Karmichael Hunt, USA Rugby News, Cipriani, Pape, Aviva, ENC, Player Moves

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Hunt in action in RL
Hunt in League action.

NEW YORK, NY – We get a break from the 6 Nations ,  only for it to be filled with a full slate of domestic action in both hemispheres. In the southern hemisphere, we have Super Rugby and in the northern hemisphere, we have Europe‘s three top leagues. Before we get to most of that, we have to deal with the bombshell news regarding Karmicheal Hunt, then  Transfer Rumors, Player Transactions, USA Rugby and World Rugby news including Pascal Pape‘s suspension. Not much left to say or do but get into the Weekend Rugby News:

Karmichael Hunt: Queensland Reds utility back Karmichael Hunt was made unavailable for his side’s Super Rugby match this weekend. That’s because he was summoned to court to face allegations of supplying cocaine, the Queensland Rugby Union (QRU) said on Friday. The events occured when Hunt was playing with the Brisbane Broncos of the National Rugby League, but it is not good news for Aussie sports especially if you are a Reds or Wallabies fan. Super Rugby expert , will have more on this in his round two review and as the news unfolds.

Player Transactions:
We begin with the Top 14, with news that Springbok scrum-half Jano Vermaak will join the Super Rugby Stormers at the end of the season after two years with ToulouseToulon scrum-half Sébastien Tillous-Borde has signed a new three-year deal with the European and Top 14 champions.

Sale Sharks’ Danny Cipriani

In the Aviva Premiership, Leicester Tigers and England second row Louis Deacon announced his retirement from professional rugby with immediate effect… Harlequins announced that tighthead prop Matt Shields has signed with the club for the remainder of the season. Quins also announced that loosehead prop Mark Lambert has signed a two year extension, keeping him at the club until 2017. The Quins also had some non-prop news as winger Charlie Walker also signed a deal keeping him with the club until 2017…Newcastle Falcons confirmed that Kiwi back Mike Delany will join them from Clermont Auvergne on a three-year contract beginning this fall season. The Falcons also signed center Adam Powell on a new two-year deal…Exeter Chiefs head coach Rob Baxter has has confirmed rumors that centre/wing Sireli Naqelevuki could be leaving the club at the end of 2014/15. The Chiefs lose is mitigated by their announcement that Italian international center Michele Campagnaro will join the club next season… Northampton Saints announced the double signing of back-rowers Teimana Harrison and Jonathan Fisher to contract extensions with the club. The pair will be joined by lock Michael Paterson, who will be joining the club ahead of the 2015/16 season from Sale…Speaking of Sale, Sharks captain Dan Braid signed a new one-year contract extension with an agreement that he will then join the club’s coaching team following next season. In the biggest signing news of the week from a league presepctive, England star and reformed bad boy, Danny Cipriani confirmed early this week that he has decided to stay in England and with Sale by signing a new two-year deal with the Sharks.

In the Guinness Pro12, according to reports, Cardiff Blues director of rugby Mark Hammett will leave the club next week after just six months. Hammett was previously the head coach of the Super Rugby Hurricanes, who Mr. Wall supports, so we can’t wait to hear his reaction when news of this hits New Zealand… Canadian winger DTH van der Merwe will leave Glasgow Warriors at the end of the season to join Guinness Pro12 rivals the Scarlets. The Warriors were able to counter that bit of bad news when they announced the signing of Italian international flanker Simone Favaro on a two-year contract from Benetton Treviso… The Dragons have confirmed that flankers Lewis Evans and Nic Cudd have both signed with the region for two more seasons… Ireland and Ulster forward Iain Henderson put pen to paper on a new three-year deal, that will keep him with his home province through to 2018.

In retirement news, Ireland and Leinster back row Shane Jennings announced he will retire at the end of the season… Cardiff Blues confirmed that back row Rory Watts-Jones will retire on medical grounds with immediate effect and Munster hooker Damien Varley also confirmed that due to a long-standing injury to his left foot, he will also retire with immediate effect.

USA Rugby News and Updates: USA Rugby announced that: Avaya Stadium in San Jose, Calif., and Bonney Field in Sacramento will host the four home matches for the USA in the Pacific Nations Cup – a World Rugby tournament designed to expose Pacific Rim teams and players to a greater number of international test matches – featuring Canada, Fiji, Japan, Samoa, and USA July 18 and July 24, 2015.

Pape in 2013 was France Captain
Pape (left) in 2013 was France Captain

World Rugby News: France second row Pascal Papé will miss the rest of the Six Nations after he was suspended for ten weeks for his knee on Ireland’s Jamie Heaslip.

As for the weekend’s fixtures:
Super Rugby: After a round 1 that was filled with more incorrect predictions than correct ones, can our resident Kiwi and Super Rugby Expert Jamie Wall rebound??  Well so far his call of the Hurricanes over the Bulls seems to be correct, heart over head and though it was. For the rest of  his preview of round 2, just click here.

Top 14:  Yeah, so all these McCaw to France rumors may have been exaggerated. For more on whatSir Ritchie had to say about talk of him leaving NZ and a preview of an exciting round of Top14 fixtures, our Top 14 Rugby expert James Harrington has you covered. Just click here.

Aviva Cup
Aviva Cup

Aviva Premiership: The 6N bye week has created a mouthwatering weeked of action for the AP. The action has already begun as Newcastle and Wasps couldn’t be separated after 80 minutes and ended in a draw.
of the matches to be played;
Sale‘s playoff hopes will face a tough challenge when they face the always tough-to-beat Saracens, Gloucester will welcome the London Welsh, meanwhile Harlequins faint playoff chances will be tested against Exeter, who have playoff aspirations of their own. The prime-time clash of the weekend sees high-flying and second place Bath take on reigning champions and first place Northampton. The weekend finishes with Leicester taking a trip to London to face the London Irish.

Here are the results:
FRI – 20TH FEB 15
Newcastle 23 – 23 Wasps

Here is the weekend’s schedule:
SAT – 21ST FEB 15
Sale – Saracens
Gloucester – London Welsh
Harlequins – Exeter
Bath – Northampton
SUN – 22ND FEB 15
London Irish – Leicester

Guinness Pro 12: The difference between first and fifth place in the Pro12 standings is 4 points. Things are incredibly tight at the top and playoff hopes rest on consistently playing winning rugby from here on out… Treviso shocked an out-of-sorts Cardiff Blues side dealing with the aforementioned rumors of director of rugby Mark Hammett’s departure… Second-place Ulster managed to edge Edinburgh. Third-place Leinster kept pace by easily dispatching ZebreOf the matches to be played; Scarlets will host fourth-place Munster, while top-of-the-table Glasgow Warriors will face a tough challenge from fifth-place Ospreys… Sunday will see Newport-Gwent Dragons up against a sixth placed Connacht side desperate to climb back into the playoff picture.

Here are the results:
FRI – 20TH FEB 15
Benetton Treviso 40 – 24 Cardiff Blues
Edinburgh 17 – 20 Ulster
Leinster 29 – 8 Zebre

Here is the weekend’s schedule:
SAT – 21ST FEB 15
Scarlets – Munster
Glasgow Warriors – Ospreys
SUN – 22ND FEB 15
Newport-Gwent Dragons – Connacht

Netherlands Rugby BoardEuropean Nations Cup (1B): the ENC, or the 6 Nations “B” if you like, is the premier tournament for the second-tier nations of Europe. However, it is classified as division 1A. The ENC actually consists of 7 divisions, each with 4-6 teams in each division.  The matches played will determine who will get promoted and relegated form groups  1B, 2A – 2D, and 3A over a two year cycleThis weekend in 1B, It will be the Netherlands hosting the Belgium.

Here is the weekend’s schedule:
Sat – 21st Feb 2015
Netherlands – Belgium

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@RugbyWrapUpJunoir BlaberDJ EberleJames Harrington, Nick Hall, Jamie Wall, Jake Frechette, Scheenagh Harrington, Jamie LoydCody Kuxmann, Karen Ritter 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.