Graham, Wannenburg, Aviva Prem, #Top14, PRo12, Super Rugby USA Rugby and World Rugby News

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NEW YORK, NY – In the second bye week of the Six Nations, the action was replaced with the three top European competitions having a big round of fixtures . We also the Las Vegas 7s in action and as well as Super Rugby. We still have plenty of Rugby News and Transactions, plus the continuing Americas Rugby Championship (ARC). With that said, lets dive into the Global Rugby Recap.

News & Transactions:

Super Rugby: Reds head coach Richard Graham has been released from the remainder of his contract with immediate effect. Considering his struggles for two years, it was amazing that he was re-appointed in the first place.

Aviva Premiership:  Exeter Chiefs confirmed that prop Alex Brown is to leave at the end of the current season to play for Perpignan.

#Top14: Oyonnax flanker Pedrie Wannenburg will be the first non-American player to play in the new USA league. The French side have agreed to an early release for Wannenburg, whose contract with the French club terminates at the end of 2016. The back-row will be joining the Denver Rugby Franchise.

Pro12: Connacht hooker Dave Heffernan has extended his contract while the province have signed prop Conor Carey from English Championship side Nottingham. Connacht also confirmed contract extensions for locks Andrew Browne and Ben MarshallUlster fly-half Ian Humphreys has confirmed that he will retire from rugby at the end of this season…  Glasgow Warriors signed Italian international winger Leonardo Sarto, subject to a medical.

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USA Rugby: The USA Men’s Eagles summer international test matches and opponents have been announced. The Eagles this June will host Italy in San Jose, Calif., and Russia in Sacramento as part of the 2016 Summer Series… The inaugural season of the Women’s Division I Elite competition is under way and pairings for the first round of playoffs – April 22-23 – have been confirmed. The eight teams will be split into two pools of four, with the highest-seeded team in each pool hosting the first and second round match-ups. Click here for more info.

LVI

At the Las Vegas Invitational, which ran concurrently with the Las Vegas 7s, Salty Thompson‘s Boys High School All-Americans were knocked out of their under-18 division Saturday in the Plate Semifinals after winning two of their pool matches earlier in the competition… The USA Womens Falcons presented by Penn Mutual had their time at Sam Boyd Stadium cut short Sunday in the Las Vegas Invitational’s Women’s Elite 7s Cup Semifinal, a 24-5 loss to France Select… The USA Mens Falcons secured their first Las Vegas Invitational hardware Saturday in the competition’s top division, the Americas Cup 7s.

World Rugby:  Favorites Brazil claimed a 12th successive Sudamérica Rugby title with a 27-5 victory over Argentina in the final of the Aquece Rio International Women’s Rugby Sevens event at the Deodoro Olympic Park.

The weekend’s fixtures:

Las Vegas 7s: The fifth leg of the 2015/2016 HSBC World Rugby Mens 7s Series was completed in Las Vegas over the weekend. We put together a great review of the tournament and where team USA stands. Read it all by clicking here.

LogoAmericasRugbyChampionshipAmericas Rugby Championship: The inaugural Americas Rugby Championship has come to a close. The action was impressive and the competition was more competitive than expected. Our Eagles expert and stats guru, Jake Frechette has a review of the USA game if you click here. For a full review of round three in the ARC and the result of our Expert Panel’s Picks, you need to follow this link.

Aviva Cup

Aviva Premiership: The 2015/2016 Aviva Premiership heads toward the final third of the season and as expected clubs are making their playoff push. This weekend began with Worcester scrapping by Newcastle. Saturday saw Saracens come up short against Northampton, Bath recorded a key win against London Irish, Gloucester recorded a major upset win against Wasps Sale Sharks hung on for a big win against Harlequins. Sunday saw Leicester hold off Exeter for a big win.

Here are the results:
Fri – 4 Mar 2016
Newcastle Falcons 14-15 Worcester Warriors
Sat – 5 Mar 2016
Saracens 15-20 Northampton Saints
Bath 25-17 London Irish
Gloucester 13-10 Wasps
Sale Sharks 29-23 Harlequins
Sun – 6 Mar 2016
Leicester Tigers 31-27 Exeter Chiefs

Bouclier Brennus – The Top 14 Trophy

Top 14: The Top 14 game has a full slate of matches this weekend as they also begin their home stretch. The first match of the weekend saw Grenoble get trounced at home by Clermont-Auvergne. Saturday began with Castres losing to Montpellier, Bordeaux-Begles easily defeated Oyonnax and Pau won at home against Stade Francis, Racing 92 won comfortably against Agen and what was thought to be the key result of the round, Brive drew with Toulouse. Sunday saw the real shocking result of the round as La Rochelle defeated Toulon to close out the round.

Here are the results:
Fri – 4 Mar 2016
Grenoble 12-45 Clermont-Auvergne
Sat – 5 Mar 2016
Montpellier 22-19 Castres
Bordeaux-Begles 48-20 Oyonnax
Pau 19-12 Stade Francais
Racing 92 38-13 Agen
Brive 21-21 Toulouse
Sun – 6 Mar 2016
La Rochelle 19-14 Toulon

Guinness Pro 12: The Pro 12 had another full round of action this weekend as it prepares for the playoff push. It started with Connacht taking down Edinburgh, Ulster smashed and shutout Scarlets, and Scarlets won comfortably against Treviso. Saturday, had Munster cruise to victory against Newport-Gwent and Leinster won at home in a tight one against Ospreys. Sunday ended the round with Cardiff coming up short against Glasgow.

Here are the results:
Fri – 4 Mar 2016
Edinburgh 23-28 Connacht
Ulster 32-0 Zebre
Scarlets 24-15 Benetton Treviso
Sat – 5 Mar 2016
Munster 26-5 Newport Gwent Dragons
Leinster 19-16 Ospreys
Sun – 6 Mar 2016
Glasgow Warriors 27-20 Cardiff Blues

Super Rugby Trophy 2016

Super Rugby: Super Rugby completed it’s the second full round of the newly re-formatted tournament. As for the results, it started with the Brumbies cruising to a win over the Waratahs, the Crusaders smothered the Blues. Saturday saw the Jaguares continued their SA tour with a close loss to the Sharks, the Stormers doubled up on the Cheetahs, the Bulls romped against the Rebels, while the Force delivered the final blow to the Richard Graham Era in Queensland by win comfortably in Queensland against the Reds. The Hurricanes had a much improved performance but fell short by the slimmest margin possible against the Highlanders and finally the Lions continued their good start to the season by defeating the Chiefs.

Here are the results:
Fri – 4 Mar 2016
Brumbies 32-15 Waratahs
Crusaders 28-13 Blues
Sat – 5 Mar 2016
Sharks 19-15 Jaguares
Cheetahs 10-20 Stormers
Bulls 45-25 Rebels
Reds 6-22 Force
Highlanders 17-16 Hurricanes
Chiefs 32-36 Lions

World Rugby Pacific Challenge: The World Rugby Pacific Challenge kicked off in Suva, Fiji on this week with the national A teams from Fiji, Samoa, Tonga and Japan going head to head over two weeks. The first match day results saw Fiji win comfortably against Samoa and Japan similarly won easily against Tonga

Here are the results:
Tue – 8 Mar 2016
Fiji 34 – 6 Samoa
Japan 26 – 8 Tonga

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 MeetTheMatts.com.