Sanchez, Canada Women’s 7s, EPRC Cups, Player Moves, USA Rugby, World Rugby News

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Nicolas Sanchez
Nicolas Sanchez

NEW YORK, NY – We can all relax and take a deep breath! We have survived a whirly-burly trip around the globe to bring you all the weekend’s action.  In this trip, we have covered the EPRC European Champions and Challenge Cup semi-finals and round 10 of Super Rugby action. Not satisfied there we have the latest leg of the Womens Sevens World Series, the Canada 7s. Plus loads of tier 3 tournaments from World Rugby regions NACRA, SAMC, ENC and ARFU Championships. Before we get the on the field action we have all of the weekend’s Transfer Rumors, Player Transactions, USA Rugby and World Rugby news for you. So with all that said, let’s get into the Global Rugby Recap:

Player Transactions:
Aviva Premiership: Newcastle Falcons signed Tongan international captain and backrower Nili Latu from Japanese side NEC Green Rockets, where he has played since 2007.

Guinness Pro12: Italian Pro12 club Zebre announced the signing of Australian and Super Rugby’s Melbourne Rebels scrum-half Luke Burgess from next season until the end of June 2017.

Super Rugby: Argentine Pumas fly-half Nicolás Sánchez is the latest player to sign with the Argentina Rugby Union ahead of their entry into Super Rugby next year.

USA Rugby News and Updates: We will have news on the USA Women’s 7s performance in Langford and a preview of the USA Selects South America tour later this week.

World Rugby News: After two Six Nations titles in two years, the IRFU appear eager to keep hold of head coach Joe Schmidt long-term. “We’re in discussions with Joe,” IRFU chief executive Philip Browne told the Irish Independent…Italy captain Sergio Parisse has led the backlash on social media towards FIR president Alfredo Gavazzi after he described them as “pensioners.” After Italy slumped to 15th in the World Rankings following the Six Nations, Gavazzi lashed out at his players by claiming that he was “fed up of the pensioners” and “it’s not my fault that we’re now 15th in the world.Parisse sent out a tweet with Gavazzi’s outburst followed by #portacirespetto (give us respect), with the hashtag picked up by over a dozen Azzurri players along with many supporters.

Langford 7s flyerWEEKEND FIXTURES:
Ladies First….
Canada Womens 7s: The fourth leg of the Women’s Sevens World Series was held in beautiful Langford, Canada. The race is heating up for a top 4 spot and Olympic qualification. Make sure you check out our team USA analysis and tournament review later this week..

Exhibition: The French Military proved to be a very formidable opponent (hold the jokes, please!) as they destroyed the Swiss national team in a women’s exhibition match.

Here is the weekend’s schedule:
Sat – 18th Apr 15
Switzerland 0 – 41 French Military

Super Rugby: Our Super Rugby expert, Kiwi thought that this was a good weekend for the Aussie sides. He didn’t forget to take at look at the big local derby matches between the Kiwi and Saffer sides. Please click here to check out his fantastic review.

European Champions Cup: The final for the European (Rugby) Champions Cup is set. The semi-final matches that got us there were filled with tension. It would be a massive understatement to call them tight matches as one was decided almost at the death and another required added extra time. Our American Brit, will have a quality review out later this week, featuring the result of our Expert Panel’s picks.

The European Challenge Cup Trophy
European Challenge Cup

European Challenge Cup: The red-headed step-child to the Champions’ Cup is the European Challenge Cup. It’s a second tier tournament but has become a great tournament for showcasing the mid-table European clubs with real ambition. It has also become a way for teams struggling at the middle of the table to salvage the season with a major trophy.

Exeter were unable to juggle competing for a place in the Aviva Premiership playoffs and Challenge Cup duties as they didn’t have enough in their tank to win against a fired-up Gloucester side that were desperate to make a statement. In the second semi-final Edinburgh found an extra gear as they thoroughly dismantled the Newport-Gwent Dragons to make the final and attempt to make a statement of their own.

Here are the results:
Fri – 17th Apr 15
Gloucester 30-19 Exeter
Sat – 18th Apr 15
Edinburgh 45-16 Newport Gwent Dragons

European 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 1B, Belgium crushed Poland, while in 2A, Switzerland easily beat Croatia and Malta barely edged out Israel. In 2C, Slovenia came up short against tiny Luxenbourg and Serbia dominated Austria.

Here are the results:
Sat – 18th Apr 15
1B: Belgium 53 – 23 Poland
2A: Switzerland 40 – 20 Croatia
2A: Israel 13 – 16 Malta
2C: Slovenia 11 – 14 Luxembourg
2C: Serbia 22 – 3 Austria

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 will see Uruguay’s B side trounced Brazil.

Here are the results:
Sat – 18th Apr 15
Uruguay 48 – 9 Brazil

The Asian Rugby Championship, is also similar to the ENC (European Nation’s Cup) but with 5 divisions with the 3 most dominant teams, the tri-nations of Korea, Hong Kong, and Japan in the top division. There are 4 teams in division 1 and 2 then division 3 is broken up into East, Central and West with 3 teams each before we finally get to division 4 with 7. Believe it or not this is allegedly streamlined from previous years where it was just 5 divisions and 5 teams in each. In the weekend’s fixtures, Lebanon easily defeated Iran for the D3W title while Korea tried hard but they eventually ran out of stem against the juggernauts of Asian rugby, Japan in the top division.

Here are the results:
Sat – 18th Apr 15
D3W: Iran 8 – 27 Lebanon
Top: Korea 30 – 56 Japan

NACRANACRA 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 are all in the South Zone Cup league as Turks and Caicos were defeated by the Bahamas and the British Virgin Islands won on the road against St. Vincent and the Grenandines.

Here are the results:
Sat – 18th Apr 15
South Zone Cup League
Turks and Caicos Islands 7 – 24 Bahamas
St Vincent and the Grenadines 15 – 22 British Virgin Islands

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