NEW YORK, NY – Just when you thought the transactions were dying down, we had a very busy week. In addition we have key World Rugby news about the Sevens Series. Then there was USA Rugby news to cover. On top of all of that, we also have the weekend fixtures to discuss including the USA women. So with no further adieu, lets get to the weekend preview:
News & Transactions:
Top 14: Piri Weepu‘s Visa problems have prevented the former All Black and Rugby World Cup winning scrum-half from arriving to pre-season training with his new club, Oyonnax… Stade Français confirmed the signing of South African Springbok back row Willem Alberts, who will join the club after the World Cup. In other Stade Français news fly-half Jules Plisson, who was not named in France‘s 36-man preliminary World Cup squad because of a dislocated shoulder, but France coach Philippe Saint-André said that he could yet make the final 31 if he has recovered from injury, looking to be able to recover in time… Pau have continued to add players for their new life in the Top14 by adding Argentinean playmaking fly-half/center Santiago Fernández to their squad for next season after he signed a two-year deal with the Top 14 club… Super Rugby Western Force franchise’s second row Wilhelm Steenkamp is reportedly on his way to France to join Top 14 club Brive… Toulon have reportedly signed up young Fijian back Filimoni Savou on a two-year deal away from English Premiership side Saracens.
Aviva Premiership: Bath confirmed that Carl Fearns will leave the club to join French ProD2 side Lyon… Harlequins center Jordan Turner-Hall has been charged with assault after allegedly being involved in a nightclub brawl… Northampton Saints announced that center Luke Eves has signed a short-term deal with the club… Gloucester confirmed that club stalwart Peter Buxton has left the club after thirteen years as a player and manager… Recently promoted to the Premiership, Worcester Warriors have concluded an agreement with Worcester Rugby, the group that runs amateur club Worcester Wanderers Rugby Club, over the usage of the whole of the Sixways Stadium site. The Warriors will now initiate a project to build a 4G training pitch and transform part of the land into a second main training pitch for their first-team and Academy players. Worcester Rugby will construct a new clubhouse, extend the existing changing rooms, install a new drainage system to improve their playing surfaces and two new pitches to be used for mini/junior rugby on their Westons and Cummins pitches.
Guinness Pro 12: The Newport-Gwent Dragons announced the signing of tighthead prop Shaun Knight, who will join the PRO12 region from Aviva Premiership side Gloucester… The Neath-Swansea Ospreys have signed young prop Ollie Evans on a development contract after he impressed in the Swalec Championship with Narberth RFC last season… The Dragons have confirmed that prop Dan Way has been forced to call time on his career with immediate effect as a result of a shoulder injury… Glasgow Warriors still expect Taqele Naiyaravoro to link up with the squad ahead of the new season, regardless of his Wallaby call-up. Naiyaravoro signed a three-year contract with the PRO12 side earlier this year before being called up by Australia. The winger suggested that he would now try to settle in Australia after being named on the wider squad.
Super Rugby: As if signing a new three-year contract with the Australia Rugby Union wasn’t enough, Israel Folau has confirmed he will be playing for in Japan. Folau’s flexible contract means he will spend part of the year playing in Japan with the NTT Docomo Red Hurricanes… The Lions have released four players for the Currie Cup tournament to take up overseas contracts before returning. The trio of Elton Jantjies (NTT Shining Arcs), Lionel Mapoe (Kubota Spears) and Warwick Tecklenburg (Kamaishi) are all heading to Japan until next February, while hooker Armand van der Merwe is off to Racing 92 on a short-term deal as World Cup cover. Stormers forwards coach Matt Proudfoot has opted not to renew his contract with the Western Province and will link up with former boss Allister Coetzee in Japan.
USA Rugby News/Updates: The final Men’s Eagles Sevens High Performance Camp prior to the Toronto 2015 Pan American Games kicked off at the Olympic Training Center. Olympic-hopeful Eagles went back to work Monday without World Rugby HSBC Sevens World Series regulars Danny Barrett, Andrew Durutalo, Folau Niua, and Zack Test due to the Men’s Eagles’ Pacific Nations Cup assembly. The fact that the USA has already qualified for the Olympics allows them to use the OTC Residents and young remote athletes in attendance unlike their Pan-Am rivals Canada. This tournament and camp will provide more than enough competition for selection and will give the selected players a great opportunity to develop experience. For the full camp roster, click here.
World Rugby News: Match official appointments have been made for pool stage. For the full list, click here… World Rugby announced a four-year extension of its hugely-successful partnership with HSBC and the schedule of the iconic locations that will host rounds of the record-breaking HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series over the same period.
The record deal sees the banking giant extend its hugely successful naming rights of the World Rugby Sevens Series and acquire naming rights to the Women’s World Rugby Sevens Series. In addition to the two new series title sponsorships, the new agreement will also see HSBC as local title sponsor of the individual rounds. For more information, click here. Here is the schedule for the upcoming season.
2015-16 HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series schedule
Round 1: Dubai: 4-5 December
Round 2: Cape Town: 12-13 December
Round 3: Wellington: 30-31 January
Round 4: Sydney: 6-7 February
Round 5: Las Vegas: 4-6 March
Round 6: Vancouver: 12-13 March
Round 7: Hong Kong: 8-10 April
Round 8: Singapore: 16-17 April
Round 9: Paris: 14-15 May
Round 10: London: 21-22 May
Details of the locations and dates for the 2015-16 HSBC Women’s World Rugby Sevens Series will be announced in due course. However, it was announced that Ireland to host Women’s Sevens Series qualifier. The University College of Dublin will host 12 teams bidding to earn one of two spots available on the 2015-16 World Rugby Women’s Sevens Series on 22th-23rd August.
As for the weekend’s fixtures:
As always ladies first,
Women’s Rugby Super Series – The third biggest series in Women’s rugby, behind the Rugby World Cup and the 6 Nations, is the Super Series. The Super Series is a four-team match between the USA, Canada, England and New Zealand. It is being held in different cities in the Alberta province of Canada from 27th June to 6 July. New Zealand are now just one win away from claiming the inaugural Super Series title after Current World champions England. The English must now hope New Zealand slip-up against USA, who opened their account with an impressive comeback win against neighbors and rivals Canada. For a recap on the big USA win, check out the recap here.
Here are the results:
Wed – 1st Jul 15
New Zealand 26 – 7 England
Canada 26 – 38 USA
Match Day 3 will see the USA battle New Zealand, with the Americans theoretically able to win the Super Series title. Meanwhile hosts Canada will try and finish the tournament with a win against England. Here is the live-streaming link for the Women’s Super Rugby Series in Canada so you can follow all the action https://livestream.com/rugbycanadaofficial.
Here is the schedule:
Sun – 5th Jul 15
New Zealand – USA
Canada – England
Super Rugby: It is now down to a one-game season for the Chiefs and Highlanders. A win by either team will make them the fourth New Zealand team to win a title, giving the New Zealand conference the most winners in the tournaments history. More importantly, it will be first win in either club’s history and the first time Super Rugby title has had back to back first-time champions. Our Super Rugby expert, Kiwi has his preview of the Super Rugby Final ready, if you just click here.
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 Border Bulldogs will fight the Falcons, SouthWest District Eagles will try for a win against Boland Cavaliers and finally Griquas will welcome Griffons.
Here are the results:
Sat – 4th Jul 15
Border Bulldogs – Falcons
SWD Eagles – Boland Cavaliers
Griquas – Griffons
Africa 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. In the midweek, we saw the Division 2 Southeast final. The final saw Rwanda go down to Congo-Kinshasa for the title.
Here are the results:
Tue – 30th Jun 15
Congo-Kinshasa 29 – 3 Rwanda
In weekend action, Zimbabwe will tussle with Tunisia in 1A action. Division 1B’s championships kickoff in Uganda from 5 July to 11 July. The matches begin with Senegal against Madagascar, Cote d’Ivoire will battle Mauritius and finally Uganda take Botswana.
Here is the schedule:
Sat – 4th Jul15
1A: Zimbabwe – Tunisa
Sun – 5th Jul 15
1B: Senegal – Madagascar
1B: Cote d’Ivoire – Mauritius
1B: Uganda – Botswana
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.