Fraser, Ford, Sio, Aviva Prem, Pro12, #Top14, Super Rugby, USA Rugby, World Rugby News

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Will Fraser

NEW YORK, NY – Here we are at another the Six Nations bye week. But just like last time, all three top European competitions have a big round of fixtures. Unlike last time, though, we have the Las Vegas 7s, Super Rugby and Americas Rugby Championship (#ARC2016). On top of that we have our staples of Rugby News and Transactions to cover in our Weekend Preview.

News & Transactions:

Aviva Premiership: Saracens proudly confirmed the re-signing of academy graduate flanker Will Fraser until 2019… Sale Sharks  announced the signing of eightman Laurence Pearce from Leicester Tigers for next season. Sale also announced that center Johnny Leota had signed a new two-year extension deal with the club… Loose forward Kai Horstmann has extended his stay with Exeter Chiefs for a further year… Newcastle Falcons signed Kenyan international Joshua Chisanga on an 18-month deal as well as tighthead prop Mike Cusack of the Pro 12’s Glasgow Warriors until the end of the season… Scrum-half Scott Steele and second-row Will Lloyd put pen to paper on two-year contract extensions at London IrishBath wing and former England Sevens player Jeff Williams has signed a one-year contract extension with the club.

Ross Ford
Ross Ford

Guinness Pro 12: Edinburgh‘s front row were bolstered with some signings this week. They first signed young Scottish qualified props Allan Dell and Simon Berghan. Then, Edinburgh announced that Scotland and British and Irish Lions hooker, Ross Ford, has signed a three-year deal. They also helped their backline by signing Ulster winger Rory Scholes on a two-year deal… Glasgow Warriors back-rowers Chris Fusaro, Rob Harley and Ryan Wilson have all signed new two-year deals with the PRO12 side…. Ulster announced that Irish international center Luke Marshall has signed a two-year contract extension that will keep him at Ravenhill.

Super Rugby: Brumbies and Australia prop Scott Sio has extended his contract with the franchise for another three years… Eastern Province president Cheeky Watson faces a vote of no confidence at a proposed special general meeting later this month… Three Bulls stars have extended their contracts with the franchise for another two years. They are Rugby World Cup bronze medalist and Springbok scrum-half Rudy Paige, Junior Springbok and utility back Warrick Gelant and upcoming midfield star Burger Odendaal all committed to the Bulls until October 2018.

USA Rugby: Fifteen capped Men’s and Women’s Eagles Sevens players will be representing the United States as Falcons at the Las Vegas Invitational, March 3-6. Click here for the full roster for squads… Locations have been finalized for all five divisions of the 2016 USA Rugby Emirates Airline Club National Playoffs. Beginning May 21, 40 teams from across the United States will compete for the Men’s Division I/II/III and the Women’s Division I/II National Championships. James Wilber, USA Rugby’s national championships manager announced the three locations as T Pittsburgh (home of the Pittsburgh Harlequins), Glendale (Glendale Raptors), and a new stadium venue in the west courtesy of a partnership between Tucson RFC and Visit Tucson.” Click here for the full article.

Stepping down: Bernard Lapasset
Stepping down: Bernard Lapasset

World Rugby: World Rugby, its regional associations and unions have been leading the tributes to Bernard Lapasset, who today confirmed that he will not be seeking re-election as Chairman of the international federation in May. Lapasset, who is stepping down to concentrate on his role as co-chairman of the Paris 2024 Olympic Games bid committee… World rugby has released a response, click here, to ‘Ban on Rugby tackling’ petition that has been circulating in the UK… World Rugby maintained its commitment to drug-free sport with a record program of intelligent testing, education and Keep Rugby Clean awareness in 2015. With a budget increase of almost 30 per cent, World Rugby carried out more tests in 2015 than ever before – a total of 3,562

The weekend’s fixtures:


Las Vegas 7s: The fifth leg of the 2015/2016 HSBC World Rugby Mens 7s Series kicks off in Las Vegas this weekend. As usual we have a fantastic preview of the tournament and what team USA needs to do to win. Read it all by clicking here.

Americas Rugby Championship: The inaugural Americas Rugby Championship goes into its final round of play. It is a two horse race for the title with Argentina in the driver’s seat. Our own stats guru, Jake Frechette has great preview of each match-up in this round and it will be out shortly and feature our Expert Panel’s Picks.

Aviva Premiership: The 2015/2016 Aviva Premiership is past its halfway point and entering into the final stretch. A lot of clubs are starting their playoff push/push to avoid relegation. This weekend begins with Newcastle hosting Worcester. Saturday has Sale welcoming Harlequins, Gloucester and Wasps will do battle,  Saracens clash with the Northampton and London Irish tackle Bath. Sunday sees Leicester face Northampton.

Here is the schedule:
Fri – 4 Mar 2016
Newcastle Falcons – Worcester Warriors
Sat – 5 Mar 2016
Sale Sharks – Harlequins
Gloucester – Wasps
Saracens – Northampton Saints
Bath – London Irish
Sun – 6 Mar 2016
Leicester Tigers – Exeter Chiefs


Top 14: The Top 14 game has a full slate of matches this weekend as they enter the second half of their season. The first match of the weekend sees Clermont-Auvergne on the road against Grenoble. Saturday sees Brive hosting Toulouse, Bordeaux-Begles welcome Oyonnax, Pau will roll out the welcome mat for Stade Francais, Racing 92 will welcome Agen to the capital city and the day ends with Montpellier dualing with Castres. Sunday sees La Rochelle tackle Toulon to close out the round.

Here is the schedule:
Fri – 4 Mar 2016
Grenoble – Clermont-Auvergne
Sat – 5 Mar 2016
Brive – Toulouse
Bordeaux-Begles – Oyonnax
Pau – Stade Francais
Racing 92 – Agen
Montpellier – Castres
Sun – 6 Mar 2016
La Rochelle – Toulon

Guinness Pro 12: The Pro 12 has its own full round of action this weekend as the battle for a playoff spot heats up. It starts with Treviso traveling to Scarlets, Connacht travel to Edinburgh, and Ulster take on Zebre. Saturday will have Leinster welcome the Ospreys and Munster similarly welcome Newport-Gwent. Sunday ends the round with Glasgow playing Cardiff.

Here is the schedule:
Fri – 4 Mar 2016
Scarlets – Benetton Treviso
Edinburgh – Connacht
Ulster – Zebre
Sat – 5 Mar 2016
Leinster – Ospreys
Munster – Newport-Gwent Dragons
Sun – 6 Mar 2016
Glasgow Warriors – Cardiff Blues

Super Rugby: Super Rugby heads into the second full round  of action for the newly re-formatted tournament.  As for the opening round of fixtures, it starts with the Crusaders hosting the Blues, the Brumbies welcome the Waratahs. Saturday sees the Chiefs travel to SA to face the Lions, Highlanders host the Hurricanes, the Reds and the Force will clash, and the Bulls and Rebels will meet. The Cheethas face off against the Stormers and finally the Sharks and the Jaguares will be going at it.

Here is the schedule:
Fri – 4 Mar 2016
Crusaders – Blues
Brumbies – Waratahs
Sat – 5 Mar 2016
Chiefs – Lions
Highlanders – Hurricanes
Reds – Force
Bulls – Rebels
Cheetahs – Stormers
Sharks – Jaguares

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, Ronan Nelson, Kyle Phillips 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