Cannon, Collins Stadium, Johnston, PRO Rugby, USA Rugby & World Rugby News

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John Cannon
John Cannon

NEW YORK, NY – It was another busy weekend for our crew. We had the final weekend of the  Six Nations and all its sub sections to cover, along with the three top European leagues in action. Then we add in another round of Super Rugby along with some Tier 2 cup competitions. Not to be forgotten is all the important Rugby News and Transactions. So with so much to get to, let’s dive into the Global Rugby Recap.

News & Transactions:

John Cannon; Gone too soon: The Canadian rugby community was left in shock Monday at news that former international John Cannon was dead at 35 of a suspected heart attack.Cannon, a hard-nosed center, was a member of Canada‘s squad at the 2003 Rugby World Cup and won 31 caps for Canada between 2001 and 2007. He played professionally in England for Rotherham, Doncaster and Coventry.

Super Rugby: The Brumbies Board announced that it has stood down (in American, that means forced to resigned) Michael Jones from his position as the franchise’s CEO. Craig Leseberg, General ManagerBrumbies Community Rugby will act as interim CEO… According to reports in the South African press, Namibia loose forward Renaldo Bothma has joined the Bulls from the Sharks with immediate effect. The Supersport website reports that Bothma has been released from his Sharks contract seven months before it ends and has committed to a long-term deal with the Pretoria-based side… Porirua City Council has honored former All Blacks loose forward Jerry Collins by renaming their rugby stadium after him. The Porirua Park Stadium will officially be renamed the Jerry Collins Stadium on Friday.

Aviva Premiership: Former Saracens prop James Johnston will remain at Worcester Warriors, the club announced, after joining them at the beginning of this year.

PRO Rugby USA: Australian dual-international Timana Tahu has signed for the Denver PRO Rugby franchise. Former Italy ‘A’ flanker Filippo Ferrarini is now officially part of PRO Rugby and will play for the Ohio franchise.

usa_rugby_logoUSA Rugby: USA Rugby announced a new partnership with KT Tape, the leading producer of kinesiology tape and related sports medicine products in the retail market. As the exclusive kinesiology tape of USA Rugby, KT Tape will be made readily available to all of the USA Rugby men’s and women’s national team athletes as they prepare for the 2016 Summer Olympic Games and international test matches.

World Rugby: The RWC 2015 Head Injury Assessment program boosted welfare for world’s top players. The players have endorsed World Rugby’s head injury education and management approach following successful outcomes at Rugby World Cup 2015. According to the internal report.

  • Players receive unprecedented level of care in priority player welfare area
  • RWC 2015 features most advanced HIA program in rugby
  • Team medics successfully supported by independent concussion experts
  • Post-match assessments confirm no concussed player was returned to play following HIA
  • Technology played a critical identification role, used to support HIA in 65 per cent of incidents
  • Program being rolled out across World Rugby and other major rugby events

A try and an inspirational performance from Jamaica’s captain and fly-half Hubert Thomas, coupled with a dominant forward effort, set the scene for a 48-0 victory over a St Vincent and the Grenadines (SVG) side that battled all the way to the end in front of a record rugby crowd at Arnos Vale Sports Complex in St. Vincent, earlier this month as qualification for RWC2019 begun.

The weekend’s fixtures:
RBS 6 Nations: The  2016 6 Nations is now complete. England have achieved their first Grand Slam in 13 years. The RWU Wolfman Ronan Nelson has a great review of all the matches and our Expert Panel’s picks, coming up.

U20 6N 2016 WalesRBS U-20 6 Nations: The stars of the future of European rugby also have their 6N matches this weekend to give fans a preview of what’s to come. Like the big boys, there was a Grand Slam champion. This time though it is was Wales capturing their first ever Grand Slam. It was Italy that were the last team to fall to Wales, France cruised by England in Le Crunch and in the big Celtic battle Ireland edged out Scotland.

Here are the results:
Fri – 18 Mar 2016
France U20s 41 – 17 England U20s
Wales U20s 35 – 6 Italy U20s
Ireland U20s 26 – 18 Scotland U20s

W6N 2016 France

RBS Women’s 6 Nations: Though they don’t get as much coverage as they often deserve, the Women’s 6N will also be kicking off this weekend. The sparse coverage aside, this year has been very competitive. France won a tough match against England in an extra spicy Le Crunch to win the title. In other action,  Scotland fell big to Ireland and Wales were upset at home by Italy.

Here are the results:
Fri – 18 Mar 2016
France Women 17 – 12 England Women
Sun – 20 Mar 2016
Ireland Women 45 – 12 Scotland Women
Wales Women 12 – 16 Italy Women

European Nations Cup: The ENC, or the 6 Nations “B” , is the premier tournament for the second-tier nations of Europe. Unbeknownst to some, 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, where the best teams in Europe not called England, Ireland, France, Italy, Wales or Scotland reside, has no promotion option – only relegation back to 1B. Hopefully promotion from 1A to the proper 6N will eventually occur… but we aren’t banking on it.

In 1A this weekend, Six time champions, including this year, Georgia were expected to face a stern test from their biggest 1A rival Romania but the match ended up a display of the improvement in Georgia backline play as they cruised to victory. Meanwhile Russia trounced Portugal and finally Spain drew with Germany. Both Portugal and Germany needed to win to stay up but thanks to the tiebreaker bonus points, it was decided that unfortunately Portugal would get relegated. The Belgians will be moving back up to 1A from 1B but were handed a tough and physical Poland side that they fought past for the win, while bottom of the table Moldova used their home field advantage to upset the Dutch.

Here are the results:
Sat – 18 Mar 2016
1A: Georgia 38 – 9 Romania
1A: Portugal 21 – 53 Russia
1A: Germany 17 – 17 Spain
1B: Poland 11 – 21 Belgium
1B: Moldova
22 – 13 Netherlands

Aviva Cup

Aviva Premiership: Due to the 2015 RWC, the 2015/2016 Aviva Premiership was not taking any breaks during the 6N. With the start their European Cup place and playoff push, things are only getting more intense. This weekend begun with Bath scraping past Newcastle, Harlequins fell to Worcester, Exeter defeated Northampton, Wasps crushed Sale, London Irish got a big win against Gloucester, and finally in the clash of the weekend, Leicester were victorious against Saracens.

Here are the results:
Fri – 18 Mar 2016
Bath 21-19 Newcastle Falcons
Sat – 19 Mar 2016
Harlequins 15-21 Worcester Warriors
Sun – 20 Mar 2016
Exeter Chiefs
20-12 Northampton Saints
Wasps 39-12 Sale Sharks
London Irish 23-18 Gloucester
Leicester Tigers 21-13 Saracens

Bouclier Brennus – Top 14 trophy

Top 14: The Top 14 has a full slate of matches this weekend also. Though it is technically round 19, this round is really round 13. All the European Cup matches effected during the terrorist attacks in November 2015 were rescheduled to a regular Top 14 week, so that round, round 13 saw its matches rescheduled to this weekend. The first match of the weekend saw Stade Francias defeat La Rochelle, then Montpellier crushed Racing as Oyonnax scrapped past Agen for a big win. Then Pau outlasted Castres, Grenoble beat Brive and in the match of the round, we saw Toulouse fall at fortress Michelin to Clermont Auvergne.

Here are the results:
Sat – 19 Mar 2016

Stade Francais 33-20 La Rochelle
Montpellier 60-7 Racing 92
Oyonnax 30-28 Agen
Pau 21-16 Castres
Sun – 20 Mar 2016
Grenoble 26-22 Brive
Clermont Auvergne 32-23 Toulouse

Pro 12: The Pro 12 had its own make up matches this weekend as Cardiff defeated Munster comfortably in a match that was originally scheduled to be held during Round 12, on 8 January 2016 but was postponed due to a European Rugby Champions Cup fixture rearrangement that occurred as a result of the Paris attacks. In the other match, Glasgow doubled up on Leinster in match that was scheduled to be held during Round 9, on 5 December 2015 but was postponed due to a waterlogged pitch.

Here are the results:
Fri – 18 Mar 2016

Cardiff Blues 37-28 Munster
Glasgow Warriors 12-6 Leinster

Super Rugby Trophy 2016

Super Rugby: Super Rugby continues into the fourth round of the newly re-formatted tournament that crosses at least 6 or 7 time zones. As for this round of fixtures, it started with the Hurricanes crush the Force and the Waratahs coming up short at home against the Highlanders. In the other matches for the weekend, the Bulls and Sharks for to a standstill, The Sunwolves went down big to the Rebels, the Crusaders beat up on the Kings, the Reds drew with the Blues in a thriller. The Lions defeated the Cheetahs in a cat fight, the Stormers shocked the Brumbies and the Jaguares were denied by the Chiefs a home opening win in Argentina.

Here are the results:
Fri – 18 Mar 2016

Hurricanes 41–6 Force
Waratahs 26–30 Highlanders
Bulls 16-16 Sharks
Sat – 18 Mar 2016
Sunwolves 9-35 Rebels
Crusaders 57-24 Kings
Reds 25-25 Blues
Lions 39-22 Cheetahs
Stormers 31-11 Brumbies
Jaguares 26-30 Chiefs

WRPC2016 FijiWorld Rugby Pacific Challenge: The World Rugby Pacific Challenge continued this week in Suva, Fiji with the national A teams from Fiji, Samoa, Tonga and Japan going head to head over two weeks. Fiji won the tournament and went undefeated as on the final match day, they crushed Samoa. Tonga won third place by winning an entertaining and high scoring affair against Junior Japan.

Here are the results:
Thu – 17 Mar 2016
Fiji Warriors 36-0 Samoa A
Tonga A 44-30 Junior Japan

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 WallDJ Eberle, Jake Frechette, Scheenagh Harrington, Ronan Nelson, 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