Weekend Rugby Preview: Women’s Can-Am, JWRT, ENC, USA Rugby News, Player Moves

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Eagles in action against Canada
Eagles in action against Canada

NEW YORK, NY-  Brace yourselves as another BIG weekend of rugby unfurls before us. We have international clashes in the form of the Can-Am series, Junior World Rugby Tournament (JWRT) and Tier 3, European Nations Cup… Europe’s 3 top leagues – Aviva Premiership, Pro 12 and Top 14 will have several matches – with playoff implications – as the regular season draws to an end… In the Southern Hemisphere,  Super Rugby begins its final 1/3 of the season… We also have USA Rugby news, International Announcements and Transactions… So, lets spin it wide and get into the Weekend Rugby Preview:

Ladies First,
USA Rugby News and UpdatesThe Can-Am series between the Canadian and USA Women’s rugby teams in the Weekend Preview. The Women’s Eagles’ players will tour Canada from April 11-21.  The first match of the 2 match series saw the USA get steamrolled. The Eagles could not get out of their own way as the committed miscue after miscue. The Canadians showed no mercy as they capitalized on mistake after mistake. The second match of the series is set for this weekend and hopefully we get to see a more contested affair.

Here is this week’s results and the weekend’s schedule:
TUE – 15TH APR 14  
Canada 51 – 7 USA
SAT – 19TH APR 14  
Canada – USA
Westhills Stadium, Langford, BC
3:30 P.M. PT

Junior World Rugby Trophy –  The Junior (Under-20) World Rugby Trophy is a tournament for the second tier nations of rugby at the U-20 level. The winner gets promoted to the Junior World Cup competition which features, the top tier nations in international rugby. It is being held in Hong Kong this year. This week will be the start of pool play. The USA won the JWRT in 2012 and got promoted to the JWC in 2013. The USA and Uruguay both have right to feel frustrated by the Tournaments final pool standings. The USA suffered a narrow loss to Tonga, whom Georgia beat and whom the USA beat. To break up the 3 way tie, bonus points was looked at, which meant Tonga and the USA were tied as pool toppers. However, instead of points differential being the second tie-breaker like in the 6 Nations, it was head to head, Thereby putting Tonga in the Final. Uruguay did not lose a match but their draw with Canada in the second round cost them entering the final based on bonus points. Though we are not a fan of bonus points in international competitions, this set-ups two big clashes on Playoff day. We have a RWCQ rematch between USA and Uruguay for 3rd place and the final between upstarts Tonga and Japan.

Here is this week’s schedule and this weekend’s schedule:
TUE – 15TH APR 14
Georgia 21-8 Hong Kong
USA 22-28 Tonga
Uruguay 16-13 Namibia
Canada 12-37 Japan

SAT – 19TH APR 14
7th Place Play-Off
Hong Kong – Canada
5th Place Play-Off
Georgia – Namibia
3rd Place Play-Off
USA – Uruguay
Tonga – Japan

Aviva Premiership – The East Midlands Machiavellian, Nick Hall, has you covered. The top two are safe but the race for the last two spots is anything but certain. Please CLICK HERE for another fantastic preview.

Top 14 – Our Top14 expert du-jour, James Harrington  has all the exciting match-ups of the weekend covered. Please CLICK HERE, to check him out.

Adam Jones and Ospreys are still in the hunt
Adam Jones and Ospreys are still in the hunt

Rabodirect Pro12 – The are only few games left in the season and the jockeying for playoff home draws and places continues. Leinster will look to secure the top seed when they welcome Treviso and expect fireworks when 3rd place Ulster roll into Glasgow to take on the 4th place Warriors. Edinburgh will travel to face Zebre while Connacht make a quick trip east to face Munster. In two All-Welsh derbies Scarlets, still with faint hopes of playoffs, will take on Cardiff and Newport Gwent will take on an Ospreys side trying to crash the playoff top 4 from their 5th place position.

Here is this weekend’s schedule:
FRI – 18TH APR 14
Leinster – Benetton Treviso
Glasgow – Ulster
SAT – 19TH APR 14
Zebre – Edinburgh
Connacht – Munster
SUN – 20TH APR 14
Cardiff Blues – Scarlets
-Newport Gwent Dragons – Ospreys

Super Rugby – Super Rugby Superman, Jamie Wall, has put together another fantastic preview of this rounds action, highlighting the big games to watch and all the week’s news. Please CLICK HERE.

Tier 3 –   The European Nations Cup consists of 7 divisions, each with 4-6 teams. The upcoming matches determine who will get promoted and relegated form groups 1A, 1B, 2A – 2D, and 3A. This weekend there are only two matches as Bosnia & Herzegovina welcome Norway and Croatia take on a Lithuania side trying to return to past glory.

Here is this weekend’s schedule:
SAT – 19th APR 14
ENC Bosnia & Herzegovina – Norway
ENC Croatia – Lithuania

Penalty Kick:

Eric Fry
Eric Fry

Signings/Player Moves: Newcastle Falcons have announced the signing of American international prop Eric Fry on a two year contract. In addition to Fry, Newcastle also completed the signing of Leicester hooker Rob Hawkins on a two-year deal. Kiwi playmaker Jason Shoemark will be leaving Exeter Chiefs at the end of the season. Worcester Warriors confirmed that South African prop Nick Schonert will join the club from the Cheetahs. Saracens’ South African-born flanker Justin Melck has been called-up by Germany in their bid for a place at next year’s Rugby World Cup in England. Melck’s mom was born in Germany and he holds a German passport.

Glasgow Warriors have announced the signing of scrum-half and former Elite Development player Murray McConnell for the 2014/15 season. Glasgow also announced the re-signing of back-row duo Rob Harley and Tyrone Holmes, through at least May 2016. Connacht have confirmed the contract extensions of five of its current crop of young players and graduates from their academy  – Darragh Leader, Conor Finn, Finlay Bealham, David Heffernan and Daniel Qualter. Connacht also bolstered their front row by signing New Zealander Tom McCartney from Super Rugby franchise, the Blues on a three year deal.

Kiwi fly-half Stephen Brett will join France’s Pro D2 leaders Lyon on a two-year deal from Bayonne next season. Well rumors are flying that Perpignan fly-half Camille Lopez has been linked with a move to Toulon next season with Jonny Wilkinson set to retire. All Blacks flanker Victor Vito has been linked with a move to  with the rejuvenated Stade Français.

USA Rugby News and Updates: The Men’s D1-AA College Sweet sixteen are set and will begin battle on April 26th on the road to Stanford Stadium for the final. The D1-AA sixteen are:
Northeast Regional – Penn State University
State College, Pa.
West Virginia vs. Princeton
Brown vs. University of San Diego

Southeast Regional – University of Tennessee
Knoxville, Tenn.
Central Florida vs. Louisiana State
South Carolina vs. Georgia

Midwest Regional – Bowling Green State University
Bowling Green, Ohio
Bowling Green vs. Iowa State
Missouri vs. Middle Tennessee

West Regional – Stanford University
Stanford, Calif.
Stanford vs. Oregon
Long Beach State vs. Arizona

The Women’s D1 College Sweet Sixteen will begin battle this weekend for their trip to Stanford also. The teams are:
Mid West Regional – Bowling Green State University
Bowling Green, Ohio
Harvard vs. North Carolina
American International vs. Indiana

Northeast Regional – Penn State University
State College, Pa.
Penn State vs. James Madison
Army vs. East Carolina

Southeast Regional – Life University
Marietta, Ga.
West Chester vs. Georgia Tech
Central Florida vs. New Mexico

West Regional – Stanford University
Stanford, Calif.
Stanford vs. Texas A & M
BYU Women’s Cougar Rugby vs. Cal

Glasgow 7s: The pools and schedule for the Glasgow 7s have been released it shows the following:

Pool A: New Zealand, South Africa, Samoa and Portugal.
Pool B: England, Canada, France and newly-promoted Japan.
Pool C: Fiji, Wales, Argentina and Kenya.
Pool D: Australia, USA, Scotland and Spain.

Men’s Eagles Sevens | Emirates Airline Glasgow Sevens
v Spain – Saturday, May 3 – 8:04 A.M. ET
v Scotland – Saturday, May 3 – 11:10 A.M. ET
v Australia – Saturday, May 3 – 1:55 P.M. ET

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 BlaberDJ EberleNick HallJames HarringtonCody KuxmannJaime LoydKaren Ritter Jamie WallJake Frechetteand 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.