Tuilagi, Pocock, Challenge Cup, ENC, USA Rugby and World Rugby News

Manu Tuilagi
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Manu Tuilagi
Manu Tuilagi

NEW YORK, NY – We found about the terror attacks in Paris as we wrote this article. We pray for the souls of the lives lost and extend our condolences to the families of the victims. We solemly push ahead and bring you the Weekend Rugby Preview.

News & Transactions:

Aviva Premiership: Saracens eightman Ernst Joubert has confirmed that he will retire from rugby at the end of the month… Gloucester confirmed that second row Joe Latta has agreed to join the club from Super Rugby champions, the Highlanders Bath’s promising academy lock Tom Ellis has joined Bristol on a dual registration agreement… Harlequins announced that England full-back Mike Brown has signed a long-term contract with  the club… Leicester Tigers coach Richard Cockerill has revealed that the club have made Manu Tuilagi an offer that could make him one of the highest-paid players in the world.

Top 14: Australian back-row David Pocock is set to stay with the Brumbies for the 2016 season despite interest from Top 14 clubs after his excellent World Cup… Sergio Parisse, Matt Giteau and Nick Abendanon have all been nominated for this year’s Top 14 Player of the Year award. For a list of the awards and the contestants, click here. The aforementioned Sergio Parisse has stated could leave Stade Français at the end of the season when his contract expires.

Guinness Pro 12: Glasgow Warriors signed Georgian international hooker Shalva Mamukashvili on a deal until the end of the season.

Dave Pocock
David Pocock

Super Rugby: Pumas eightman Leonardo Senatore is the latest player to sign for Argentina’s Super Rugby franchise ahead of the upcoming 2016 season… South Africa center Jesse Kriel has signed a deal with Japanese club NTT Docomo Red Hurricanes. Kriel will still play for the Bulls in their 2016 Super Rugby campaign… The Western Force confirmed the signing of forward Richie Arnold for the 2016 Super Rugby season..The Brumbies confirmed the signing of Argentina scrum-half Tomás Cubelli who will join the franchise on a two-year deal… Eastern Province Kings’ Tim Whitehead has confirmed he has left the franchise due to the ongoing pay dispute. The Bulls have reportedly made the most of the current uncertainty at the EP Kings’ by signing front-row Lizo Gqoboka to bolster their Super Rugby squad.

USA Rugby: The big news of the week is that, USA Rugby is seeking applicants for the position of Men’s Eagles Senior National Team Head Coach. Interested parties may submit their applications directly to USA Rugby via the listing found here, following the expiration of former Head Coach Mike Tolkin’s contract… In USA Sevens news, new residents were added to USA Rugby programs at Olympic Training Center, click here for the list of residents. The final Men’s Eagles Sevens High Performance Camp prior to the kickoff of the 2015-16 HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series begins at the Olympic Training Center Sunday, Nov. 15, and will be held through Saturday, Nov. 21. For the list of camp attendees, click here… The Women’s Eagles have announced the next cycle of the Elite Coach Development Program. Coaches are invited to apply to participate in this platform to enhance their coaching skills, participate within the Women’s National Team Pathway, and have the potential to be part of the Elite Coach Pathway. Please go here to apply.

World Rugby LogoWorld Rugby: Staff members of Sudamérica Rugby and Rugby Americas North met for their first ever joint meeting in Lima, Peru, a coming together described by World Rugby as ‘historic’. Over the last four days, staff members from both regional associations have worked together in search of equal understanding of opportunities and challenges, with the primary goal being the growth of the game at all levels… World Rugby Council has approved historic and wide-ranging reform of its governance structures, creating a dynamic environment for wider union and regional representation and an independent skills-based voice on the international federation’s decision-making bodies… Rwanda were welcomed as full member union of World Rugby, they are the 103rd full member… After a successful Rugby World Cup 2015 for the top referees, preparations for RWC 2019 are now underway. World Rugby announces details of the regional qualification process for Rugby World Cup 2019 in Japan. For more info on the process, click here… The pools and match schedules are announced for the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series opener for both men and women in Dubai.

The weekend’s fixtures:

Ladies first,
Exhibition Match: England will host Ireland in an exhibition match as both sides build toward the 2016 6 Nations.

Here is the schedule:
Sat – 14 Nov 2015

England 0-0 Ireland

European Champions Cup: It is opening weekend  in the European (Rugby) Champions Cup. This is good news for fans as there was still a bit of a hangover after the world with all the European teams going out in the quarterfinals. With a a boatload of action to go over, 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 has become a quality tournament in its own right with loads of mid-table European clubs playing exciting rugby and showing their ambition to graduate from this competition and move on to the Champions Cup.The weekend began with Harlequins crushing Montpellier then Brive edging Newcastle, and Edinburgh dominating  Grenoble,. As for the weekend’s match-ups, Connacht make nearly a three-quarter’s of a day journey to Siberia to play RC Enisei, while Calvisano host the Cardiff Blues. London Irish play Agen, Worcester Warriors host La Rochelle, Gloucester do battle with Zebre and Pau face Top 14 rival  Castres . The final match of the round will see Newport-Gwent clash with Sale.

Here are the results:
Thu – 12 Nov 2015
Harlequins 41-18 Montpellier
Fri – 13 Nov 2015
Brive 13-9 Newcastle Falcons
Edinburgh 28-10 Grenoble

Here is the schedule:
Sat – 14 Nov 2015

RC Enisei – Connacht
Calvisano – Cardiff Blues
London Irish – Agen
Worcester Warriors – La Rochelle
Gloucester Rugby – Zebre
Pau – Castres
Fri – 15 Nov 2015
Newport Gwent Dragons – Sale Sharks

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 we have in 1B Poland plays Moldova, 2A will have Israel traveling to Switzerland and in 2C will see Slovenia host Denmark and Luxembourg play Serbia.

Here is the schedule:
Sat – 14 Nov 2015
Poland – Moldova
Switzerland v Israel
Croatia – Malta
2C: Slovenia – Denmark
Luxembourg – Serbia

Sudamerica 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 the midweek in CONSUR B saw Colombia destroy Venezuela while Peru shut out Ecuador.

Here are the results:
Wed – 11th Nov 2015
CONSUR B: Colombia 33-7 Venezuela
CONSUR B: Peru 30-0 Ecuador

The weekend will see a battle for the B division final. Colombia will play Peru for the chance to be promoted and Venezuela play Ecuador in the 3rd place match.

Here is the schedule:
Sat – 14 Nov 2015

CONSUR B Final: Colombia – Peru
CONSUR B 3rd/4th Playoff: Venezuela – Ecuador

Hong 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 action started on Friday with Russia taking down Portugal and hosts Hong Kong cruising past Zimbabwe.

Here are the results:
Fri – 13 Nov 2015
Russia 23-12 Portugal
Hong Kong 30-11 Zimbabwe

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