Sam Burgess, Faletau, Goromaru, AP, #Top14, Pro 12 USA Rugby and World Rugby News

Slammin' Sam Burgess is heading back to Oz
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Slammin' Sam Burgess is heading back to Oz
Slammin’ Sam Burgess is heading back to Oz

NEW YORK, NY – Sam Burgess tops all the news in the rugby world this week. However there are other transactions to cover. We also have to cover the fixtures in Europe’s top leagues for the weekend and all the tier 2/3 matches. With that said, let’s dive into the Weekend Preview.

News & Transactions:

Aviva Premiership: Bath Rugby Club and The South Sydney Rabbitohs Rugby League Club confirmed that  dual England international Sam Burgess will leave Bath with immediate effect and will re-join South Sydney until at least the end of the 2018 season. Bath are still interested in acquiring the services of Wales back-row Taulupe Faletau even though the Welsh Rugby Union (WRU) have rejected the Newport-Gwent Dragons’ request to sell the player… London Irish have signed Canadian international center Ciaran Hearn for the remainder of the season after his impressive World Cup… Newcastle Falcons announced that Samoa winger Sinoti Sinoti has agreed a new long-term deal.

Top 14: Toulon president Mourad Boudjellal has promised to walk away from the club if they don’t finish in the top six of the Top 14 this season. Toulon prop Xavier Chiocci has extended his contract with the European champions for three seasons through to 2019.

Guinness Pro 12: Cardiff Blues announced that Wales international scrum-half Lloyd Williams on his return from the Rugby World Cup has signed a new deal with the club… Ospreys and Wales duo, hooker Scott Baldwin and eightman James King, have signed National Dual Contracts… Ospreys also announced that lock De Kock Steenkamp has been released from his contract and will return to South Africa after undergoing hip surgery… Scotland lock Jonny Gray has committed to Glasgow Warriors for a further three years, meaning he’ll be staying until at least May 2018. The club has also named him club captain.

Super Rugby: Japan’s Rugby World Cup hero and fullback Ayumu Goromaru will join the Reds in 2016 after signing with the club for the 2016 Super Rugby season.

Cody Kuxmann
Last year’s winner of the Shanagher Morrison Referee Fund Scholarship, RWU’s Cody Kuxmann

USA Rugby: USA Rugby has again opened the application process for scholarships from the Shanagher Morrison Referee Fund. The Shanagher Morrison Referee Fund (named after two of USA Rugby’s most storied referees) was created to encourage more young people to become referees and is completely donor funded through USA Rugby Trust. The fund covers all costs, including travel and lodging and living expenses, for the recipient to travel and spend an entire season refereeing in a major rugby country. This year, the fund will allow an aspiring referee (aged 20 to 27) to spend the entire 2016 season (late March through August) in Christchurch, New Zealand as a full-time member of the Canterbury Referee Association or participate in the Maties Academy: a “Referee University” based in Stellenbosch, South Africa.

World Rugby: World Rugby was deeply saddened to learn that Rugby Travel and Hospitality Ltd Chief Executive Andrew Burton passed away earlier this week… Argentina second-row Tomás Lavanini has been suspended for one week following a disciplinary hearing after the 3/4th place match.

The weekend’s fixtures:

Aviva Premiership: The 2015/2016 Aviva Premiership keeps chugging along. After England’s RWC failure, there is more pressure on the domestic game to shine bright and give hope to the future of English rugby. Harlequins host Sale to kick off the action this round. London Irish will face Bath, Worcester Warriors clash with Newcastle, Northampton and Saracens do battle and Leicester travel to Exeter. The final match of the round will see Wasps and Gloucester meet.

Stade Francais rugby team holding the Bouclier de Brennus Trophy celebrate their victory over Clermont to their Top 14 final rugby match Stade français Against Clermont at Stade de France stadium in Saint Denis, north of Paris, France, Saturday, June 13, 2015. (AP Photo/Jacques Brinon)

Here is the schedule:
Fri – 6 Nov 2015
Harlequins – Sale Sharks
Sat – 7 Nov 2015
London Irish – Bath
Worcester Warriors – Newcastle Falcons
Northampton Saints – Saracens
Exeter Chiefs – Leicester Tigers
Sun – 1 Nov 2015
Wasps  – Gloucester

Top 14: The 2015/2016 #Top14 is back to its full compliment of world class players, including Quade Cooper and Brian Habana. With all teams full armed these next few rounds could be electric. This round begins with struggling Powerhouse Toulon take on Montpellier then Brive against Bordeaux, La Rochelle clash with Oyonnax,  Pau welcome Agen and Toulouse host Grenoble. The round ends with Castres hosting Racing 92 and championship rematch between Stade Francais and Clermont.

Here is the schedule:
Sat – 7 Nov 2015
Toulon – Montpellier
Brive – Bordeaux Begles
La Rochelle – Oyonnax
Pau – Agen
Toulouse – Grenoble
Sun – 8 Nov 2015
Castres – Racing 92
Stade Francais – Clermont Auvergne

Guiness Pro12 awardGuinness Pro 12: The Pro 12 season have had their international stars back and the action is growing intensity. This week we will see Connacht taken on Treviso and Leinster play Scarlets to start the weekend. Then Ospreys host Zebre, Cardiff Blues welcome Glasgow Warriors and Edinburgh will clash with Munster. Final game of the weekend sees Newport-Gwent face Ulster.

Here is the schedule:
Fri – 6 Nov 2015
Connacht – Benetton Treviso
Leinster – Scarlets
Sat – 7 Nov 2015
Ospreys – Zebre
Cardiff Blues – Glasgow Warriors
Edinburgh – Munster
Sun – 1 Nov 2015
Newport Gwent Dragons – Ulster

: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 1B Sweden faces Moldova, 2A sees Israel host Crotia, 2B will have Latvia travel to Cyprus and 2C has Serbia versus Slovenia.

Sat – 7 Nov 2015 
1B: Sweden – Moldova
2A: Israel – Croatia
2B: Cyprus – Latvia
2C: Serbia – Slovenia

SudamericaRugbySudamerica Rugby: Formerly the SAMC now just Sudamerica Ruby is the same as the ENC – except it’s South America, a minor detail – and that it has 4 divisions featuring 15 teams. It is the battle to find the 2nd best team in South America with Argentina the firm number 1. The top division is called the CONSUR division and features Argentina’s B team, Uruguay and Chile. Speaking of the CONSUR, there is a B division and this weekend in CONSUR B will see Colombia host Ecuador and Venezuela face Peru.  Prior to those matches there will be an exhibition match between Costa Rica and Panama in Costa Rica.

Here is the schedule:
Sat – 7 Nov 2015
Exhibition match:
Costa Rica – Panama

Sun – 8 Nov 2015
CONSUR B: Colombia – Ecuador
CONSUR B: Venezuela – Peru

NACRA Championships 2015: Another regional tournament in full swing is the North America and Caribbean Rugby Association (NACRA) Championship. The NACRA Championship is for the countries in North America and the Caribbean. NACRA has 2 zones with top level (championship) and a bottom level (cup). Each Championship zone has 3 teams while the Cup Zones have 4 each. The Zones are regionally divided, so there is a North Zone and South Zone. USA Rugby competes in the North Zone Championship division. The USA is represented by the USA South Regional all-star team, in order to develop talent and make the competition a much fairer one…The weekend there will be an exhibition match between the British Virgin Islands and Barbados.

Here is the schedule:
Sat – 7 Nov 2015
British Virgin Islands – Barbados

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!

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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.