Weekend Rugby Preview: Super Rugby, Atlanta 7s, Top 14, Aviva, Pro 12, and more

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Design available at Bakline Rugby (perfect V-day gift for a rugby)
Design available at Bakline Rugby (perfect V-day gift for a rugby)

Happy Valentine’s Day! Thanks for spending time with your true love, Rugby and us, RWU. Your presence is a gift in of itself.

NEW YORK, NY: This is another busy weekend in the world of Rugby. Just as the 6 Nations takes a break, Super Rugby will be kicking off. The European domestic leagues, Aviva Premiership, Top 14 and Rabodirect Pro 12 are still going strong. In addition, the inaugural Atlanta 7s kicks off plus we have our weekly transfer market updates and the news. With all of that said, let’s get into the Weekend Rugby Preview.

Ladies First:
Atlanta 7s:  The second leg of the Womens 7s World Series will be in the good old USA. This is the second year of the series, moving from Houston to Atlanta. There will be some exciting matches guaranteed, as each team is vastly improved since the last leg. The USA has changed its team over with the awarding of new contracts ,so it is tough to know what to expect… but we never shy away from predictions.

WSWS 7sHere are our predictions:
Cup: New Zealand
Second: England
Third: Canada
Plate: USA
Bowl: Ireland

Top 14: Our Top14 writing machine, James Harrington. is indeed human. Mssr. Harrington was hampered by a stomach bug, so the whole staff chipped in to do his piece. CLICK HERE.

Aviva Premiership: We recommend you go through, Nick Hall, our East Midlands Machiavellian rugger preview for in-depth analysis as there are some intriguing clashes coming up. CLICK HERE.

Here is this weekend’s schedule:
FRI – 14TH FEB 14
Sale Sharks – Saracens
SAT – 15TH FEB 14
Northampton – Worcester
Wasps – London Irish
Harlequins – Newcastle
Exeter – Bath
SUN – 16TH FEB 14
Leicester – Gloucester

Rabodirect Pro 12: The Celtic Unions and Italy will be releasing some players back to their clubs. Though it won’t match the intensity of 6N matches, players like Sam Warburton of Wales, Paddy Jackson of Ireland, Ruardih Jackson of Scotland and Robert Barberi of Italy are lacking match fitness. The only way to get match fitness is to play matches. As for the match-ups, Ulster welcomes Scarlets to Fortress RavenhillLeinster welcome Newport-Gwent to their Dublin Fortress… Connacht treats Edinburgh to the beauty of the west country, while Munster will essentially run a practice match against lowly ZebreOspreys will get a chance for some easy points against an underwhelming Treviso side.

Here is this weekend’s schedule:
FRI – 14TH FEB 14
Ulster – Scarlets
Leinster – Newport Gwent Dragons
SAT – 15TH FEB 14
Connacht – Edinburgh
Cardiff Blues – Glasgow
Munster – Zebre
SUN – 16TH FEB 14
Ospreys – Benetton Treviso
Super_Rugby_TrophySuper Rugby: The newest member of the RWU family, Jamie Walls, will be our Super Rugby expert and has preview of the first round of action. CLICK HERE.
Here is this weekend’s schedule:
Cheetahs – Lions
Sharks – Bulls

Converted Try:

Signings/Player Moves:   London Irish  have confirmed that Harlequins backrower Tom Guest will be joining them on a 2 year at at the end of the current season. They also have announced that Samoa international Ofisa Treviranus  has extended his contract with the club for 3 years and Academy star Gerard Ellis has done similar but for 1 additional year. The Irish have now re-signed 7 players, the players being David Paice, Shane Geraghty, Topsy Ojo, Darren Allinson, Halani Aulika, Jon Fisher and Tom Fowlie, making up for the loss of star England wing Marland Yarde to Harlequins… The Ospreys have announced that Wales international centre Ashley Beck has signed a new two-year contract with the region.

Treviso leaving Pro 12: According to a an official club statement, that stated “..in light of the international situation that further prolongs a decision” Italian side Treviso has decided to leave the Pro12. There can lots of finger pointing to their poor results and failures to actually win more games. The club also threw this comment out there for certain parts responsible for the gridlock in European rugby, “…the absence of certainty about the future forms of organization, participation and regulations relating to the RaboDirect PRO12 league.”

Webb Ellis in Sao PauloIRB confirm refs for Americas RWCQ: The IRB announced who will be the man in the middle and his assistants for the big Rugby World Cup (RWC) Qualifiers for the massive 2 leg series between the USA and Uruguay for the Americas 2 spot in the RWC 2015
DATE FIXTURE VENUE
22 Mar 2014 Leg 1: Uruguay v USA Charrua Stadium, Montevideo
REFEREE ASSISTANT REFEREE 1 ASSISTANT REFEREE 2 TMO
Mathieu Raynal (FFR) Ignacio Iparaguirre (UAR) Carlos Poggie (UAR) Santiago Borsani (UAR)
DATE FIXTURE VENUE
29 Mar 2014 Leg 2: USA v Uruguay Fifth Third Bank Stadium, Atlanta
REFEREE ASSISTANT REFEREE 1 ASSISTANT REFEREE 2 TMO
Greg Garner (RFU) David Smortchevsky (Rugby Canada) Andrew McMaster (Rugby Canada) Jim Yuille (SRU)

SA Awards: The South Africa Rugby Union announced their award winners for the 2013 season. Springbok Captain Jean De Villiers won the Player of the Year award for the second time (1st was in 2008) and also scored the Try of the Year. CLICK HERE for full results.

Tokyo 7s Draw: The IRB announced the pools for the next leg of the 7s series in Tokyo, Japan, earlier this week. Round 6 of the HSBC Sevens World Series,will take place on 22-23 March 2014

Here are the pools:
Pool A: NZ, Canada, Wales, Portugal
Pool B: SA, Argentina, Kenya, Japan
Pool C: Fiji, Samoa, France, USA
Pool D: England, Australia, Scotland, Spain

HK qualifier Series in 7s: The IRB also announced this week the World Series qualifiers in Hong Kong. The Hong Kong 7s will take place  on 28-30 Mar 2014. The winner will take the place of the bottom-ranked of the 15 current core teams  after round nine of the World Series, the Marriott London Sevens on  10-11May 2014.

Here are the pools:
Pool E: Russia, Zimbabwe, Chile, Barbados
Pool F: Hong Kong, Italy, Tunisia, American Samoa
Pool G: Japan, Cook Islands, Uruguay, Trinidad & Tobago

No Bye-Week Points in Super Rugby: It was confirmed on Thursday that SANZAR(South Africa, New Zealand and Australia Rugby) have decided that franchises will not be awarded four points during their bye weeks during Super Rugby 2014.

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, Jamie Wall and Declan Yeats, respectively.

And until the next time… stay low and keep pumping those legs.

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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.