Weekend Rugby Preview: World Rugby Org, Autumn Internationals, Aviva, Pro12, Player Moves, USA Rugby

Please Share.
Duane Vermuelen introduces himself to Richie McCaw
Duane Vermuelen introduces himself to Richie McCaw

NEW YORK, NY – The Autumn Internationals are winding down but that doesn’t mean they are losing any intensity. The SANZAR nations are a collective 4-2 vs the the 6 Nations unions (South Africa and Australia are 1-1; New Zealand is 2-0 (3-0 if you count that USA match). We will see what’s next for that group, cover the important Player Transactions, USA Rugby News and IRB News and the Aviva Premiership, Pro 12 and Tier 3 action in the European Nations Cup. So, let’s not muck about and get straight into the Weekend Rugby Preview:

Penalty Kick:
Transactions: Exeter announced that full-back Phil Dollman has signed a new two-year contract extension… According to unconfirmed reports, Bath are now reportedly chasing down IRB Player of the Year Nominee Duane Vermeulen to head to The Rec after the Rugby World Cup.

Cardiff Blues have signed their second Argentine international in the space of two months with the arrival of utility back Joaquín TuculetEdinburgh have confirmed that due to personal reasons defense coach Omar Mouneimne has left the side to return to South Africa… There are rumors that Paul O’Connell could leave the province for Section Paloise – formerly Pau – after next year’s Rugby World Cup… Leinster have announced the signing of London Irish front-row Jamie Hagan on a short-term three month loan deal.

Montpellier president Mohed Altrad has confirmed that forwards coach Mario Ledesma has resigned following the club’s recent struggles… Grenoble have announced that back-row forward Fabien Alexandre has extended his contract with the Top 14 side for two more seasons… South Africa’s request to play their France-based Springboks in their final November Test against Wales has been turned down.

Waratahs Assistant Coach Darryl Gibson has indicated that he wants to succeed Michael Cheika as the Sydney-based franchise’s head coach after the 2015 Super Rugby season… Super Rugby’s expansion to 18 teams in 2016 is complete, with SANZAR formally confirming the participation of Japan and Argentina at an Executive Committee meeting in London.

Screen shot 2014-10-26 at 11.22.03 AMUSA Rugby News and Updates: It was a super-busy week for USA Rugby in the news. It began with the announcement that USA Rugby’s  15s High Performance Manager, Billy Millard, and National Sevens Director Alex Magleby will be presenting at the 2015 National Development Summit in January in Chicago.

NBC reported more than one million viewers during three key, half-hour periods, while an average of 927,000 viewers tuned in to the historic USA v All Blacks match’s two-and-a-half-hour broadcast. And that is not counting all the viewing parties.

Following a highly competitive bidding process and voting from all 52 member clubs worldwide, International Gay Rugby (IGR) is pleased to announce that in May 2016, the Mark Kendall Bingham Memorial Tournament (Bingham Cup), will be returning to the U.S.A. to be hosted by the Nashville Grizzlies RFC in Nashville, Tennessee.

The semi-final match-ups for the USA Rugby Women’s Division I and II College Fall Championships are set. Hosted by ACRA, the Women’s DI and DII Fall Championships will take place in Palm Coast, Fla., Dec. 6-7. The winner from both ranks will play the Spring Champion for the National Championship May 9 as part of the 2015 USA Rugby College National Championship Series. In D1 it will be Quinnipiac against Penn State, while Norwich will look to get past Indiana. In the DII ranks, Notre Dame College will meet Kutztown, while the other semifinal will pit Winona State against Bowdoin.

The final 16 teams stamped their ticket to the 2014 Men’s Division II College Regional Playoffs. Here is the breakout for the quarterfinals:

Here is the weekend’s schedule:
Northeast Region
Kingston, R.I. (University of Rhode Island)
UW-Whitewater vs. Bentley
Vermont vs. SUNY-Oswego

Mid-Atlantic Region
Harrisonburg, Va. (James Madison University)
James Madison vs. Rowan
Towson vs. Grand Valley State

South Region
Salisbury, Md. (Salisbury University)
Salisbury vs. Roger Williams
Notre Dame College vs. Furman

Midwest Region
St. Louis, Mo. (Washington University)
UM-Duluth vs. Colorado College
St. Louis vs. UW-Stout

The ACRC Bowl Series begins tomorrow and will last throughout the weekend.The Bowl Series brings high-level collegiate rugby to Charlotte, N.C. Nov. 21-22, 2014. The Bowl series allows some of the top teams in the country and conference winners to face of against other conference winners.

Here is the weekend’s schedule:
Friday, November 21, 2014 – 4:00PM
North Meck High School vs William A. Hough High School
Friday, November 21, 2014 – 5:45PM
Iona College vs Boston College
Friday, November 21, 2014 – 7:30PM
North Carolina State vs Texas State University
Saturday, November 22, 2014 – 9:30AM
Western Michigan University vs Life University Eagles (JV)
Saturday, November 22, 2014 – 11:15AM
American International College vs Bowling Green University
Saturday, November 22, 2014 – 1:00PM
Kutztown University vs University of Michigan
Saturday, November 22, 2014 – 2:45PM
Stony Brook University vs West Virginia University
Saturday, November 22, 2014 – 4:30PM
University of North Texas vs University of Massachusetts
Saturday, November 22, 2014 – 6:15PM
LIfe University vs Army Black Knights
Saturday, November 22, 2014 – 8:00PM
Clemson University vs University of South Carolina

USA Rugby is now accepting applications for Liaison Officer roles for the upcoming IRB Women’s Sevens World Series tournament in Kennesaw, Ga., March 14-15, 2015. Click here for more info on the job description and to apply.

World Rugby

World Rugby News: Notice this section is now World Rugby news and not IRB News. That is because the IRB has officially re-branded as World Rugby, beginning the 18th. Their new web address is www.worldrugby.org.

Fifteen legends of men’s and women’s rugby have been inducted into the World Rugby Hall of Fame at a special ceremony in London on Monday, midway through the World Rugby Conference and Exhibition. This latest inductions include the first women to enter the Hall of Fame as well as some greats of the men’s game.

The new inductions are: Nathalie Amiel (France), Gill Burns (England), Patty Jervey (USA), Carol Isherwood (England), Anna Richards (New Zealand), Farah Palmer (New Zealand), Keith Rowlands (Wales), Jim Greenwood (Scotland), JPR Williams (Wales), Michael Lynagh (Australia), Jo Maso (France), Keith Wood (Ireland), Ieuan Evans (Wales), Jason Leonard (England) and Bill Beaumont (England).

Amiel, Jervey, Richards and Palmer achievements begin with Jervey at the inaugural tournament in 1991 to Richards winning a fourth title in a row with the Black Ferns in 2010, while Amiel coached France to third place at the 2014 edition on home soil in August.

Samoa’s Senior Internationals issued a public appeal to the Samoa Rugby Union (SRU) to discuss player grievances, as festering disharmony clouds the future of one of the world’s top teams. The SRU have failed to attend crucial meetings in the last week to resolve ongoing issues according to players. Click here for more.

LADIES FIRST: There is one women’s international this week and it sees 6 Nations foes, Italy lock horns with Scotland.

Here is the weekend’s schedule:
SUN – 23RD NOV 14
W INT Italy – Scotland

Autumn Internationals: This is the final weekend of internationals for some countries, while to others it is the penultimate week of international fixtures for the year.  As for the fixtures themselves, they begin with Fiji taking on the USA in France… Scotland are home against Tonga and South Africa head to Padova to face Italy… In the big match of the weekend, Ireland will take on Australia, while an equally important match will occur when New Zealand visit Cardiff to take on Wales…  Two intriguing tier 2 clashes will see Portugal against Namibia and Georgia host JapanCanada will travel to RomaniaSamoa will push aside their internal dilemma and take on EnglandFrance go for a perfect Autumn record against Argentina.

Back in the 2011 RWC. Ireland over Aus.
Back in the 2011 RWC. Ireland over Aus.

RWU will has a preview of four matches.  The France v Argentina match preview is found by clicking here, and clicking here will get you a preview of the Fiji v USA match. We also have previews of the England-Samoa game here and the Wales v New Zealand match here by Nick Hall and , respectively.

Here is the weekend’s schedule:
FRI – 21ST NOV 14
SAT – 22TH NOV 14
TOUR Scotland – Tonga
TOUR Italy – South Africa
TOUR Ireland – Australia
TOUR Portugal – Namibia
TOUR Wales – New Zealand
TOUR Romania – Canada
TOUR England – Samoa
TOUR France – Argentina
SUN – 23RD NOV 14
TOUR Georgia – Japan

I recommend all our readers in the USA go to beIN sports. Click on the link and you will find their match schedule.

Aviva Prep: The Aviva Premiership has been chugging along during the international window and given some young talent a chance to come to the forefront.  This weekend begins with Harlequins at home against Sale and Newcastle still trying to improve their home record, against Gloucester. Oddly, the AP has scheduled matches on Saturday, making fans choose between whom to support. It begins with the boys from Bath leaving The Rec ground and traveling south to face London Irish, while the team formerly known as the London Wasps travel north to face Exeter… The biggest match of the season to date will see a rematch of the 2014 final, as Saracens are home against 2014 champions NorthamptonLondon Welsh will get the a much-expected beating when they take on Leicester.

Here is the weekend’s schedule:
FRI – 21ST NOV 14
Harlequins – Sale Sharks
Newcastle Falcons – Gloucester
SAT – 22ND NOV 14
London Irish – Bath
Exeter – Wasps
SUN – 23RD NOV 14
Saracens – Northampton
London Welsh – Leicester Tigers

Guinness Pro 12: The Pro12 is also back in action. However, they scheduled their clashes for Friday and Sunday, so fans won’t have to choose between club and country regarding what to watch on Saturday. The fixtures begin with the Newport-Gwent Dragons hosting Munster and Glasgow Warriors traveling to ScarletsUlster is at home against Ospreys, while the boys of Connacht welcome Italian outfit Zebre… On Sunday, Leinster will be in Italy to face Treviso and Edinburgh will take on the Cardiff Blues.

Guinness Pro12Here is the weekend’s schedule:
FRI – 21ST NOV 14
Dragons – Munster
Scarlets – Glasgow Warriors
Ulster – Ospreys
Connacht – Zebre
SUN – 23RD NOV 14
Treviso – Leinster
Edinburgh – Cardiff Blues

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 from groups 1A, 1B, 2A – 2Dd and 3A. There is only one game on tap this weekend and it will see Moldova clash with Sweden in an enticing group 1B encounter.

Here is the weekend’s schedule:
SAT – 22ND NOV 14
Moldova – Sweden

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.

P.s.. Finally, a bit of shameless self promotion: Please feel free to donate to my MOVEMBER Campaign via The Movember Foundation; The leading global organization committed to changing the face of men’s health. Click here for the info. Thanks!

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.