Slimani, Pulu, Schmidt, PNC, USA Rugby and World Rugby News

Joe Schmidt
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Rabah Slimani  with the USA's Scott LaValla in the background
Rabah Slimani with the USA’s Scott LaValla in the background

NEW YORK, NY – Surprisingly, it was a quiet weekend in terms of player news and events. However, there was still some good rugby to watch. With that said, here is the Global Rugby Recap:

News & Transactions:

Top 14: Toulouse reinforced their squad with the addition of two Rugby World Cup jokers in the back row. We mentioned that Argentine back row Tomas Leonardi was confirmed at the club int he preview, but he will be joined by former Biarritz flanker Tala Gray who is on a short-term deal… Stade Français have moved to cover for the loss of French international prop Rabah Slimani during the Rugby World Cup by signing his younger brother, Chérif Slimani according to French newspaper L’Equipe‘s confirmation this weekend.

Super Rugby: Chiefs scrum-half Augustine Pulu was hoping to move to the Blues and join his former coach at the Counties-Manukau ITM Cup side, Tana Umaga, after he recovers from his leg injury. Despite having All Black regular Tawera Kerr-Barlow and freshly minted AB Brad Webber, Pulu was blocked from moving by the Chiefs.

Joe Schmidt
Joe Schmidt

USA Rugby News/Updates: The rosters for the Stars & Stripes game were announced this weekend. The third annual USA Rugby High School Stars & Stripes camp ended Saturday, July 25 with matches on the University of Northern Colorado campus. Eighty-seven high school-aged athletes (boys and girls) had been training hard on and off of the field in a high performance training environment since Tuesday, preparing for their respective showpiece events. Players were invited to the camp based on USA Rugby selectors who scouted seven Regional Cup Tournaments (RCTs) this summer. Players were placed in Stars and Stripes squads earlier in the week. For the full line-up and story, click here.

World Rugby News: The Irish Rugby Football Union (IRFU) confirmed that Joe Schmidt signed a new contract to remain as head coach until June 30, 2017.

The weekend’s fixtures:

Pacific Nations Cup: Of all of World Rugby’s Cup tournaments to benefit Tier 2 and Tier 3 nations, the Pacific Nations Cup is arguably the biggest and best. By featuring the Pacific Island Nations (Tonga, Fiji, Manu Samoa), Japan, Canada, and the USA, this tournament has the top Tier 2 nations and some are even ranked higher than some 6 Nations. Check out our own Jake Frechette‘ s review of round 2 later in the week. As for the results, Tonga was too physical for Canada. Fiji couldn’t sustain their intensity over 80 minutes allowing a resurgent Samoa to tie the game. In a surprising show of patience and resilience, USA got one over Japan.

Here are the results:
Fri – 24th Jul 15
Canada 18 – 28 Tonga
Fiji 30 -30 Samoa
USA 23 -18 Japan

The Rugby Championship: The 2015 Rugby Championship has completed round 2. The abridged version of the TRC this year doesn’t stop it from being one of the most anticipated rugby tournaments of the year. Our SANZAR Rugby expert, Kiwi , has great review and analysis of this weekend’s matches, click here.

2015 Currie Cup Qualification: This tournament is a competition between seven teams and will be played between June 12th and July 25th, 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 7, Border Bulldogs were no match at home for Leopards, while Griquas cruised past SouthWest District Eagles. Finally Falcons finished in fine form as they defeated Griffons. With the seventh and final round completed, it has been confirmed that Griquas has won promotion to the Premier division. We wish the province and their players luck as they take on the massive task of playing in the Premier after a grueling 6 game campaign to win qualification.

Here are the results:
Sat – 25th Jul 15
Border Bulldogs 8 – 33 Leopards
Griquas 41 – 21 SWD Eagles
Falcons 57-41 Griffons

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