Weekend Rugby Preview: TRC, Top14, Premiership, Pro12, Currie, ITM, NRC Player Moves, USA Rugby

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SANZAR-and-UAR-create-Four-NationsNEW YORK, NY – Another weekend in September and another crowded fixture list. In case you have been hiding under a rock and are not sure why the fixture list is so crowded, we have all of Europe’s premier leagues, the three SANZAR domestic leagues and The Rugby Championship in action. Plus, there are transactions and USA Rugbyy News to cover. Let’s get into, the  Weekend Rugby Preview:

The Rugby Championship: The TRC will kick-off round four when The All Blacks welcome the Springboks to their capital, Wellington, for a clash that never fails to disappoint. The Wallabies will host Los Pumas. Our resident Kiwi, Jamie Wall, has a brilliant preview of the matches. Please click here.

Top 14: What a busy week on and off the field in the Top 14! There were the results of the Florian Fritz debacle, another Clermont player attacked and continued warring words between Racing’s Metro’s and Toulon’s owner. Our #Top14 expert James Harrington, has a complete review of the week’s events and looks at the weekend’s matches. Please click here.

Aviva Premiership: The Aviva Premiership kicked off last weekend. East Midlands Man Nick Hall posted a Season Preview & Pedictions of the eventual winner. He will also pick-up where he left off last season with talking points  after every round. As for the matches going on this weekend:
Heavyweights collide as Harlequins take on Saracens to start things off… Gloucester welcome Sale... London Welsh face their first road challenge as a newly promoted side by traveling to Bath, while Mr. Hall’s Leicester Tigers visit ExeterWasps will face a stern challenge from defending champs Northampton and Newcastle will face London Irish in a clash of teams destined for the mid table.

Here is the weekend’s schedule:
Fri – 12th Sep 14
Harlequins – Saracens
Sat – 13th Sep 14
Gloucester – Sale Sharks
Bath – London Welsh
Exeter – Leicester
Sun – 14th Sep 14
Wasps – Northampton
Newcastle – London Irish

Guinness Pro 12: It appears that Friday night is the night for rugby in the #Pro12, with 4 fixtures scheduled. It begins with Munster traveling to Treviso… Then, an all-Wales clash, as Newport-Gwent roll out the welcome mat for Neath-Swansea OspreysConnacht make a short trip to Edinburgh while Zebre leave the confines/climes of Italy to face Ulster at RavenhillSaturday sees Leinster with their first home game against Scarlets, and last year’s finalist Glasgow travel to play Cardiff.

Here is the weekend’s schedule:
Fri – 12th Sep 14
Benetton Treviso – Munster
Newport Gwent Dragons – Ospreys
Edinburgh – Connacht
Ulster – Zebre
Sat – 13th Sep 14
Leinster – Scarlets
Sun – 14th Sep 14
Cardiff Blues – Glasgow

Currie Cup: South Africa’s Currie Cup is at that rare point, the oner referred to by the SA Rain Men as “run for the playoffs or be left for the dead.” Every game counts more than it ever has before as last place Eastern Province welcome the struggling Blue Bulls Griquas will take on the on-fire Pumas… Two struggling sides will try and right their respective ships when the Cheetahs take on the Sharks and first place Western Province travel to Johannesburg to play the Lions.

Here is the weekend’s schedule:
Fri – 12th Sep 14
Eastern Province Kings – Blue Bulls
Sat – 13th Sep 14
Griquas vs Pumas
Cheetahs vs Sharks
Lions vs Western Province

ITM Cup
ITM Cup

ITM Cup: The latest round of the 2014 ITM Cup started early with a mid-week match. Northland easily handled Otago and in the Thursday night game, a late push by Taranaki saw them scrap past Tasman… In the matches left for the weekend, North Harbour face off against Manawatu, undefeated Canterbury takes on misfiring Wellington, inconsistent Auckland travel to Bay of Plenty and the team from the northern most part of New Zealand, Northland, take on their counterparts from the southern most point – SouthlandOtago will have little time to lick their wounds as they travel to face Hawkes Bay and Waikato, in a Ranfurly shield match, will face Counties Manukau, whom are struggling to replicate last year’s impressive form.

Here are the results:
Wed – 10th Sep 14
Otago 23 – 40 Northland
Thu – 11th Sep 14
Tasman 30 – 31 Taranaki

Here is the weekend’s schedule:
Fri – 12th Sep 14
North Harbour – Manawatu
Canterbury – Wellington
Sat – 13th Sep 14
Bay Of Plenty – Auckland
Southland – Northland
Sun – 14th Sep 14
Waikato – Counties Manukau
Hawkes Bay – Otago

Australia NRC: The inaugural National Rugby Championship is now in week 3. A brief explanation of the comp can be found here. Our resident, Australian rugby expert, ,  has  found some decent Internet service, so look for his weekly Rewind & Predictions.

Tier 3 News: Hosts Colombia have been crowned CONSUR South American Division B champions after a 27-10 win over Venezuela in Saturday’s title decider at the Estadio Santiago Rambay.

Conversion Kick:
Transactions: Bath announced that Flanker Mat Gilbert will be leaving the club in search of more meaningful playing time elsewhere. In happier news for Bath, starlet Anthony Watson has re-signed with the club until 2017.

It is being rumored that Argentina international Juan Martín Hernández will join Toulon in January to replace departing back James O’Connor. We will await confirmation from . Mssr. Harrington will also confirm if Sona Taumalolo really will join Racing Métro as a medical joker after Davit Khinchagishvili was injured against ClermontFiji winger Benito Masilevu has extended his contract with Brive for two more seasons. Masilevu’s success is part of the reasoning behind the opening of Brive’s rugby academy in Fiji, as reported by Jamie Loyd… Mr. Loyd also has a great piece on how Karmicheal Hunt will be used by the Reds and Wallabies, plus the possible poaching of Taniela ‘Tongan Thor’ Tupou.

The Ospreys have announced the signing of De Kock Steenkamp from the Super Rugby Stormers on a three-year contract. The Ospreys paid extra to get Steenkamp released a year early from his contract… Ulster and Ireland are set to be without lock Iain Henderson for several months after it was revealed he will need a hip operation… Canterbury and soon-to-be Munster back Tyler Bleyendaal has suffered a neck injury that is set to put him out of action for an indefinite period of time. Bleyendaal was enjoying a great start to the season for the Red and Blacks, too… Danny Wilson will step down from his role as Scarlets scrum coach to focus on a new role with Bristol as forwards coach. Bristol’s Welsh contingent grows as their hunger for promotion knows no bounds.

IRB clarifies Eligibility: IRB boss Brett Gosper earlier this week stated  that any player wanting to change nationalities by way of the Olympic loophole will have to go through a committee that will examine all applications. click here for the full schedules.

USA Rugby News and Updates: A revision regarding graduate students has been made to the College Eligibility Regulations after approval from both the College Management Council and the Rugby Committee. The are still issues such as the 7 years from HS Graduation law. Which runs counter to NCAA regulations and still has many upset. Click Here for the full article and comments from fans…USA Rugby had a press release regarding the Women’s 7s trip to Alaska. USA Rugby launched the official Rookie Rugby website.

Remember The Name: Kutztown University Golden Bears

According to an unconfirmed report from fellow Rugby Rain Man, Nick Attewell, Mike Lawrenson has left Counties Manakau and registered for Palmer Chiropractic College. Lawrenson rose to fame during this year’s CRC7s in Philly. After putting on a remarkable display – for a lock playing 7s – for the Kutztown Golden Bears (who he help lead to the final), he made the Collegiate All-Americans squad. Then, to improve his game, Lawrenson took accepted the offer to play for Tana Umaga and Counties in the ITM Cup. Umaga was present at the CRC7s and noticed Lawrenson’s performance. After getting on well in NZ, Lawrenson registered for class at Palmer and will on the radar for USA Head Coach Mike Tolkin’s Americas Rugby Championship squad.

Continuing with USA Rugby player news, Seamus Kelly is on trial at USA Rugby CEO Nigel Melville‘s old club, Gloucester.

Thretton Palamo and Titi Lamositele, the USA duo playing for Saracens, have picked up injuries that will keep them out of the big match against the All Blacks in November. Palamo has a foot injury and Lamositele has torn his ACL, which will have him out until next year.

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.

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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.