Hughes, Barbarians FC, Pro 12, ENC, NACRA, SAMC, Player Moves, USA Rugby & World Rugby News

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Innocent Man Nathan Hughes
Innocent Man Nathan Hughes

NEW YORK, NY – International action was on the back-burner as each of Europe’s three premier leagues, the #Top14, the Aviva Premiership and the Guinness Pro 12 resumed and had only their playoff races on their mind. Meanwhile down south in Super Rugby, there seemed to be successful underdogs everywhere. In addition to all this action, there were tier three international rugby championship action occurring in Europe, South America, North America and the Caribbean. Before we get to that though, we must discuss Transfers, Player Transactions, USA Rugby and World Rugby news. Without further adieu, lets get into the Global Rugby Recap:

Player Transactions:
Aviva Premiership: Wasps eightman Nathan Hughes has been cleared and is free to return to immediate action after an appeals committee threw out his three-week suspension for striking George NorthHughes appeared before an independent panel on Friday, appealing against the three-week ban given to him for striking with the knee and/or shin, contrary to Law 10.4(a), during Northampton Saints v Wasps on March 27. Wasps fans will now be seething at his initial suspension which left the influential player and RWU Class of 2015 member ineligible for their European Champions Cup quarterfinal match loss against Toulon last week.

Guinness Pro12: Scotland and Glasgow Warriors wing Sean Maitland has been ruled out for the rest of the Pro12 season, with his participation in the Rugby World Cup in doubt. The New Zealand-born wing underwent surgery to fix a shoulder problem that prevented him from playing in the Six Nations.

Super Rugby: Chiefs and All Blacks fly-half Aaron Cruden has declined an invitation from All Black Sevens coach Gordon Tietjens to make himself available for selection ahead of 2016. Faced with the prospect of playing in the Olympics or taking on the British and Irish Lions, Cruden chose to play against the Lions and not miss Super Rugby action attending training camps.

Barbarians TweetUSA Rugby News/Updates: The Boys High School All-Americans will head back to the USA from their  JV Tour to Europe, 2-1. The BHSAA’s recorded a 53-24 defeat of Belgium’s under-17s at University of Liège, Belgium. The USA looked dominant but the result honestly doesn’t do justice to the Belgian side. The Belgians fought hard but the USA team was able to show some true resolve and pull away when needed.

World Rugby News: The Weekend Preview was so full of information that we held some news back until the Recap. That news was that, the rugby world united in saying ‘Happy 125th Birthday’ to the Barbarians, who were formed in Bradford, England on 9 April, 1890. For more information on the Barbarians you should this old RWU piece on the history of the club or this recently published piece by our friend Andrew Richardson of Last Word On Sports

As for the weekend’s fixtures:
Super Rugby: If you put any money on this weekend’s picks by our Super Rugby expert, Kiwi , well we owe you an apology. As for your money back, you will have to fly to Auckland and discuss that with our “expert” himself. He did do us the courtesy of a rundown of all the upsets that occurred this round and you can check it out by, clicking here.

#Top14: We can’t speak for everyone but a large number of our staff are fed up with the Top 14. It is impossible to predict the results of each weekend as a team that is riding a winning streak can be stopped cold and a slumping side can catch fire at anytime. Our Top 14 expert, , put together a review of the round that covers all the unpredictable action, click here to read it.

Original Filename: ARF_7161Aviva Premiership: The AP teams that were in action last week in the European Champions and Challenge Cup fixtures, weren’t allowed a breather as the playoff race waits for no one. Bath were able to bounce back following last week’s loss and got maximum points from the win over a Newcastle side reeling from their poor performance last week. Gloucester were unable to muster up a complete effort like last week as they were edged out by Harlequins. Saracens somehow found a way to avoid an emotional letdown following last week’s heroic efforts as they proved too strong for Leicester. Northampton‘s picked a bad time to suffer a dip in form. Following their embarrassing performance in France last week, they were unable to bounce back against an Exeter side that was flying high after last week’s dominate performance and completed a season sweep of the Saints. Meanwhile Wasps unleashed the backlash from last week’s loss on a hapless London Welsh side and London Irish bounced back from last week’s home loss to record a win that was also a damaging blow to Sale‘s playoff hopes.

Here is the weekend’s schedule:
Fri – 10th Apr 15
Newcastle 19 – 29 Bath
Sat – 11th Apr 15
Harlequins 29 – 26 Gloucester
Saracens 22 – 6 Leicester
Sun – 12th Apr 15
Exeter 21 – 10 Northampton
London Welsh 13 – 40 Wasps
London Irish 25 – 23 Sale

Guinness Pro 12: The business end of the season begun this weekend. The playoff contenders started the 1st of 4 games to state their case for playoff inclusion. With the pressure on, fourth place Ospreys responded with a big win against Treviso, while the first place Glasgow Warriors triumphed over the Cardiff Blues. Sixth place Connacht, playoff hopes are dead in the water as second place Ulster secured maxim points in their victory in their encounter, while Scarlets avoided an embarrassment against Zebre. Edinburgh, were unable to get up following last week’s big Challenge Cup win and were thumped by Munster. Newport-Gwent, who were riding the tide of making the Challenge Cup semi-finals dug deep late to beat Leinster, who made the Champions Cup semi-finals, at the death. The loss leaves Leinster in fifth place and 8 points out of fourth, seriously threatening their streak of consecutive playoff appearances in the Pro12 since playoffs were introduced in the 2009-10 season.

Here is the weekend’s schedule:
Fri – 10th Apr 15
Benetton Treviso 13 – 33 Ospreys
Glasgow Warriors 36 – 17 Cardiff Blues
Sat – 11th Apr 15
Connacht 20 – 27 Ulster
Zebre 26 – 28 Scarlets
Edinburgh 3 – 34 Munster
Sun – 12th Apr 15
Newport Gwent Dragons 25 – 22 Leinster

rugby europeEuropean Nations Cup:The ENC, or the 6 Nations “B” , is the premier tournament for the second-tier nations of Europe. Believe it or not, the ENC consists of seven divisions, each featuring between four and six teams. The matches played will determine who will get promoted and relegated from groups 1B, 2A – 2D, and 3A over a two-year cycle. Division 1A aka the 6 Nations B is where the six best teams in the rest of Europe reside and there is no promotion to the Europe’s premier international rugby competition, only relegation back to 1B…In 2A this weekend, Croatia lost a kicking duel at home to the Czech Republic.

Here is the weekend’s schedule:
Sat – 11th Apr 15
Croatia 9 – 12 Czech Republic

NACRA Championships 2015: Another regional tournament in full swing is the North America and Caribbean Rugby Association (NACRA) Championship. The NACRA Championship is for the countries in North America and the Caribbean. NACRA has 2 zones with top level (championship) and a bottom level (cup). Each Championship zone has 3 teams while the Cup Zones have 4 each. The Zones are regionally divided, so there is a North Zone and South Zone. USA Rugby competes in the North Zone Championship division. The USA is represented by the USA South Regional all-star team, in order to develop talent and make the competition a much fairer one…The matches this weekend saw the Cayman Islands trumped by Mexico. The win for Mexico sets up a match against powerhouse Trinidad & Tobago for the final as T & T edged out fellow powerhouse Guyana in a great match. Curacao earned a solid victory against St Lucia.

Here is the weekend’s schedule:
Sat – 11th Apr 15
North Zone Championship League
Cayman Islands 3 – 24 Mexico
South Zone Championship League
Trinidad & Tobago 22 – 15 Guyana
South Zone Cup League
Curacao 34 – 19 St Lucia

ConsurSouth American Championships (SAMC) 2015: The SAMC is the same as the ENC – except it’s South America, a minor detail – and that has 4 divisions featuring 15 teams. It is the battle to find the 2nd best team in South America with Argentina the firm number 1. The top division is called the CONSUR division and features Argentina’s B team, Uruguay and Chile. The A division this weekend saw Uruguay’s B side absolutely crush Paraguay.

Here is the weekend’s schedule:
Sat – 11th Apr 15
Uruguay 77 – 3 Paraguay

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, James Harrington, Jamie Wall, Nick Hall, DJ Eberle, Jake Frechette, Scheenagh Harrington, Jamie Loyd, Cody Kuxmann, Karen Ritter, Audrey Youn, Akweley Okine, Rocky Brown 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