NEW YORK, NY – Before we get around to matchday 5 of the European Champions and Challenge, we must cover the news. In the news this weekend were all the signings in the top rugby competitions in the world. Without further delay, here is the Global Rugby Recap.
News & Transactions:
January is the start of rugby’s silly season. It is when all the gossip and rumors come to the forefront as players can be contacted by clubs trying to persuade them to leave their current club.
Aviva Premiership: Exeter Chiefs confirmed the signing of recent England call-up Ollie Devoto from Premiership rivals Bath… London Irish announced that exciting young fly-half Theo Brophy-Clews has signed a contract extension with the club… Worcester Warriors confirmed that hooker Niall Annett has signed a new contract with the club… Gloucester back-row forward Jacob Rowan has re-signed a contract with the club. Gloucester also announced that Scotland international center Matt Scott will join the club ahead of the 2016/17 season.
#TOP14: Piri Weepu has left Top 14 side Oyonnax after the club moved to end the 32-year-old’s contract.
Pro 12: The Ireland Rugby Football Union (IRFU) and Munster confirmed that prop James Cronin and hooker Mike Sherry have signed contract extensions with the province.
Super Rugby: Blue Bulls and South African international center, Johannes Jacobus “JJ” Engelbrecht, has signed with Ospreys of the Pro12 this month on a contract that runs until the end of the season, subject to work permit.
USA Rugby: USA Rugby had no news over the weekend, so check out our interview with PRO Rugby org CEO Doug Schoninger
World Rugby: World Rugby has an interview with Argentina legend Felipe Contempomi on the recent success of Argentina under coach Daniel Hourcade.
The weekend’s fixtures:
European Rugby Champions Cup: The European (Rugby) Champions Cup has reached round 5. It is a vital for the clubs trying to win one of the five groups or the three second place spots that qualify for the knockout round. If any team has faint hopes then it is importnat that they win. If a team doesn’t then they are playing to ruin the party for everyone. The RWU Wolf Man Ronan Nelson has a great review featuring the RWU Analysts’ picks coming out soon, so check it out when it comes out.
European Rugby Challenge Cup: The second tier, European Challenge Cup tournament should not be dismissed because it is second tier. Keen observers will notice that it is filled with European clubs with real ambitions and playing a very entertaining brand of rugby. Some clubs in the Champions’ Cup competition this season were in the Challenge Cup last season. As for the matches, they began on Friday with Pau falling to Sale, Edinburgh blanked Agen and Castres failed miserably at Newport-Gwent. The following day saw Newcastle made the 13 hour journey to Siberia to play Enisey-STM and will be leaving with a loss for their troubles, while Montpellier romped over Calvisano, Gloucester were victorious against La Rochelle, London Irish fell to Grenoble, Worcester were shocked by Zebre and Brive won a hard fought contest against Connacht. The final match of the weekend saw Harlequins win against Cardiff.
Here is the Schedule:
Fri – 15 Jan 2016
Pau 3-27 Sale Sharks
Edinburgh 23-0 Agen
Newport Gwent Dragons 31-18 Castres
Sat – 16 Jan 2016
Enisey-STM 24-7 Newcastle Falcons
Calvisano 7-47 Montpellier
Gloucester 20-10 La Rochelle
London Irish 18-28 Grenoble
Worcester Warriors 15-22 Zebre
Brive 21-18 Connacht
Sun – 10 Jan 2016
Harlequins 34-26 Cardiff Blues
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.