Weekend Rugby Recap: USA Rugby News, Heineken Cup, Amlin Cup and More

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Sean O'Brien is staying in Leinster blue
Sean O’Brien is staying in Leinster blue

NEW YORK, NY – The Quarter Finals are less of a mystery in the Heineken Cup and Amlin Cup after this weekend. An while they were the expected, gripping affairs, there was plenty of news from Europe and announcements from USA Rugby to also focus on. With that, let’s get into the Weekend Rugby Recap.

Heineken Cup: The one and only, James Harrington, has you covered. Check out his post.

Amlin Challenge Cup: Nick Hall, will have all the Talking Points of the weekend’s action, tomorrow. In the interim, let’s review the results… Newport-Gwent doubled up MoglianoBath absolutely destroyed Bordeaux-Begles and Newcastle blanked BucharestBrive beat up CalvisanoStade Francais made light work of Lusitanos and Grenoble easily defeat Top14 rival BayonneWorcester got only their second win in all competitions against OyonnaxSale edged Biarritz, and London Irish crushed Cavalieri as Wasps romped over Viadana.

Amlin Cup Trophy 4.39.24 PMHere are the results:
Thu – 16th JAN 2014
Mogliano Rugby 12 – 24 Newport Gwent Dragons
Bath 54 – 13 Bordeaux-Begles
Newcastle 28 – 0 Bucuresti
Brive 31 – 9 Calvisano
Lusitanos 15 – 48 Stade Francais
Fri – 17th JAN 14
Grenoble 34 – 16 Bayonne
Sat – 18th Jan 14
Worcester 20 – 13 Oyonnax
Biarritz 7 – 9 Sale
Cavalieri Prato 0 – 49 London Irish
Sun – 19th Jan 14
Wasps 64 – 17 Viadana

Converted Try:
USA Eagles 7s squad for LV7s: The USA Eagles 7s squad for the Las Vegas 7s on January 24th. RWU friend and USA 7s head coach Matt Hawkins has selected another young side but he did bring back a few vets to remain dangerous. Hawkins has also recalled former captain Shalom Suniula. Here is the named squad and schedule.

Men’s Eagles Sevens | USA Sevens
Daniel Barrett
Andrew Durutalo
Nick Edwards (Captain)
Ryne Haitsuka
Carlin Isles
Ryan Matyas
Folau Niua
Nu’u Punimata
Shalom Suniula
Zack Test (Vice Captain)
Brett Thompson
Stephen Tomasin

Men’s Eagles Sevens | USA Sevens
v Argentina – Friday, Jan. 24 – 9:12 P.M. ET
v France – Friday, Jan. 24 – 12:30 A.M. ET
v Spain – Saturday, Jan. 25 – 5:34 P.M. ET

arm-players-embedUSA Rugby releases new long-term player development model:  As USA Rugby tries to send a more clear message to rugby fans and players across the county, the organization released a new American Rugby Model (ARM). It is a long-term player development program, whose goal is providing an integrated framework which rugby players can be developed, regardless of the level they play at or experience. The ARM is player-centered in that specific characteristics to each development stage are based on the particular capacities of players at each stage of their development. The model has five phases; Play, Develop, Compete, Excel, and Lead.

Player PathwayUSA Rugby announces High Performance Player Pathway: In conjunction with the American Rugby Model, USA Rugby will also have the High Performance Player Pathway.  Its goal is to ensure players at all levels have multiple ways to achieve growth and reach the next level of development. The pathway covers Rookie Rugby and Physical Education classes to the Eagles national teams and follows the five phases of ARM. “As the popularity of rugby surges across America, USA Rugby plays the leading role in efforts to increase access, improve quality and expand rugby opportunities for rugby athletes wanting to maximize their potential as elite rugby players,” USA Rugby Chief Executive Officer and President of Rugby Operations Nigel Melville said.

WRU Central Contracting: In the middle of their war with Regional Rugby Wales (RRW), a middle ground may have been found. It appears the Wales’ 6 top players Sam Warburton, Scott Williams, Alun-Wyn Jones, Adam Jones, Rhys Priestland and Leigh Halfpenny have been offered contracts by the WRU. If they sign with the WRU, for more money than they can get from their Regional side, they will then be loaned back to their province. It is the New Zealand Rugby Union model, which is the gold standard. Time will tell if it works.

Signings/Player Moves: Greene King IPA Championship (Formerly the RFU Championship, division under Aviva Premiership) side Bristol continue to aggressively pursue promotion by securing Scotland and Edinburgh flanker Ross Rennie and Edinburgh flanker turned hooker Stuart McInally on loan. It appears to be a benefit of having former Scotland and Edinburgh coach Andy Robinson as Bristol’s Director of Rugby. Sale Sharks have re-signed utility back Tom Brady and club stalwart Mark Cueto to new deals. It appearsm though nto confirmed, that Leicester Tigers and former England Eightman Thomas Waldrom will be leaving Welford Road and heading to Exeter to play for the Chiefs. The real big news was the re-signing of Sean O’Brien with Leinster and the Ireland RFU. After losing Johnnie Sexton to Racing Metro last year, it was critical that SOB was not lost to France too.

Connacht Shortfall: Due to overspending and projected earnings not meeting estimates, it means the Irish province Connacht are facing a shortfall of €900,000 at the end of the current financial year, according to reports.

Aviva Premiership Salary Cap Rise: Following an announcement that French clubs  agreed to a new five-year, €355 million (£294 million) deal with television broadcaster Canal+. Increasing their power in the European Rugby row, The Independent on Sunday reports that clubs that make up Premier Rugby Limited  will be given an extra £500,000 for next season. This in in addition t0 the £5.2 million salary cap that already exists as a result of the broadcasting deal with BT Sport and other sponsorship deals.

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.