Weekend Rugby Preview: USA 7s, Heinken and Amlin Cup plus news

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NEW YORK, NY – This may feel like a slow or quiet weekend in the world of rugby, but there is no such thing. Yes, the global rugby stage belongs to the Heineken Cup and Amlin Cup this weekend. 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 is a writing machine and as such he has previewed Round 5 for you.  Our very own East Midlands Machiavellian rugger Nick Hall will cover our staff picks and thoughts.

Amlin Challenge Cup: Mr. Harrington (told you he was a machine) 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 – 9th JAN 2014
Newcastle 7 – 9 Brive
Stade Francais 31 – 3 Cavalieri Prato

Converted Try:

Zach Test in Las Vegas
Zach Test in Las Vegas

USA 7s residency members:  On Wednesday, USA rugby announced the 25 men and 18 women that will be the new members of their Olympic residency program. The announcement had a few shocks including RWU friend Vaneesha McGee’s name being absent. It also possesed some members of the 2013 and 2014 RWU players to watch. We will cover the mens squad in more detail when we do our review of Round 3/preview of round 4of the IRB 7s World Series in two weeks.

Men’s Eagles Sevens | 2014 Residency Squad
Danny Barrett, Garrett Bender, Pat Blair, Carlin Isles, Eric Deuchele – WCAP, Andrew Durutalo, Nick Edwards, Tai Enosa,
Pono Haitsuka, Jack Halalilo, Madison Hughes, Ben Leatigaga – WCAP, Andrew Locke – WCAP, Ryan Matyas, Ben Nicholls, Folau Niua, Nu’u Punimata – WCAP, Marcus Satavu – WCAP, Shalom Suniula, Mike Teo, Zack Test, Brett Thompson, Stephen Tomasin, Chris Turori, Michael Ziegler

*WCAP  (World Class Athlete Program) – A program  that allows athletes with the potential of playing in the Olympics to be stationed near where they can get the best training. This means Shaina will be stationed near the 7s training base in Chula Vista and allowed to train with the National 7s Team, while still performing their duties for Uncle Sam.

Women’s Eagles Sevens | 2014 Residency Squad
Megan Bonny, Emilie Bydwell, Ryan Carlyle, Lorrie Clifford, Lauren Doyle, Victoria Folayan, Kelly Griffin, Jessica Javelet, Kathryn Johnson,  Hannah Lockwood, Hannah Lopez, Dana Meschisi, Deven Owsiany, Jillion Potter, Rebekah Siebach, Liz Sowers, Shaina Turley, Amelia Villines

Australia_vs_USA_2011_RWC_ Yes 9: The IRB can’t help themselves and half a season into the new scrum protocols they have made a change. The “Yes 9!” call which the ref gives the scrum-half to insturct him the scrum is set he can but the ball in has been done away with. It will now be an agreed upon signal between the scrum-half and ref before kickoff. Worse yet this change goes into effect immediately.This will include this week’s Heineken Cup and Amlin Challenge Cup matches in the northern hemisphere (January 9-12). It will also include the next rounds of other elite competitions, including the Top 14 in France (January 24), Aviva Premiership in England (February 7-9) and the Rabo Direct Pro 12 in other parts of Europe (February 7-9).

IRB Statement on European Club Championship: The International Rugby Board (IRB) The statement essentially states that they prefer the status quo and that all the unions of the 6 nations are involved and agree on the rules. IF there is a change, they hope that it still involves all the unions agreement. As diplomatic as you would expect.

Paul John: The Wales Sevens head coach Paul John has stepped down. John has announced he will take up a role as backs coach at Cardiff Blues and will be replaced by assistant coach Gareth Williams who will act as interim coach in Las Vegas  and Wellington, New Zealand.

Ben Mowen
Ben Mowen

Mowen Quits Wallabies: Ben Mowen, current captain of Australia’s Wallabies has decided to leave Australia at the end of this year. According to Mowen he was away from home for 7 months out of 2013. He says the strain on him as a young family man (recently married and has a newborn daughter) makes it impossible. He will move to France in 2015 and forgo the RWC. Australia fans are split, some understand the family commitment, others are saying it boils down to money and the ARU not being able to top up his salary.

Signings/Player Moves:  In the latest news in the transfer market, Hoani Tui will be leaving Exeter for French Pro D2 side Lyon at the end of the season. Dwayne Peel will leave Sale for Championship side Bristol. Apparently he was offered  a deal he couldn’t refuse and Bristol is now lead by former England and Scotland head coach, Andy Robinson. Ulster has announced the resigning of prop Declan Fitzpatrick and flanker Stephan Ferris.

Welsh Regions & Players:  As the drama between the Welsh Rugby Union and Regional Rugby Wales continues, it is spilling over into signings.  Welsh national team members, Scott Williams, Rhys Priestland, Sam Warburton, Alun Wyn Jones, Leigh Halfpenny and Adam Jones have been offered new contracts. However with so much uncertainty as to  where the regions will compete next season, the player yet to sign

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.