Bowden, Grant, Aviva, #Top14, Pro12, USA Rugby and World Rugby News

Quins fans enjoying the shootout
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Dan Bowden
Dan Bowden

NEW YORK, NY – Happy Monday!! It doesn’t have the same ring to it as Merry Christmas or Happy Boxing day, we know. We also know that there was plenty of action this weekend in Europe’s top three domestic competitions. We have the holiday weekend round and some transactions to go over. So without further adieu, let’s get into the Global Rugby Recap.

News & Transactions:

Aviva Premiership: Bath confirmed that former Leicester, London Irish and Super Rugby Blues center Dan Bowden will be joining the club in January 2016... Former England fly-half Andy Goode has surprisingly come out of retirement to join the Newcastle Falcons. Vastly experienced fly-half Goode and young scrum-half Jamie Booth have agreed to join Newcastle Falcons on three-month contracts, in the wake of injuries to Mike Delany and Ruki Tipuna. The half-back pairing have been ruled out through injuries and are not expected back for months, with Director of Rugby Dean Richards moving to ensure the club continue to have options available in these two positions.

Pro 12: Edinburgh flanker Roddy Grant has announced his retirement after failing to recover from a knee injury suffered at the end of last season. Grant’s injury required surgery and his recovery hasn’t progressed as expected which resulted in him announcing his retirement.

Eagles 7s logoUSA Rugby: According to Thisisamericanrugby.com:

In their continued drive toward the Olympics,  a USA Eagles 7s side is set to play in next year’s Vina del Mar 7s which takes place in Chile on the 16-17th of January. The team will contain the fringe players not ont the World Sevens Series but the players looking to put pressure on those top 12. The tournament, which is regarded as one of the best not on the World Series, will feature the U.S., Canada, Argentina, and South Africa in an elite pool. The U.S. will play each of those countries once before facing at least one more in the knockout round. Each of those teams, in particular South Africa, will be a solid challenge for the side. Chile, Peru, Uruguay, and Brazil will also be playing giving the U.S. the opportunity to scout Brazil.

World Rugby: World Rugby’s mass participation program Get Into Rugby (GIR) reached out to one million children in 2015. Of all the 2,000 different locations where World Rugby’s Get Into Rugby (GIR) program was rolled out to in 2015.

The weekend’s fixtures:

Quins fans enjoying the shootout

Aviva Premiership: The Boxing day weekend stands as the unofficial marker of the season’s halfway point. Despite the season’s delayed start, the fixtures will still be setting the foundation for a big second half run. The weekend began with the London Irish upsetting Northampton, Sale fell hard to Exeter and Leicester surprisingly struggled past Newcastle. The biggest match-up of the weekend saw Wasps fall to the undefeated  Saracens while Bath got by Worcester and Harlequins drew with Gloucester in a wild shootout.

Here is the Schedule:
Sat – 26 Dec 2015
London Irish 25-23 Northampton Saints
Exeter Chiefs 33-17 Sale Sharks
Leicester Tigers 22-10 Newcastle Falcons
Sun – 27 Dec 2015
London Wasps 16-26 Saracens
Bath 21-14 Worcester Warriors
Harlequins 39-39 Gloucester

Top 14: The #Top14 doesn’t have a major fixation with boxing day being French and all. They did however show some holiday spirit with no matches until Sunday. The full slate of matches began with an upset by Oyonnax over Stade Francais, Bordeaux-Begles beat Grenoble, Castres dominated Brive, and Agen fell on the road at Montpellier. We also saw Pau barely edge La Rochelle, Clermont shockingly fell to Racing in the second big match of the weekend with Toulouse traveling to Toulon the final and biggest match of the weekend.

Here is the Schedule:
Sun – 27 Dec 2015
Oyonnax 25-12 Stade Francais
Bordeaux Begles 25-19 Grenoble
Castres 23-8 Brive
Montpellier 45-20 Agen
Pau 15-11 La Rochelle
Clermont Auvergne 16-20 Racing 92
Toulouse 31-8 Toulon

Guinness Pro 12: In the Pro 12, Boxing day weekend is derby day weekend. Each match will be a match between rivals in the same country, with some of them having a long history of facing each other in big games. Scarlets renew un-pleasantries with Ospreys and Connacht face Ulster in the “other” Irish derby. The battle for Italy will see Zebre take on Treviso, Newport-Gwent will take on Cardiff. We will see the first game in the 1872 Cup, which is played between Glasgow and Edinburgh, as the two cities have been rugby rivals dating back that far. Finally, It cannot be considered derby weekend without the O’Classico match. The O’Classico will feature Leinster traveling to Thomond Park to face the mighty men of Munster.

Here is the Schedule:
Sat – 26 Dec 2015
Scarlets 26-27 Ospreys
Connacht 3-10 Ulster
Sun – 27 Dec 2015
Zebre 28-25 Benetton Treviso
Newport Gwent Dragons 20-21 Cardiff Blues
Edinburgh 23-11 Glasgow Warriors
Munster 7-24 Leinster

That is 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, Kyle Phillips, Rocky Brown and Declan Yeats, respectively

And as always, 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.