:
Russia 19 – 27 Emerging Italy
Romania 30 – 8 Jaguars
The match-ups for the weekend will be:
Jaguars – Russia
Romania – Emerging Italy

CAR: In the yearly Elgon Cup match between neighbors Kenya and Uganda, Kenya will host their part of the home and home series. There was RWC Qualifier action in CAR Division 1A action teams fight for 2014 division 1A status and provides than a chance to fight for a 2015 world cup spot. The midweek results were:
Senegal 12 – 35 Namibia
Tunisia 43 – 12 Botswana
The match-ups for the weekend will be:
Botswana – Senegal
Tunisia – Namibia

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.

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.