Weekend Rugby Preview: WRWC, TRC, T14, Currie and ITM Cup, Player Moves, USA Rugby News

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Canada 2NEW YORK, NY – Today’s Weekend Rugby Preview is like a sign post for navigating our Rugby Roadway; we cover many countries and angles in separate, in-depth articles and need to point you to those. That way, you’ll find just what you are looking for, poured fresh like your favorite pint of plain. It’s just the right temp and waiting. Let’s get it served.

Women’s Rugby World Cup: Tomorrow will be the final day of the WRWC in Marconnes, France. If you want a more portion-controlled bite, like a quick review of the semi-finals and preview of the finals, we have you covered. Click HERE. For detailed coverage of each match, we recommend our friends Scrum Queens or Your Scrumhalf Connection.

The Rugby Championship: The third year of The Rugby Championship kicks off this Saturday. It will begin with one of the oldest rivalries in the game; Wallabies v. All Blacks, in a fight for one of the oldest trophies, Lord Bledisloe’s Cup… Meanwhile in South Africa, the Mighty Bokke go up against Los Pumas of Argentina. There is a long history of friendship  between the two nations and this history is making for a budding rivalry. Our resident Kiwi, & Super Rugby Superman, Jamie Wall, has a great preview of the tournament and the first round match-ups. Please CLICK HERE.

World Club 7s:  The winner’s of the J.P. Morgan Premiership 7s will do battle with some of the best 7s teams in the world. Pushed by Premiership Rugby, the people behind the Aviva Premiership and Premiership 7s, this will be the contest’s second year. This year there were qualifiers held by individual countries for the right to compete, like the USA and Wales. There was also a preliminary tournament in Limerick, last weekend. Here is all the important info:
Location: Twickenham, London, England
Pool A
RC Enisei (Russia)
New York City 7s (USA) Not to be mistaken for the New York Rugby Club or their 7s tournament. It is long story why this kind of confusion is allowed but the short version is New York is the most well known USA city worldwide, so a team of sorts had to manufactured.
DHL Western Province (South Africa)
Harlequins Rugby (England)

Pool B
Gloucester Rugby (England)
Cardiff Blues (Wales)
Vodacom Blue Bulls (South Africa)
Union de Rugby Buenos Aires (Argentina)

Pool C
Auckland Blues (New Zealand)
NSW Waratahs (Australia)
Seattle Saracens (USA)
Kuban Krasnodar (Russia)

Schedule: Click HERE

Currie Cup SharksTop 14: After a mere 2 months off, the Top 14 is back. With its return, so to our Top 14 expert-du-jour, , returns. Mssr. Harrington has put together a preview of the new season. How the Top 14 effects the France national team as a whole is covered by the East Midlands Machiavelli , in this piece.

Currie Cup: The 76th edition of the Currie Cup heads into its second weekend of action. We have a preview of the season ahead, just CLICK HERE.  As for the weekend’s match-ups,  the Pumas travel to Durban to face the Sharks, while the Eastern Province Kings go to Johannesburg and face the Lions in the new rivalry. The Free State Cheetahs welcome neighbors Griquas while a huge clash occurs when Western Province play host to the Blue Bulls.

Here is the weekend’s schedule:
Fri – 15th Aug 14
Sharks – Pumas
Sat – 16th Aug 14
Lions – Eastern Province Kings
Cheetahs – Griquas
Western Province – Blue Bulls

Auckland ITM cup side
Auckland ITM cup side

ITM Cup: The 2014 ITM Cup kicked off yesterday as Taranaki fought Counties Manukau to a standstill. We have also provided a preview of the season ahead, just CLICK HERE.  The remaining fixtures for this weekend will see Southland hosts Bay Of Plenty then North Harbour travels all the way down to Otago. In a clash of two heavyweights and favorites for the title, Auckland will head to Cantebury for a big clash. Waikato will travel to the capital to take on Wellington. On Sunday, Tasman hosts Hawkes Bay and finally Northland welcomes Manawatu.

Here are the results:
Thu – 14th Aug 14
Taranaki 9 – 9 Counties Manukau

Here is the weekend’s schedule:
Fri – 15th Aug 14
Southland – Bay Of Plenty
Sat – 16th Aug 14
Otago – North Harbour
Canterbury – Auckland
Wellington – Waikato
Sun – 17th Aug 14
Tasman – Hawkes Bay
Northland – Manawatu

Conversion Kick:
Transactions: One of Gloucester’s directors, Huw Evans, has resigned from the club, citing “differences of opinion” with both the board and chairman… Samoan international Sailosi Tagicakibau has returned from his loan stint with the S15 Stormers to London Irish but his future is in doubt as he has not participated in the clubs pre-season training so far. Former Gloucester full-back Martyn Thomas has joined the club on trial and impressed to date. It was also reported that 8man Jon Fisher and scrum-half Pat Phibbs are also uncertain after both players were left out of the squad photograph before the new season…Irish U20 lock Jerry Sexton (Johnny’s little brother) after seeing a playing opportunity in France shudder to a halt due to contract issues has been given until the end of November to prove his worth at Exeter with lock and skipper Dean Mumm injured…If you were trying to keep up with all the transfers in the Aviva Premiership, a complete list can be found HERE.

The Scarlets announced the promotion of assistant coach Wayne Pivac to head coach. Pivac takes over for the departed Simon Easterby. Scarlets also recruited former Welsh international Byron Hayward as their defense coachLeinster have announced the signing of rugby league player Ben Te’o, who will join the club from the South Sydney Rabbitohs of the NRL… As the continuing absurdity of the fight between the Wales Rugby Union and Regional Rugby Wales continues, it was announced that Sam Warburton will not be picked by the Cardiff Blues until the dispute in Welsh rugby has been resolved.

Toulon hooker Guilhem Guirado has been added to France’s elite squad to replace the injured Hugo Bonneval.

Former AIG New Zealand All Blacks second-row Brad Thorn has parted ways with the Highlanders after two seasons…The Blues have signed Josh Bekhuis for the 2015 and 2016 Super Rugby seasons…Standout New Zealand U20s fly-half and fullback Damian McKenzie has signed with the Chiefs  for the next three years.

USA Rugby News and Updates: Beyond the USA Rugby Women playing in the WRWC, there only other major event will be the Serevi Rugbytown 7s in Glendale, Colorado. The tournament will cover both days of the weekend. Click here for viewing options

Here are the pools:

Pool A
Air Force
Coast Guard

Pool B
Glendale Raptors
The Bahamas
The Republic of Texas

Pool C
Negro y Azul

Pool A
AIG College All-Americans
Northeast ODA
Royal Air Force Spitfire 7s

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 as always, 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.