Richie McCaw Retires, Eddie Jones, PRO Rugby, Challenge Cup

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Good Night, Sweet Prince!
Jonah Lomu: Good Night, Sweet Prince!

NEW YORK, NY –This has been a tough week. The Paris Attacks, then the loss of a legend in the rugby world (click here for Jonah Lomu) . But the title suggests, The Sun Also Rises, so we all go on and do our thing.  With that, here’s the Rugby Weekend Preview.

News & Transactions:

McCaw 2015
Richie McCaw: Leaving while on top

McCaw Retires: Legendary All Black flanker and captain Richie McCaw winner of 2 consecutive RWC cups, 148 test caps and numerous other accolades and trophies announced his retirement from all rugby effective immediately this week. It is a bit fitting that a guy who spent his time perfecting the dark arts and not always been seen, he retirement is overshadowed by Lomu’s passing.

Aviva Premiership: Wales second-row Luke Charteris is set to join Bath in 2016 when his contract expires, according to reports in French newspaper L’Equipe. 

Guinness Pro12: Scarlets announced that flanker Aaron Shingler has signed a contract extension, keeping him at the region for season 2016/17 and beyond.

Top 14: Racing 92’s Top 14 fixture with Toulouse later this month has been moved from the Stade de France following this month’s attacks in Paris.

Super Rugby: The Sharks’ director of rugby, Gary Gold, announced his coaching team for the 2016 Super Rugby campaign. The following coaches will form part of Gold’s backroom staff: Ryan Strudwick (Forwards), Robert du Preez (Skills and Attack), Sean Everitt (Skills and Attack) and Omar Mouneimne (Defence)… The South African Rugby Union agreed to assist the Eastern Province Rugby Union by taking control of the Southern Kings franchise in Super Rugby. The action followed through a decision taken by the Executive Council of SARU a few weeks ago to step into the Kings’ affairs if certain expectations were not realized. The decision was made as a result of the ongoing cash flow problems at the Union after the president of EP, Mr Cheeky Watson, contacted Mr Oregan Hoskins, the president of SARU, to ask for his help. Despite the financial crisis at the Southern Kings, Cheeky Watson said he has no intention of stepping down from his position… Former Springbok Peter Grant has joined the Western Force on a two-year deal after a year out of Super Rugby spent in France with La RochelleThe Highlanders announced that fly-half Lima Sopoaga has recommitted to New Zealand Rugby and the Super Rugby champions through until the end of the 2018 season.

USA Rugby: The play-in rounds of the 2015 USA Rugby Women’s Division I and Division II College Fall Championships were hosted around the country last weekend. Twenty-four teams will now head to one of three locationsAir Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Colo., Founders Field in Pittsburgh, or Vassar College in Poughkeepsie, N.Y. – for the Round of 16 and Quarterfinals the weekend of Nov. 21-22. Following the upcoming weekend’s action, Semifinalists in both divisions will travel to Greenville, S.C., for the Dec. 5-6 Fall Championships at Furman University. To view the full Women’s Division I Fall Championship bracket click here and the full Women’s Division II Fall Championship bracket click here … The chase for the 2015 Men’s Division II National Championship is down to 16 teams. The Nov. 21-22 Round of 16 will be played over three regional locations: Des Moines, Iowa, East Carolina University, and Pittsburgh’s Founders Field. To view the full Men’s Division II National Championship bracket click here
Douglas SchoningerCEO of the Professional Rugby Organization, or PRO Rugby announced at this week that Sacramento and San Francisco at corresponding press conferences in each that the cities will be the first two cities competing in PRO Rugby’s inaugural 2016 season. In addition, plans call for Denver to join a short list of cities participating in a new professional rugby association.

Eddie Jones has good reason to smile
Eddie Jones has good reason to smile

World Rugby: Former Australia and Japan national coach, Eddie Jones has become the first foreign head coach to take charge of England after flying to London. Jones has reportedly flown from Cape Town to London to speak with the RFU and was later confirmed as the new head coach. As RWC 2015 broke records at the elite end of the game, the mass-participation program, Get Into Rugby did the same at grass-roots level. more than one million children have been introduced to the game this year. The new participants were spread across no fewer than 1,750 locations in 126 unions, with more than 17,000 trained personnel delivering the various rugby activities in all six regional associations. Importantly, 37 percent of the new participants are female, demonstrating rugby’s commitment to grow the game for both genders… England Rugby 2015, the organizing committee for Rugby World Cup 2015, has been working closely with the RFU and WRU to ensure that as many clubs as possible are benefiting from the tournament. In total, 392 clubs in England and 45 clubs in Wales have been offered equipment that was used at match venues, ranging from tables and chairs to fencing, lockers and bar furniture.

Sudamerica Rugby
New Sudamerica logo

Representatives from 10 national unions and federations, all members of Sudamérica Rugby, took part in the successful Leading Rugby workshop in the Peru capital of Lima over three busy days of meetings and presentations. Key figures gathered together in Lima to discuss best-practice initiatives and put forward new ideas to help grow the game in South America and improve strategic planning and governance within the unions involved. Following a public competition and specially convened panel, a dynamic new logo for the ambitious regional association has been launched.

The weekend’s fixtures:

European Champions Cup: It is time for round two of the the European (Rugby) Champions Cup. It will be bitter sweet following the horrible attacks last week. Hopefully the return of some big time international club rugby action will help serve as a distraction. We recommend you click here for a fantastic preview of the round.

European_Rugby_Challenge_Cup_LogoEuropean Challenge Cup: The second tier European Challenge Cup is a quality tournament in its own right, it is filled with mid-table European clubs playing good rugby looking to graduate from this competition and move on to the Champions Cup. The weekend began on Thursday with Harlequins getting a bonus point win against Cardiff and same goes for Gloucester at La Rochelle. The Friday games will see Agen hosting Edinburgh and Calvisano traveling to Montpellier. The actual weekend games are Sale versus Pau, Zebre plays Worcester Warriors, Connacht clashes with Brive, Castres welcome Newport-Gwent and Grenoble takes on London Irish. Newcastle will then face the Siberian club Enisei to close out the round.

Here is the schedule:
Thu – 19 Nov 2015
Cardiff Blues 20 – 32 Harlequins
La Rochelle 20-33 Gloucester
Fri – 20 Nov 2015
Agen – Edinburgh
Montpellier –  Calvisano
Sat – 21 Nov 2015
Sale Sharks – Pau
Zebre – Worcester Warriors
Connacht  – Brive
Castres Olympique – Newport-Gwent Dragons
Grenoble – London Irish
Sun- 22 Nov 2015
Newcastle Falcons – Enisei-STM

Barbarians FC, April 1891; Carpmael back row, middle

Barbarians: With World Cup finalists from New Zealand and Australia join forces in a star-studded Barbarians side against Argentina at Twickenham.The match against Argentina celebrates the 125th anniversary of the Barbarians club founded by WP Carpmael in 1890 and many of the club’s former greats including legendary 1973 try scorer Gareth Edwards – will be watching from the Royal Box. 

Here is the schedule:
Sat -21 Nov 2015
Barbarians – Argentina

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 action this weekend will be division 1B as Ukraine takes on Moldova and Malta face Czech Republic.

Here is the schedule:
Sat -21 Nov 2015
1B: Ukraine – Moldova
Malta – Czech Republic

Hong Kong CoNHong Kong Cup of Nations: The 2015 Cup of Nations will be the third Cup of Nations tournament, but the first to be held outside the United Arab Emirates. Unlike 2011 and 2012, the Cup of Nations will be staged in Hong Kong at the Hong Kong Football Club Stadium from November 13 to 21. The tournament will act as a year ending tournament for tier 3 teams from different continents. The second round of action occurred Wednesday were Hong Kong did enough to get by Portugal and Russia drubbed Zimbabwe.

Here are the results:
Wed – 18 Nov 2015

Hong Kong 13-6 Portugal
Russia 50-5 Zimbabwe

The weekend will see Portugal play Zimbabwe for third place and Hong Kong play Russia in the final.

Here is the schedule:
Sat -21 Nov 2015
3/4th Place: Portugal – Zimbabwe
Final: Hong Kong – Russia

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