Weekend Rugby Preview: Heineken Cup, Amlin Cup plus News and Notes

Alain Afflelou
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Montpellier Fly-half Francois Trinh-Duc
Montpellier Fly-half Francois Trinh-Duc

NEW YORK, NY – Its a quiet weekend on the global rugby stage as the Heineken Cup and Amlin Cup are alone in the spotlight. However there has been plenty of news and events over the course of the week, so lets dive into the  Weekend Rugby Preview.

Heineken Cup:  James Harrington like he always does has previews of each match-up. None other, than our East Midlands Machiavellian rugger Nick Hall will cover our staff picks and thoughts.

Amlin Challenge Cup: Mr. Harrington has already published the preview of this weekend’s matches. Four matches were already played yesterday and helping make the picture clearer.

Here are the results:
Thu – 12th Dec 2013
Biarritz 33 – 25 Worcester
Bordeaux-Begles 32 – 13 Newport Gwent Dragons
Brive 20 – 9 Bucuresti
Lusitanos 19 – 30 Cavalieri Prato

Varsity Match: In the 133rd meeting between Oxford University and Cambridge University, a first occurred. Oxford scrum-half Sam Egerton became the first player ever to be given a red card. Egerton was sent off for attempted gouging in the 50th minute of the match. Earlier in the match Egerton scored a try to put Oxford up 20-10. Oxford power on to a another try and two penalties despite a fierce Cambridge fight back, Oxford secured their 4 consecutive Varsity Match victory.

Here are the results:
Thu – 12th Dec 2013
Oxford 33 – 15 Cambridge

Tier 3 Action: All Tier 3 action is occurring in individual domestic leagues.

the-australian-rugby-championship-trophyConverted Try:
Australian National Rugby Championship: As covered by Working Class Rugger , 3 weeks ago, the Australia Rugby Union President Bill Pulver announced the starting of a new tournament, the National Rugby Championship, which will bridge the gap between Super Rugby and club rugby. The Tournament will kickoff in in August 2014 and run til October.

Wallabies v GBRL hoax:  In the Weekend Wrap-Up, we announced this news only for it to be proven a hoax. Several reports have come out dismissing the report as a hoax.

6 Nations Refs: The International Rugby Board (IRB) announced the referees and match assignments for the 2014 6 Nations. It will be a grand total of 11 Referees from 10 countries covering 15 matches. The Match assignments included the Assistant Referees and Television Match Officials.

Under the Knife: Four stars of the game will be unavailable well into 2014. Irish Prop Cian Healy and Australian Center Christian Leali’ifano had surgery on their respective ankles and won’t be back until March. AIG New Zealand All Blacks Fly-Half Dan Carter and South African Winger Bryan Habana will have surgery on their respective ankle and thigh muscle. Habana will be out two months while Carter will have the surgery as part of his 6 month sabbatical from the game.

Welsh Regional Drama: The Wales Rugby Union (WRU), its CEO Roger Lewis, and the 4 regional sides are at logger heads. It appears the WRU is focused on paying down its debt and has not offered more money to the regions and is actually looking into consolidating from 4 regions to 2. The regions are considering playing the Aviva Premiership, but the conflict is preventing the regions from being able to extend contracts to the star players and members of the Welsh national team as they hear overtures from French clubs.

Alain Afflelou
Alain Afflelou

Argentine Restructuring: The Union de Argentine Rugby (UAR) announced this week that Head Coach Daniel Hourcade will be retained as national team coach until after Rugby World Cup 2015. Argentina are also looking into joining Super Rugby in 2016 and as a result have stated they will not pick players not playing in Argentina for the national team. They will also not have a developmental side in the Vodacom Cup as they will enter a side in the inaugural 2014 Pacific Cup. The news available on the Pacific Cup is that it is a a tournament that will feature five Australian teams in addition to Argentina, Japan, Samoa, Tonga and the USA. It will take place in March and April of 2014 in Australia. We will have more information on it as it becomes available.

Biarritz/Bayone Merger breakdown:  Just as soon as it started it is over. Bayonne President Alain Afflelou has called off the proposed merge of his club with neighbors Biarritz stating “The conditions mentioned in our first exchange are no longer present.”  It is likely that things changed as discussions heated up, however with both clubs currently in the relegation zone of Top 14, it is likely that talks will heat-up again as survival becomes more important and the season drags on.

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, Jaime Loyd 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.