Weekend Rugby Preview: Aviva, Pro12, ITM Cup, Currie Cup, ENC, Tier 3 and IRB 7s

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Tasman run out the tunnel
Weekend Rugby Preview: Tasman Time?

NEW YORK, NY – Just because there are no major Tier 1 clashes this weekend doesn’t mean there is nothing going on. There is loads of stuff, with action in the Aviva Premiership, Rabodirect Pro 12 , ITM Cup and Currie Cup. There is a Rugby World Cup Qualifier, ENC and the start of a new tier 3 tournament this weekend. So, let’s get into the Weekend Rugby Preview.

Aviva Premeirship: Staff member Nick Hall tackled the upcoming weekend schedule so I recommend you click here for the complete lowdown. The most interesting thing of note is that with the November Internationals beginning in 2 weeks, of the 40 players invited to the latest RFU who will be kept in camp and unavailable and who will be made available to their game. One or two of these players can change the outcome of games.

Here is this weekend’s schedule:
Fri – 25th Oct 13
Bath – Gloucester
Sat – 26th Oct 13
Exeter – Worcester
Harlequins – Sale Sharks
Northampton – Saracens
Sun – 27th Oct 13
Wasps – Leicester
Newcastle – London Irish

Rabodirect Pro 12: The Pro 12 is also back. With there being better squad rotation then any of League, I doubt the will be effected. It will be interesting to see if Ulster and Leinster can kick-on from here and whether Glasgow and Ospreys can keep the good form they started the season with.

Here is this weekend’s schedule:
Fri – 25th Oct 13
Zebre – Scarlets
Ulster – Cardiff Blues
Ospreys – Newport Gwent Dragons
Glasgow – Munster
Edinburgh – Benetton Treviso
Sat – 26th Oct 13
Leinster – Connacht

The Currie Cup: The Griquas take a 2 pt aggregate lead into the second game of their promotion/relegation battle against Pumas. This 2 match series didn’t sit well with us last year and it won’t this year, regardless of who wins it. The Yankees of South African Rugby Western Province have won nearly double as many Currie Cups as everyone else. They look to add to that and win back to back titles against a Sharks outfit boosted by having the whole Springbok front row, with hooker Bismarck Du Plesiss win his citing case. Either way it will be a classic.

Sharks-CheerleadersHere is this weekend’s schedule:
Fri – 25th Oct 13
Griquas – Pumas
Sat – 26th Oct 13
Western Province – Sharks

The ITM Cup: It comes down to this. A one game season between 6 year championss Canterbury and perennial chokers Wellington. During their reign Canterbury has never had the backs but had the discipline and forwards to win it all, a couple were over Wellington. Wellington now have the forwards to compete but will they have the fortitude? Earlier this Friday, in the clash between Tasman and Hawkes bay for promotion to the ITM Premiership, it was squeaky bum time. According to the post match press-release “Tigerish, unrelenting Tasman defence denied an impassioned Hawke’s Bay 80-minute assault to claim a 26-25.”

Here is this weekend’s schedule:
Fri – 25th Oct 13
Tasman 26 – 25 Hawkes Bay
Sat – 5th Oct 13
Wellington – Canterbury

Quick Tap and Kick for Points:

Hourcade's winning troops
Hourcade’s winning troops

Argentina:  Mens National Team head coach Santiago Phelan resigned this week. He claimed he felt undermined by the players and it made his job impossible. Daniel Hourcade was named the interim coach, Hourcade had just coach the second team Jaguars to a fourth successive Americas Rugby Championship title. Current player and lock Patricio Albacete angrily stated that Phelan’s departure has left the national team in a mess.

South Africa 7s: Springbok Sevens assistant coach Vuyo Zangqa has informed SARU that he will not renew his contract past 31 October, 2013. Zangqa is expected to join former SA 7s head coach, RWU friend and newly named Kenya 7s head coach Paul Treu. Treu was still under SA contract wasn’t allowed to officially coach during the Gold Coast 7s two weeks ago but he will be taking over from November 1st on.

Womens 7s WS Dubai Draw:  The draw for the first leg of the IRB Women’s Sevens World Series in Dubai occurring November 29-30 in Dubai, UAE was announced this week.

Pool A: New Zealand, Fiji, USA and new core team Ireland.
Pool B: England, Tunisia, Spain and Russia.
Pool C: Canada, France, Australia and Rio 2016 hosts Brazil.

Tier 3 Action: The inaugural Serendib Cup is an IRB sanctioned competition for emerging countries to be held in Sri Lanka between the hosts, Madagascar and Poland. It will kickoff this weekend with Sri Lanka playing Madagascar. In Rugby World Cup Qualifier action, an Israel side that is knocking off all -comers faces a stern test in the Netherlands, while Germany travels to the Ukraine, who are favorites going into the match. Speaking of favorites, Latvia are expected to knock off Andorra with ease when they meet this weekend. Hungry versus Slovenia appears too close to call at this moment.

Sat – 26th Oct 13

RWCQ  Israel – Netherlands
ENC/RWCQ Ukraine – Germany
ENC Latvia – Andorra
ENC Hungary – Slovenia
SIC Sri Lanka – Madagascar

WRU sides with RCC:  Last but not least, with the future of the Heineken Cup still in the balance, The Wales Rugby Union has done an about face and sided with the Anglo-French alliance. The WRU will reportedly be well compensated for their switch. The news came out just before negotiations began this week all the ERC and all the 6N unions this comes as a blow to the Celtic (plus Italy) Union. The comments from the the RWU staff  spanned the width.
JWB: I don’t understand why things are so complex with you Europeans.
Blaber:  I am disappointed by the Welsh lack of loyalty but they have to look out for their best interest.
Harrington: The French residing part of me is glad for this move because the Top14 is the most difficult league in the pro rugby and things have to change. My Ireland born half of me is tied up in the closet.
Hall: Exxxceelllant!! <in Mr. Burns voice, with hands doing that pyramid thing>
Loyd: This is good for English rugby because the Celts weren’t carrying their weight.
Yeats: Thos dirty pigdog-loving taffs. My daddy always warned me about trusting a Welshman as your wingman in a fight and now I know why. Those lads are with you when your winning the fight but when it is time to get stuck in, their sitting on the sidelines waiting to support the winner. I am disgusted.

That’s it for now… feel free to comment below, look for and “Like” our Facebook Rugby Wrap Up Page and follow us on Twitter @: RugbyWrapUp, Junoir Blaber, DJ Eberle, Nick Hall, James Harrington, Cody Kuxmann and Declan Yeats, 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.