Kane Douglas, Rio 2016, Summer Tests, Currie Cup, Africa Cup, USA Rugby and World Rugby News

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Kane Douglas
Kane Douglas

BUFFALO, NY – Yes I am still in the Queen City, New York State’s second city. It was a short but entertaining weekend of rugby news and actions. And as usual, we are here to to provide you with all the latest news from around the world and the weekend fixture list. So with no further adieu, here is the Global Rugby Recap:.

News & Transactions:

Aviva Premiership: Newcastle have given Scotland Sevens Fiji-born international Joe Nayacavou a trial at the club before the upcoming season, according to a local report.

Guinness Pro 12: Leinster lock Kane Douglas has admitted that he wants to return to Australia as soon as possible after an unsettled time in Dublin. The province and ARU are in discussions regarding the player.

usa_rugby_logoUSA Rugby News/Updates: USA Rugby named the sixty-seven athletes that will descend upon the California Maritime Academy campus in Vallejo, Calif., July 14-19 for the Junior and Collegiate Stars and Stripes Camp presented by WellDog. For the full list of athletes Click Here.

World Rugby News: New Zealand Rugby chief executive Steve Tew admits it’s unlikely that the All Blacks will play in Samoa in the near future due to a number of factors.”The reality is if we don’t play those other games then it has an impact on the revenue we earn and that will have an impact on what we can do for the community game; for sevens and our chances [at the Olympic Games] in Rio and in terms of keeping our best talent in New Zealand which continues to be a battle, as it is for Samoa,” he was quoted as saying.

As for the weekend’s fixtures:

Regional Olympic Qualifiers: Each of World Rugby‘s regional rugby unions must hold playoffs for their teams to book their places in the XXIX Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro in 2016 for the Men and the Women. The regional unions are Rugby Afrique, Oceania Rugby, Rugby Europe, Asia Rugby, NACRA, and ConSuR.  NACRA and ConSuR have already held theirs. Rugby Afrique, a/k/a Africa, will hold their qualifier in November, however Europe completed its qualification process this weekend which was a series and not a one-off tournament.

Amongst the qualification rules for Europe, England and Wales were ineligible to qualify for the Olympic Games due to England qualifying as Great Britain for the Olympics via the HSBC World Series but the two countries entered teams just for development purposes. The 2015 Rugby Europe Sevens Grand Prix Series consisted of 3 legs: Moscow, Russia (6/7 June), Lyon, France (13/14 June) and Exeter, England (11/12 July). In the third leg of the European series, France beat England 14-5  to finish a clean sweep of the series legs and to qualify for Europe. 40-17 to win the first leg of the Rugby Europe Sevens Grand Prix Series at the Luzhniki Sports Palace in Moscow.

2015 Rugby Europe Sevens Grand Prix Overall Standings
1. France 60
2. Spain 50
3. England 44
4. Russia 38
5. Germany 38
6. Portugal 24
7. Wales 22
8. Belgium 20
9. Lithuania 17
10. Italy 14
11. Georgia 11
12. Romania 4

Note the following regarding Rugby Europe and Olympic Qualification:
-The  Highest Ranked eligible team, after all three legs of the Rugby Europe Sevens Grand Prix Series, France, has qualified directly to Rio.
-The second-highest eligible team after all three legs of the Rugby Europe Sevens Grand Prix Series, Spain, qualifies to play in World Rugby’s Global Repechage Tournament in 2016.
-All other eligible teams in the Rugby Europe Sevens Grand Prix will take part in the European Olympic Repechage Tournament in Lisbon on 18th and 19th July.

The MABs celebrate their big win.

Test Matches: There were only three test matches this weekend. In the first match, Namibia got back on track after a string of poor performances to easily win against Russia. As expected, the  South Africa Springboks had an easy time dominating the World 15 and Fiji lost a heart-breaker to the Maori All Blacks. The Maori All Blacks fierce second half comeback helped them extend their undefeated streak to 19 matches against international sides.

Here is the schedule:
Sat – 11th Jul 15
Namibia 39 – 19 Russia
South Africa 46 – 10 World XV
Fiji 26 – 27 Maori All Blacks

2015 Currie Cup Qualification: This tournament is a competition between seven teams and will be played between 12 June and 25 July 2015, with the winner qualifying for the 2015 Currie Cup Premier Division. The remaining six teams will play in the 2015 Currie Cup First Division. In round 5, Boland Cavaliers came back against Falcons, SouthWest District Eagles got their first win against Border Bullldogs and Griffons fell at home to Leopards.

Here is the schedule:
Sat – 11th Jul 15
Boland Cavaliers 29 – 16 Falcons
Griffons 20 – 24 Leopards
SWD Eagles 19 – 13 Border Bulldogs

Rugby AfriqueAfrica Cup: The Africa Cup 2015 will be the fifteenth edition of the continental tournament that involves the best African national teams, organized by the Rugby Afrique , formerly known as the Confederation of African Rugby (CAR). Given their superiority, the South African national team has rarely participated in most tournaments. The four times the SARU has participated, they sent either a U-23 team or amateur side, and went on to win it. Beyond South Africa, there are up to 27 rugby countries in the Cup with the national participants in the two divisions with each division divided into three groups (1A, 1B, 1C, 2West, 2SouthEast, and 2South), with promotion and relegation. Tournament Divisions 1A and 1B’s games often double as qualification games for the Rugby World Cup. Division 1B’s championships was being held in Uganda from 5 July to 11 July. In the final weekend of action, Cote d’Ivoire edged out Senegal, Uganda were too much for Botswana and Madagascar absolutely crushed Mauritius.

Here is the schedule:
Fri – 11th Jul 15
1B: Cote d’Ivoire 22-19 Senegal
1B: Uganda 33-24 Botswana
1B: Madagascar 59-10 Mauritius

Uganda are back in the top division of 1A. Considering that they have beaten all of these teams before, of course, including Namibia on the way to winning the 2007 African Cup final, things will be interesting. Meanwhile, Senegal set to plummet in the rankings as they drop to 1C.

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 MeetTheMatts.com.