Weekend Rugby Preview: USA Eagles Tour UK, Super Rugby, Africa Cup, USA Rugby News And More

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Kenya 15s are in the driver's seat in Africa
Kenya 15s are in the driver’s seat in Africa

NEW YORK, NY-  Happy Fourth of July, to all our American readers!! What a difference a month makes. With the all the tour matches, Tier 2 Cups, most of the Tier 3 Cups and Junior World Cup matches done, there is a very small sample of games to watch this weekend. However, the few that are left are very important matches. There are big matches with playoff implications going into this round of Super Rugby. We have Tier 3 action in the Africa Cup which are qualifiers for the 2015 Rugby World Cup. We also have all the latest transfer news and rumors and of course, USA Rugby news. And so, without further adieu, we present the Weekend Rugby Preview:

Ladies first:
The USA Women’s Eagles are in the final leg of their 3 match warm-up tour for the Women’s Rugby World Cup in France in August. The Eagles had a big win, in harsh conditions against Wales, last weekend and then got hammered in the midweek by England.  This score is currently unconfirmed as shockingly neither the IRB, USA Rugby and the RFU had the score available. Only our friend, Wendy Young of Your Scrumhalf Connection, had it posted. This weekend, the USA will play a second game on Sunday against the English ladies to decide the winner of the series.

Here is the midweek results:
WED – 2ND JUL 14
TOUR England 48 – 0 USA

Here is this weekend’s schedule:
SUN – 6TH JUL 14
TOUR England – USA

Super RugbyThe RWU Super Rugby Superman, Jamie Wall, has broken out a calculator and done all the math for all of us regarding qualifying for the playoffs. So with two weeks left to go, Jaime is the guy to cover the the business end for the Super Rugby season. Please CLICK HERE.

Tier 3
Africa Cup: The Africa Cup 2014 will be the fourteenth edition of the continental tournament that involves the best African national teams, organized by the Confederation of African Rugby (CAR). Given their superiority, the South African national team has rarely participated in the tournament and the 4 times the SARU has sent either a U-23 team or amateur side, they go on to win it. Beyond South Africa, there are up to 15 rugby countries in the Cup with the national participants in the main division, divided into three groups of 14 merit ( 1A, 1B, and 1C ), with promotion and relegation. Tournaments Divisions 1A and 1B’s games are often double as qualification games for the Rugby World Cup. This year the Division 1A Championship will be held between 26th June and 6th July 2014, at the Mahamasina Municipal Stadium in Antananarivo, Madagascar. The winner will qualify for the 2015 Rugby World Cup as Africa 1 and the runner up will qualify for the repechage. In an insane scenario all three teams might finish tied up at the top of the standings. Namibia‘s narrow win over Zimbabwe threw a spanner in the works, though Kenya remain in pole position with there shutout of Madagascar in the midweek. This means Namibia need to get the maximum 5 points (4 pts. for the win and 1 pt. for 4 tries scored) from their match with hosts Madagascar and hope Zimbabwe defeat Kenya with neither side picking up a bonus point in the process. Such a scenario would put all three teams level on 10 points with points difference then taking care of who finishes top and qualifies for England 2015 as Africa 1 and who finishes second and enters the Repechage.

Here is the midweek results:
WED – 2ND JUL 14
AFRC/RWCQ D1A  Zimbabwe 20 – 24 Namibia
AFRC/RWCQ D1A  Kenya 34 – 0 Madagascar

Here is this weekend’s schedule:
SUN – 6TH JUL 14
AFRC/RWCQ D1A  Madagascar – Namibia
AFRC/RWCQ D1A  Kenya – Zimbabwe

Laurie Fisher
Laurie Fisher

Conversion Kick:
Signings/Player Moves: As rumored last week, Gloucester have confirmed that Australian and current Super Rugby Brumbies Director of Rugby Laurie Fisher will be head coach ahead of the 2014-15 season. Gloucester also announced that former England prop Trevor Woodman has agreed to a new deal to remain as the club’s scrum coach. Young lock Will Spencer has agreed to stay with Bath Rugby until at least the end of the 2015/16 season…Wasps have announced that Charlie Hayter is leaving the club to take up an England Sevens contract ahead of the Commonwealth Games. Wasps announced the signing of Wales international prop John Yapp ahead of the upcoming Aviva Premiership season. Finally,  Mike Friday, has just been named Director of Rugby for London Scottish in the Greene King IPA Championship (Division below the Aviva Premiership in England). This effectively rules him out as a possible option too replace Matt “Polar Bear” Hawkins as coach of USA 7s Men’s National Team.

Mark Anscombe
Mark Anscombe

In the Rabodirect news, Ulster have shocked all on-lookers by announcing that head coach Mark Anscombe is to leave the province with immediate effect…Stuart Hogg has been named in the Scotland Sevens squad to compete at the forthcoming Commonwealth Games in GlasgowEdinburgh have signed lock, Anton Bresler, from the Sharks on a three-year deal to 2017. Ospreys have announced the signing  of  Fiji International center Josh MatavesiScarlets have confirmed the addition of experienced Fijian winger Michael Tagicakibau.

The Super Rugby Western Australia Force are excited that flanker Angus Cottrell re-committing to the club for another two years. Japanese international hooker Shota Horie has re-signed with the Rebels for one more year. South Africa hooker Adriaan Strauss has  rejected a contract extension from the Cheetahs and will join the Bulls, according to unconfirmed reports.

USA Rugby News and Updates: USA Rugby Sevens star Carlin Isles has left Glasgow Warriors to return home to the USA to focus on earning selection for the Olympic 7sUSA Rugby announced that Starfire Sports in Tukwila, Wash., as the venue for the 2014 USA Rugby Emirates Airline Men’s and Women’s Club 7s Championships…The Aircraft Charter Solutions USA Rugby Boys High School All-Americans squad bound for Argentina has been confirmed. Click HERE for the full roster and itinerary…The USA Rugby AIG Women’s Collegiate All-Americans team for the upcoming tour of Canada has been named. tClick HERE for the full roster and itinerary...The coaching staffs for the second annual USA Rugby Stars and Stripes Camp have been selected. There were more than  100 coaching applicants for the 12 available staff positions. The coaches were selected through an online application, identification by current national team coaches, and the USA Rugby Coach Development Program in order to build the pool of high performance coaches to ensure the future development of USA Rugby.

USA Rugby Stars and Stripes Camp | Coaching Staff

Girls Stars
Head Coach – Kelly Seary
Assistant Coach – Katie Dowty
Assistant Coach – Bernard Cantorna

Girls Stripes 
Head Coach – Anna Kunkel
Assistant Coach – Mel Denham
Assistant Coach – Shannon Bustillos

Boys Stars 
Head Coach – Brendan Keane
Assistant Coach – Scott Bracken
Assistant Coach – Justin Goonan

Boys Stripes
Head Coach – Colin Puriri
Assistant Coach – Eddie Abel
Assistant Coach – David Hamilton

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.