Fiji 7s, Champions Cup, Trinh-Duc, Nakarawa, USA Rugby and World Rugby News

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NEW YORK, NY – Happy Thanksgiving to all. It has been an incredibly busy week in the rugby world. There is loads of news, transactions and games to cover. With that, lets dive into the Weekend Rugby Preview.

News & Transactions:

Fiji 7s to the rescue: In an incredibly classy act, the Fiji 7s side stepped in to assist Virgin Australia cabin staff while they dealt with an in-flight medical emergency on he journey from Nadi to Brisbane. Australian news website,, reports that the Fiji team doctor, physiotherapist and coach rushed to join staff who were attending to a women who’d fallen seriously ill. In the meantime, players took it upon themselves to ensure lunchtime service continued as normal, serving food and drinks to their fellow passengers. Fiji head coach Ben Ryan tweeted: “This bunch constantly make me proud.” Click HERE for the full article

Champions Cup
European Champions Cup

European Champions Cup: The European Champions Cup fixtures that were postponed in the wake of the Paris terror attacks have been rescheduled for the weekend of January 9.

Postponed matches to be rescheduled on 8/9/10 January 2016

Champions Cup – Round 1: 
Oyonnax v Ulster
Racing 92 v Glasgow
Bordeaux-Bègles v Clermont
Toulon v Bath

Round 2:
Stade Francais Paris v Munster

Challenge Cup – Round 1: 
Pau v Castres Olympique

Aviva Premiership: Northampton Saints announced that George North has put pen to paper on a new contract to stay at Franklin’s Gardens... Bath confirmed that England lock Dave Attwood has signed a 3 year contract to remain at the club.

Guinness Pro 12: Leinster fly-half Ian Madigan could be lured by a big-money switch to Bristol while Harlequins are also interested, according to a report… Scarlets announced that scrum-half Aled Davies is the latest player to commit his future to the Welsh region… Connacht and the Irish Rugby Football Union are pleased to have announced that international scrum-half Kieran Marmion has signed a two-year contract extension… The IRFU and Ulster announced that Rory Best has signed a new two-year contract extension, which will keep him at Ulster until June 2018…The Ospreys announced that Wales international wing Eli Walker has signed a new 1 year contract with the region.

After 10 years at Montpellier, Francois Trinh-Duc is moving on
After 10 years at Montpellier, Francois Trinh-Duc is moving on

Top 14: Montpellier Club president Mohed Altrad has confirmed the arrival of former Springbok star Francis Steyn, who will be reunited with coach Jake White, under whom he helped South Africa win the 2007 Rugby World Cup. Altrad stated that the club is set to bring in a handful of big name recruits with international wingers Nemani Nadolo, Joe Tomane and Sofiane Guitoune reportedly joining… Those recruits could help cheer fans up after Toulon president Mourad Boudjellal announced the arrival of French international and Montpellier fan favorite fly-half François Trinh-Duc for next season. Boudjellal also confirmed that French international hooker Guilhem Guirado has signed a three-year contract extension… Defending Top 14 champions Stade Français announced the signing of South African hooker Craig Burden on a short-term deal… Castres signed Julian Caminati as a medical joker after a groin injury to star back Rémy Grosso.

Super Rugby: The Highlanders have embarked on a new era with local provincial unions and South Island private investors being granted a license to operate the team until 2020… The South African Rugby Union (SARU) said it expected to be able to announce details of its plans for the Southern Kings early next week… According to reports in the South African press, former All Blacks coach John Mitchell has put pen to paper on a three-year contract with the the Stormers The Crusaders announced that Todd Blackadder will step aside as Head Coach at the conclusion of the 2016 Super Rugby season.

Eagles 7s logoUSA Rugby:  USA Men’s Eagles Sevens Head Coach Mike Friday has named his team for the first two legs of the 2015-16 HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series beginning with the Dec. 4-5 Emirates Airline Dubai Rugby Sevens in the United Arab Emirates. For the full squad list, click here… Four championship-caliber rugby programs advanced from the past weekend’s regional rounds of the 2015 USA Rugby Women’s Division II College Fall Championship to reach the Semifinal stage, set for Furman University in Greenville, S.C., Dec. 5-6. For more info click here. Reigning National Champion Minnesota-Duluth and three other highly-regarded programs have secured a place in the 2015 Men’s Division II National Championship after each team obtained two wins over the Regional Playoff weekend. Minnesota-Duluth will take part in a rematch of the 2013 DII title game when they tangle with Salisbury in the Dec. 5 Semifinals. The other Semifinal will see Towson St. contend with Wisconsin-Whitewater for a place in the National Championship Final. For more info click here. Unlikely programs will play on Dec. 6, for the Women’s Division I Fall Championship when Regional Playoff winners Air Force and University of Connecticut do battle at Furman University.

World Rugby: Fiji and Glasgow Warriors lock Leone Nakarawa has been paid a double compliment by his peers – winning the Pacific Island Players Association (PIPA) 2015 Fijian Players’ Player of the Year Award and the overall Pacific Island Players’ Player of the Year Award.

Leone Nakarawa
Leone Nakarawa

2015 Pacific Island Players’ Player of the Year Award Winners
Fijian Players Player of the Year – Leone Nakarawa
Tongan Players Player of the Year – Telusa Veainu
Samoan Players Player of the Year – Paul Perez
Pacific Island Players Player of the Year – Leone Nakarawa

World Rugby’s Head of Competition and Performance Mark Egan had a press release ‘the three pillars’ upon which the success of the Tier Two nations at the Rugby World Cup was built. Investment in High Performance and specialist coaching, competition structure and strength and conditioning were the key drivers for the on-field gains enjoyed by tier two nations at the recent Rugby World Cup, said Mark Egan.

The weekend’s fixtures:

Aviva Premiership: The 2015/2016 Aviva Premiership is back from the Champions/Challenge Cup hiatus. The early match of the weekend saw Northampton win ugly against Gloucester. The rest of the week match-ups begin with Sale hosting Newcastle, Harlequins facing Exeter, defending champs Saracens against newly promoted Worcester, and London Irish will welcome Wasps. The final match of the weekend is likely the match of the round as Leicester meets Bath.

Here are the results:
Fri – 27 Nov 2015
Northampton Saints 15-3 Gloucester Rugby

Here is the schedule:
Sat – 28 Nov 2015
Sale Sharks – Newcastle Falcons
Exeter Chiefs – Harlequins
Saracens – Worcester Warriors
London Irish – Wasps
Sun – 29 Nov 2015
Leicester Tigers – Bath Rugby

Logo_Top14_2012Top 14: The 2015/2016 #Top14 is also back after the Champions Cup break and it looks a big return to rivalries. There is a mouth watering clash between Racing 92 and Toulouse, Agen host Castres, Bordeaux-Begles will battle Pau, Brive travel to Oyonnax and the possible match of the round sees Clermont face Toulon. Final match of the round sees Grenoble face Stade Francais.

Here are the results:
Fri – 27 Nov 2015
Montpellier 25-20 La Rochelle

Here is the schedule:
Sat – 28 Nov 2015
Racing 92 – Toulouse
Agen – Castres
Bordeaux-Begles – Pau
Oyonnax – Brive
Clermont Auvergne – Toulon
Sun – 29 Nov 2015
Grenoble – Stade Francais

Guinness Pro 12: The Pro 12 season have had their international stars back and the action has gone up a notch. This weekend saw Connacht defeat Treviso and Leinster struggle past Scarlets to start the weekend. Then Ospreys trounced Zebre, Cardiff Blues fell to Glasgow Warriors and Edinburgh lost on a last minute kick to Munster. The final game of the weekend saw Newport-Gwent fall to Ulster.

Here are the results:
Fri – 27 Nov 2015
Edinburgh 32-13 Newport Gwent Dragons
Glasgow Warriors 13-6 Benetton Treviso
Leinster 8-3 Ulster

Here is the schedule:
Sat – 28 Nov 2015
Ospreys – Cardiff Blues
Munster – Connacht
Sat – 28 Nov 2015
Scarlets – Zebre

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 action this weekend in 2B, Andorra will host Cyprus.

Here are the results:
Sat -28 Nov 2015
2B: Andorra – Cyprus

Exhibition Matches: In two exhibition matches this weekend, Brazil continues its tour of Germany as they take on Germany and Honduras faces Guatemala.

Here are the results:
Sat -28 Nov 2015
Brazil – Germany
Honduras – Guatemala

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, Ronan Nelson, Kaitlin McCabe, Rocky Brown and Declan Yeats, respectively.

And remember to 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