Weekend Rugby Preview: WRWC, Super Rugby, USA Rugby News, Player Moves

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WRWCNEW YORK, NY- What a difference a few weeks make. The rugby calendar has thinned out on a drastic level. There is the final round of Super Rugby and the Elgon Cup in terms of games being played. It has however been a busy week of news regarding the 2014 Women’s Rugby World Cup. We also have the latest transfer news/rumors and of course, USA Rugby updates. With that said, we present the Weekend Rugby Preview:

Ladies first:
The USA Women’s Eagles squad for the upcoming Women’s Rugby World Cup in France in August has been named. The squad list can be found HERE. As New York Rugby Club members, Matt McCarthy and yours humbly want to send a big congratulations to Vanesha McGee and Caroline White of NYRC.  Also, let’s not forget that McGee is a RWU class of 2012 alum. USA Rugby is also keeping a player blog of the adventures the ladies have during the WRWC. All the information regarding the other national squads, pool breakdown, previews and the tournament schedule including information about free travel to pool games can be found at WWW.RWCWOMENS.COM.

Super RugbyThe RWU Super Rugby Superman, Jamie Wall, has guided us through a long and unpredictable Super Rugby season. He will be back after the weekend to recap the action. He quickly scribbled and email together and said go to our friends at Rugby-Talk.com to get all the weekend’s permutations regarding who needs to beat who and by how much to make the playoffs. As for the schedule it shapes up rather nicely with the big games sprinkled out all through out the weekend.  The Crusaders versus Highlanders, the Brumbies hosting the Force and The Blues welcoming the Chiefs to Fortress Eden Park are the fixtures with the biggest implications.

Here is the weekend schedule: 
FRI– 11TH JUL 14
Blues – Chiefs
Brumbies – Western Force
Bulls – Melbourne Rebels
SAT – 12TH JUL 14
Crusaders – Highlanders
Reds – Waratahs
Lions – Cheetahs
Stormers – Sharks

Pro 12 – The Pro 12 has a new sponsor in Guinness and the new season schedule is out, Please CLICK HERE to see it. 

Tier 3
Elgon Cup: The Elgon Cup is contested between the rugby teams of Kenya and Uganda. The men’s and women’s teams of these countries each compete annually for their respective cups on a Home-and-Away basis. This year the U-19 boys teams of each country has been added into the mix. The competition and the cups are named after Mount Elgon, a mountain on the border of the two countries.

Here is the weekend schedule: 
SAT– 12TH JUL 14
ELC Uganda U-19 Boys v Kenya U-19 Boys– 12.30pm
ELCUganda Women v Kenya Women – 2.30pm
ELCUganda Mens v Kenya Men – 4.30pm

Piri Weepu; Photo by David Rogers/Getty Images
Piri Weepu; Photo by David Rogers/Getty Images

Conversion Kick:
Transactions:  A very odd legal court case over a fake check worth over £400,000 and the ownership of newly promoted Premiership side, London Welsh began earlier this week. The case is too bizarre to explain in a few words, so we recommend you take the leap and CLICK HERE… Keeping with London Welsh news, they dipped into the Southern Hemisphere pool this week for new signings. They confirmed signing Super Rugby Brumbies and former Australia U-20 and Schoolboy Rugby representative back-row forward Lachlan McCaffrey. The Welsh also had a major coup in signing former AIG New Zealand All Blacks 2011 RWC winner and Blues scrumhalf Piri Weepu for reported 300,000 NZD ($264,562.50 USD) to 400,000 NZD ($352,750.00 USD). Not satisfied, the Welsh also added Argentina loosehead prop Pablo Henn for the upcoming season. The Welsh have now signed over 20 players since they won promotion and they also made an off-field signing by adding former Wales center Sonny Parker as team manager… Fiji-born, British military officer and Bath winger, Semesa Rokoduguni, has signed a one-year extension, keeping him at Bath til 2016…Former South Africa second row Alistair Hargreaves has been appointed by Saracens as the club captain for next season. Hargreaves will be taking over from recently retired former locking partner Steve Brothwick.

Cardiff Blues director of rugby Mark Hammett has added Paul Downes to his coaching staff as the Welsh region’s new strength and conditioning coach… The Ospreys have announced the signing of highly-rated blindside flanker Olly Cracknell on a three-year deal. Cracknell is coming of a stellar Junior World Cup, where he started ever game for Wales.

All Blacks fly-half Beauden Barrett has pledged his future to the Hurricanes for the next two years… Hawke’s Bay and AIG Maori All Blacks fly-half Ihaia West has come from not even being part of the Blues wider training squad at the start of the season to signing with the franchise through the 2016 Super Rugby season… The Chiefs annouced that fan favourite Ben Tameifuna has signed a contract extension through 2015… Aaron Smith has also signed a contract extension with the Highlanders that will keep the All Blacks scrum-half at the Otago based franchise beyond this season…Waratahs utility forward Jacques Potgieter turned down the chance to return to the Bulls for next year’s Super Rugby tournament after a significant counter-offer from the Waratahs was too good to refuse… Brumbies cult hero Fotu Auelua has signed on for another season with the Canberra based franchise. The Cheetahs announced that they have signed Southern Kings and SA U20 wing Sergeal Petersen for next year’s Super Rugby tournament.

Thretton Palamo
Thretton Palamo

USA Rugby News and Updates:  It appears Thretton Palamo is heading to Saracens. According to Rugby Today, Palamo was scouted by Saracens along with fellow Utah rugby standout Don Pati at the National Rugby Football League combine. Our friend, Ted Hardy of Rugby America, covered the combine and noted that scouts would be present. The NRFL is a project by Rugbylaw that was designed to bring a professional league to the USA, it has its doubters,  including yours truly, but it appears to have been fruitful for some.

Palamo needed a USA 15s cap in order to obtain a UK work visa. This may explain his return to the USA rugby fold in 7s and then subsequently 15s, playing against Canada, after being away for years trying to play American football. Considering that Palamo was at one point the youngest international in Rugby World Cup history when he made his debut in 2007, it cannot be considered as the unearthing of a hidden gem… maybe it’s the maturing of a fine wine.

Our very own, Working Class Rugger, has just relayed to us that according to This Is American Rugby, Saint Mary’s of California recent graduate, USA College All-American and Eagle camp invitee and fly-half Garrett Brewer is heading to Australia for a full year to play in the Shute Shield with Randwick.

In the lead up to the big match in Chicago on Nov. 1st between USA Rugby and the AIG New Zealand All Blacks, USA Rugby announced that Tickemaster will now be handling global sales of the tickets so fans everywhere can buy tickets for the event… USA Rugby earlier this week unveiled that Parnell Partners Group will be its official travel and hospitality partner for fans during the IRB Rugby World Cup 2015… The United States Olympic Committee announced the 2014 U.S. Youth Olympic Team to compete at the Nanjing 2014 Youth Olympic Games, please CLICK HERE for the squad list… Yesterday, USA Rugby released the 2014 USA Rugby Stars and Stripes Camp rosters, please CLICK HERE for the full rosters for both boys and girls squads.

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, Karen Ritter , Jamie Wall, Jake Frechette 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.