Global Rugby Recap: South Africa 7s, European Champions and Challenge Cup

SA 7s Wins in SA
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SA 7s Wins in SA
SA 7s Wins in SA

NEW YORK, NY – If, after reading this weekend’s recap you think it seems eerily familiar to last weekend’s, you’re not alone. After all, it featured the second half of the European Rugby Champions Cup, Challenge Cup double headers, with the same teams playing each other, and a sevens tournament. The main difference is that this is round four of the Champions and Challenge Cup so the teams that played each other in round three play each other again in round four except round three’s home sides are now the visiting sides in round four.
As for the 7s tournament, this time it was men only where as the last one was men and women and it was in South Africa and not Dubai. It took a bit of work but we managed to cover all the action. But before we get into the fixtures let’s take a look at Player Transactions, USA Rugby News and World Rugby News/Notes. Without further adieu, here’s our Global Rugby Recap:

Transactions: London Irish head coach Brian Smith is set to leave the club at the end of the season according to a report in the Rugby Paper.

Super Rugby Queensland Reds and Wallabies fly-half Quade Cooper has come to terms with Australian Rugby and re-signed for one year, through the end of 2015…Chiefs head coach Dave Rennie announced he has no intention of leaving the franchise soon, even though he has little chance of coaching the All Blacks one day.

USA Rugby News and Updates: The San Fransisco Bay Area has submitted a bid to host the 2018 Rugby World Cup Sevens. The a three-day event would be held at the home of Major League Baseball’s the San Fransisco Giants. AT&T Park. and Major League Soccer’s San Jose Earthquakes’ new Avaya Stadium. The bid is led by the two teams and the Bay Area Sports Organizing Committee.

World Rugby News: World Rugby lifted its embargo on the broadcast feed for the HSBC Sevens World Series with immediate effect on Friday, allowing for fans to watch the South Africa 7s, after the Fijian government agreed to remove World Rugby events from the government’s Television Decree in 2014.

World Rugby and the International Rugby Players Association are still involved in trying to mediate the situation between the Samoan players and the Samoa Rugby Union. The Union is run by the country’s Prime Minister who claims the dispute is over but the players say they have yet to meet with anyone.

The pool draws for the Wellington Sevens were made following the conclusion of the South Africa 7s. Here are the Pools:

Pool A: South Africa, France, USA and Japan
Pool B: New Zealand, England, Canada and Papua New Guinea
Pool C: Fiji, Australia, , Portugal, and Wales
Pool D: Scotland, Argentina, Kenya and Samoa

ECRC TrophiesWEEKEND FIXTURES:

South Africa 7s: The HSBC Sevens World Series third leg in South Africa is complete. The tournament managed some unpredictable results, including The USA winning the Plate. There were also the usual expected results, like New Zealand and South Africa battling it out in the Cup Final. Please click here for the tournament review.

European Champions Cup: Round 4 of The European (Rugby) Champions Cup was the round of clarity as it revealed which teams could still hope to make the quarterfinals and who should start looking towards the Challenge Cup, if they wish to continue playing in Europe. Our East Midlands man, Nick Hall, has taken his time and put together a great review of all of the round 4 action. Please click here for his fantastic review.

European Challenge Cup: The second tier European Challenge Cup has become a quality tournament in its own right with loads of mid-table European clubs playing exciting rugby and showing their ambition to graduate from this competition and move on to the Champions Cup.

On Thursday, Stade Francais got a big win at home against Newcastle. On Friday, Newport-Gwent Dragons destroyed Bucuresti while Lyon took down Bordeaux in an all Top14 affair, Rovigo came three points short of upsetting Grenoble and London Irish were too strong for Cardiff Blues. La Rochelle travelled up to Exeter and got hammered, while Connacht upset Bayonne in France. Zebre were doubled by Gloucester, while Oyonnax outmuscled Brive and, finally, London Welsh are still winless in all competitions after falling to Edinburgh.

Here are the results:
Thu – 11th Dec 14
Pool 3 Stade Francais 31 – 24 Newcastle Falcons
Fri – 12th Dec 14
Pool 3 Newport Gwent Dragons 69 – 17 Bucharest Wolves
Pool 4 Lyon 37 – 28 Bordeaux-Begles
Sat – 13th Dec 14
Pool 1 Rugby Rovigo 17 – 20 Grenoble
Pool 1 London Irish 34 – 23 Cardiff Blues
Pool 2 Exeter Chiefs 41 – 17 La Rochelle
Pool 2 Bayonne 27 – 29 Connacht
Pool 5 Zebre 16 – 32 Gloucester Rugby
Pool 5 Oyonnax 22 – 17 Brive
Sun – 14th Dec 14
Pool 4 London Welsh 6 – 24 Edinburgh Rugby

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.