Smith, Boshoff, PRO Rugby, 6N, USA Rugby and World Rugby News

Wayne Smith
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Wayne Smith
Wayne Smith

NEW YORK, NY – It was a crazy weekend, so much so that it took the staff a while to recover. We had the return of the Six Nations, along with two of the three top European leagues to cover. Add to that, another round of Super Rugby plus the first annual Vancouver 7s. 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:
Super Rugby: All Blacks assistant coach Wayne Smith has reportedly signed a new deal with New Zealand Rugby Union until the end of 2017. Although no official announcement has been made, media outlets in New Zealand are reporting that Smith, who was part of the All Blacks’ coaching staff during their victorious 2011 and 2015 Rugby World Cup campaigns, has agreed to a two-year extension to his contract.

#Top 14: Italy coach Jacques Brunel confirmed his next job will be as forwards coach for Top 14 side Bordeaux-Begles.

Aviva Premiership: Sale Sharks hooker Tommy Taylor has joined up with the England squad ahead of Saturday’s Six Nations game against France.

Pro 12: Connacht announced that they have recruited South African and Super Rugby Lions fly-half Marnitz Boshoff on a two-year deal.

PRO_Rugby_logoThe latest addition to our news and transactions section is PRO Rugby USA. If you want more frequent and in-depth coverage, we recommend our friends at Americas Rugby News.

Currently here is what has been confirmed:
The league will feature 5 teams from five cities in the USA.

Teams and Cities
Denver  – Denver, Colorado
Ohio – Columbus, Ohio
Sacramento – Sacramento, California
San Diego – San Diego, California
San Francisco – San Francisco, California

Denver – Sean O’Leary
Ohio – Paule Barford
Sacramento – Luke Gross
San Diego – Ray Egan
San Francisco – Paul Keeler

The season schedule has been released and can be found here. And the jersey designs can be seen below.

PRO-Rugby-JerseysHere is a compressed version of the recent news over the last few weeks.

Englishman Rob Hoadley has been appointed San Diego Assistant Coach for the 2016 season.
PRO Rugby has confirmed that former USA Eagle representative at both Rugby 7s and 15s test level David Williams will act as an Assistant Coach for the Denver team.
New Zealander Simon Fathers has been named as an assistant coach of San Francisco along with Life West Athletic Director Adriaan Ferris last month.
Andre Snyman and Peter Borlase have found roles within PRO Rugby. Both based in Denver, Snyman joins the league as a part-time Technical Adviser while Borlase will take up an Assistant Coach position beside head coach Sean O’Leary.
RWU Friend, Tiger Rugby Ohio and USA 7s Falcons head coach Paul Holmes has been signed as assistant coach for the Ohio based franchise.

Canadian Hooker Ray Barkwill has been signed to play for PRO Rugby Sacramento.
PRO Rugby confirmed that Samoan-born, New Zealand capped outside back Orene Ai’i will be play for PRO Rugby San Francisco.
Canadian wing/center Phil Mackenzie has signed with PRO Rugby and will line up for the San Diego franchise.
Long-time Italy center Mirco Bergamasco will play for PRO Rugby Sacramento.
South Africa international Pedrie Wannenburg has signed a deal to play for Denver in the inaugural PRO Rugby season.
Chilean back-rower Sebastián Kalm is to play PRO Rugby for the Columbus, Ohio team in the upcoming inaugural season
Former US Eagles winger Colin Hawley has signed for PRO Rugby and has been assigned to the San Francisco franchise.

usa_rugby_logoUSA Rugby: Tickets for the 2016 USA Rugby College 7s National Championships are now available through, with seats for the Memorial Day weekend tournament offered for less than $12 per day on multi-day purchases.The 10,000-seat, natural grass stadium at WakeMed Soccer Park will host the competition. For more info on tickets, click here.

World Rugby: World Rugby announced the nominations for the positions of Chairman and Vice-Chairman, which will be determined at the annual meeting of Council on 11 May, 2016. Bill Beaumont (RFU) has been nominated for the position of Chairman by his union to succeed Bernard Lapasset (FFR), who is not seeking re-election, while Agustín Pichot (UAR) has been nominated by his union for the position of Vice-Chairman to succeed Oregan Hoskins (SARU), who is also not seeking re-election. In accordance with the bye-law, both nominations were proposed and seconded by a member of Council… World Rugby confirmed that it has provisionally suspended two Russia national Sevens players from all competition following notification of potential anti-doping rule violations, both involving the prohibited substance Meldonium (Mildronate). The named players are Alexey Mikhaltsov, was suspended on 4th February 2016, and Alena Mikhaltsov (née Bogacheva) who was provisionally suspended on 26 February, 2016.

The weekend’s fixtures:

Vancouver 7s: The sixth leg of the 2015/2016 HSBC World Rugby Mens 7s Series was completed in Vancouver this weekend. As usual we have a complete review of the tournament and how team USA fared, if you click here.


RBS 6 Nations: Round 4 of the 2016 6 Nations is in the books. The tournament for the first time in a long time is already wrapped up with triple crown champions and the mathematical winner confirmed, though a grand slam is still there for the taking. The RWU Wolfman Ronan Nelson has a great review of all the matches and our Expert Panel’s picks, if you click here.

RBS 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. Unlike the big boys, there is still a lot to play for. Ireland beat Italy, while England fell to Wales in the big game of the weekend and finally Scotland came up short to France.

Here are the results:
Fri – 11 Mar 2016
Ireland U20s 19 – 13 Italy U20s
England U20s 16 – 42 Wales U20s
Scotland U20s 21 – 36 France U20s

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, the action begun with Scotland being blanked by France, followed on Saturday by Wales falling short against England and it finished with the Italy losing in Ireland.

Here are the results:
Fri – 11 Mar 2016
Scotland Women 0 – 24 France Women
Sat – 12 Mar 2016
England Women 20 – 13 Wales Women
Ireland Women 14 – 3 Italy Women

The Belgians moving back up to 1A
The Belgians moving back up to 1A

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, it was a hometown sweep. It began with Georgia defeating arch rivals Russia on their way to their sixth straight ENC title. While Romania crushed new boys Germany and finally Spain easily defeated Portugal. The Belgians will be moving back up to 1A after locking up the 1B title with a narrow win over Moldova.

Here are the results:
Sat – 12 Mar 2016
1A: Georgia 24-7 Russia
1A: Romania 61-7 Germany
1A: Spain 39-7 Portugal
1B: Moldova 9-10 Belgium

Aviva Cup

Aviva Premiership: Due to the 2015 RWC, the 2015/2016 Aviva Premiership is not taking any breaks during the 6N. the season is past the halfway point and lots of clubs are starting their playoff push. This weekend began with Harlequins winning against Bath. Wasps secured a big win over Leicester, Northampton won at home against Sale, Worcester won their big clash against Gloucester, Exeter secured an important win over Newcastle and London Irish lost a slug-fest against Saracens in the New York in the ground-breaking match.

Here are the results:
Fri – 11 Mar 2016
Harlequins 35-28 Bath
Sat – 12 Mar 2016
Wasps 36-24 Leicester Tigers
Northampton Saints 26-11 Sale Sharks
Worcester Warriors 28-20 Gloucester
Exeter Chiefs 32-17 Newcastle Falcons
London Irish 16-26 Saracens

Bouclier Brennus – Top 14 trophy

Top 14: The Top 14 has a full slate of matches this weekend also, as they go past the midway point and teams begin their playoff push. The first match of the weekend saw Bordeaux-Begles draw with Toulouse. The rest of the weekend featured Stade Francis losing the capital city war to rivals Racing, Castres crushed Agen, Clermont-Auvergne dispatched Brive, La Rochelle cruised past Pau and Toulon smashed Grenoble. Sunday saw Montpellier win at Oyonnax to close out the round.

Here are the results:
Fri – 11 Mar 2016
Toulouse 13-13 Bordeaux-Begles
Sat – 12 Mar 2016
Stade Francais 16-34 Racing 92
Castres 50-6 Agen
Clermont Auvergne 25-6 Brive
La Rochelle 35-16 Pau
Toulon 38-8 Grenoble
Sun – 13 MAR 2016
Oyonnax 10-31 Montpellier

Super Rugby Trophy 2016

Super Rugby: Super Rugby continues into the third round of the newly re-formatted tournament that crosses at least 6 or 7 time zones. As for the third round of fixtures, it started with the Brumbies continuing they hot start against the Force, the Blues fell at the death to last year’s runner-ups, the Hurricanes. Saturday saw the Highlanders travel to SA and down the Lions, the Rebels scraped by against the new-look Reds, the Sunwolves fell in a nail-biter to the Cheetahs, the Chiefs easily dispatched the Kings and old foes, the Stormers and the Sharks rekindled the un-pleasantries, in a match that went to Sharks.

Here are the results:
Fri – 11 Mar 2016
Force 14-31 Brumbies
Blues 19-23 Hurricanes
Sat – 12 Mar 2016
Highlanders 34-15 Lions
Rebels 25-23 Reds
Sunwolves 31-32 Cheetahs
Kings 24-58 Chiefs
Stormers 13-18 Sharks

World 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. The second match day results saw Fiji win comfortably against Japan and Samoa crushed Tonga.

Here are the results:
Sat – 12 Mar 2016
Fiji Warriors 44-14 Junior Japan
Samoa A 50-0 Tonga A

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