Weekend Rugby Preview: Autumn Internationals, Aviva Premeirship, LV= Cup and more

England v SA; Confirming the location of post-match festivities
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England v SA; Confirming the location of post-match festivities
England v SA; Seen here confirming the location of post match festivities

NEW YORK, NY – The official first round of the Autumn Internationals is in the books and Round 2 is upon us. As always, the SANZAR nations of South Africa, Australia and New Zealand taking on the 6 Nations unions is something to get excited about. However, before we look at the Autumn internationals, we will cover Player Transactions, USA Rugby News and IRB News. Not to be forgotten, is the Aviva Premiership and the LV= Cup. We round off with Tier 3 action in the European Nations Cup. With that, here’s the Weekend Rugby Preview:

Penalty Kick:
Transactions: Harlequins announced that backs coach Mark Mapletoft and defense/academy coach Tony Diprose have both signed contract extensions… Geordan Murphy is now the attack coach at Leicester until the end of the season in place of the departed Paul Burke.

The IRFU have had a busy week; It began with Ireland and Ulster winger Tommy Bowe signing a three-year contract extension. Then, they announced that Leinster’s Rob Kearney signed a three-year contract extension of his own… The Munster province made official, the signing of Western Province , of South Africa’s Currie Cup, center Pat Howard, who will move to the outfit on a three-month deal as injury cover.

Jono Ross has been released by the Bulls, of the SA Currie Cup, in order to take up a contract with Stade Français as a medical joker for David LyonsSuper Rugby Blues flank Luke Braid has decided to leave the New Zealand franchise and sign up for Bordeaux-Bègles after the 2015 season. Already over at Bordeaux-Bègles, is Otago utility back Jayden Spence as injury cover.

Luke Braid
Luke Braid

Not everyone is leaving Super Rugby, though.  The Stormers announced the addition of Currie Cup Pumas tighthead prop Vincent Koch to their Super Rugby squad for 2015…The Sharks got a puma of their own with the signing of Pumas loose-forward Renaldo Bothma on a two-year Super Rugby contract…The Blue Bulls have re-signed Werner Kruger, Akona Ndungane and Duncan Matthews to contract extensions making them available to play for the Bulls in the 2015 Super Rugby season…. The Western Force have bolstered their backline by signing New Zealand utility backs Tino Nemani and Albert Nikoro on two-year deals. The Hurricanes have secured the signatures of three key forwards through to the end of the 2016 season, they are Props Jeffery Toomaga-Allen and Reggie Goodes and back rower Ardie Savea.

USA Rugby News and Updates: USA Rugby’s very own 15s High Performance Manager, Billy Millard, will be presenting at the 2015 National Development Summit in January in Chicago.

As we mentioned last week, the 2014 USA Rugby Women’s Division I College Fall Championship and qualifier for next May’s National Championship is going on this weekend. The competition is hosted ACRA, the road to the 2015 USA Rugby College National Championship Series begins with the Rounds of 16 and eight Nov. 15-16. Dartmouth College, Notre Dame College, University of Northern Iowa, and Vassar College will host the 4 regional brackets. Click here for the full national bracket.

IRB News: There is trouble brewing between the players and the 3 Pacific Island Nations of Samoa, Tonga and Fiji regarding mismanagement by their respective unions. The IRB is currently looking into it.

There Shortlist for the 2014 Player of the Year was announced. The 2014 nominees are: Willie le Roux (South Africa), Brodie Retallick (New Zealand), Julian Savea (New Zealand), Jonathan Sexton (Ireland) and Duane Vermeulen (South Africa).

The IRB Game Load and Monitoring Meeting will bring together medical experts and playing representatives from around the world to consider key themes to form the basis of recommendations to enhance player welfare. The key meeting will precede the sixth annual IRB Medical Commission Conference, which will take place in London alongside the World Rugby Conference and Exhibition 2014 (ConfEx) taking place  17-18 November at Hilton London Metropole. Added to the five day


Autumn Internationals: The Autumn Internationals head into their second week and the matches are just as intriguing as they were last round. Rugby cousins Italy and Argentina square off… Romania will welcome Japan and in the big one for the weekend, England face South AfricaWales face the always unpredictable Fiji while the USA takes on Tonga and in another North America v Pacific Island battle, Samoa take on CanadaScotland will try to challenge New ZealandFrance will face a stiff test from Australia and Russia will face off against Hong Kong in the battle for the Ustinov Cup (a version of the Bledisloe Cup between the two nations). Finally,

on Sunday Ireland will face Georgia in the final match of the weekend.

USA v Tonga last year
USA v Tonga last year

RWU will has a preview of four matches.  The France v Australia match preview is found by clicking here and clicking here will get you a preview of the England-South Africa  match. We also have previews of the Tonga v USA game and the Scotland v New Zealand matches by Jake Frechette and , here and here, respectively.

Here is the weekend’s schedule:
FRI – 14TH NOV 14
TOUR Italy – Argentina
SAT – 15TH NOV 14
TOUR Romania – Japan
TOUR England – South Africa
TOUR Wales – Fiji
TOUR Tonga – USA
TOUR Samoa – Canada
TOUR Scotland – New Zealand
TOUR France – Australia
TOUR Hong Kong – Russia
SUN – 16TH NOV 14
TOUR Ireland – Georgia

As a personal service to those in the US looking to watch any of these internationals I must recommend beIN sports. That is not a typo, that is how they spell the sorts network’s name. See if you cable provider has that channel because they will have England/SA and Italy/Argentina on tomorrow and the rest of the matches will appear on tape delay as the week rolls on.

Aviva Prep: The Aviva is not taking this weekend off, as some of you may have thought. Northampton will welcome Exeter and Gloucester will host Harlequins. London Irish travel up to Sale, while Newcastle makes the short trip to Bath. In an interesting match-up Leicester will be home to challenge Saracens and London Welsh will still be looking for their first win of the season against Wasps.

FRI – 14TH NOV 14
Northampton – Exeter
Gloucester – Harlequins
SAT – 15TH NOV 14
Sale Sharks – London Irish
Bath – Newcastle Falcons
SUN – 16TH NOV 14
Leicester Tigers – Saracens
Wasps – London Welsh

LV=Cup: With the rugby calendar so full, the LV= Cup has developed into one of the premier developmental tournaments for young players in Wales and England. It has the 12 Aviva premiership teams along with the 4 Welsh regions battle it out to find a champion. The main thing it does is it lets starts of tomorrow showcase their abilities. This weekend will be Welsh Derby weekend as the Cardiff Blues come up against Scarlets and  Ospreys from  the Dragons.

Here is the weekend’s schedule:
FRI – 14TH NOV 14
Cardiff Blues – Scarlets
Ospreys – Dragons

Germany v Poland, in late 2013
Germany v Poland, in late 2013

Tier 3 In Tier 3, The men’s European Nations Cup consists of 7 divisions, each with 4-6 teams. The matches determine who will get promoted and relegated form groups 1A, 1B, 2A – 2Dd and 3A. Saturday’s fixture list sees action between 1B and 2C. Ukraine will travel to Beligum, while Poland head over to Moldova for a fun game. Finally, the unstoppable force that is Cyprus will try to add Latvia to it impressive win tally.

Here is the weekend’s schedule:
Sat – 15th Nov 14
Moldova – Poland
Belgium – Ukraine
Latvia – Cyprus

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.

PS: In a bit of shameless self promotion, feel free to donate to my MOVEMBER Campaign at https://us.movember.com/mospace/1862480

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.