Heenan, Campbell, Aviva, #Top14, Pro 12, Super Rugby, Tier 2/3, USA Rugby, World Rugby News

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Jake Heenan

NEW YORK, NY – With the launch of PRO Rugby, Super Rugby, lower tiered nations battling for hardware and the latest Rugby News and Player/Coach Transactions, we’ve got a full state of goodies to get to… Let’s dig in with our Global Rugby Update.

News & Transactions:

Pro 12: Connacht announced the two-year contract extensions of openside flanker Jake Heenan and versatile back Craig Ronaldson.

Super Rugby: Hurricanes head coach Chris Boyd believes his assistant John Plumtree won’t be leaving Wellington to take over at the Highlanders in 2017.

usa_rugby_logoUSA Rugby: It is with heavy hearts that USA Rugby announced  Bill Campbell‘s passing. One of the six founding members of the Old Blue Rugby Football Club of New York, Bill Campbell passed away at only 75 years old after a battle with cancer… USA Wheelchair Rugby travels to Paris for the 2016 IWRF Paralympic Qualifier Tournament April 18 – 21, 2016.  With the final two spots on the Paralympic program up for grabs, the competition is of the utmost importance… Applications are now being accepted for the USA Rugby National College Academic Honor Roll. Each year, USA Rugby recognizes outstanding student-athletes that demonstrate excellence in the classroom. Since 2011, more than 1,600 college rugby players have been publicly acknowledged for their accomplishments as scholars and athletes. To nominate deserving collegiate student-athletes, please fill out an application.

World Rugby: World Rugby reaffirms its commitment to furthering sport through education by announcing an exciting collaboration with the International University Sports Federation (FISU).

The weekend’s fixtures:

World_Rugby_Sevens_Series_logoLangford 7s: The fourth leg of the 2015/2016 HSBC World Rugby Womens 7s Series stopped in Langford, Canada this weekend. We have a complete review of the tournament, if you click here.

Singapore 7s: After a decade long break, the eyes of 7s world turned to Singapore forthe eighth leg of the 2015/2016 HSBC World Rugby Mens 7s Series. As we did for the women, we have a complete rreview of the tournament and team USA’s performance, if you click here.

PRO Rugby: After months of expectation and being drip fed news, the inaugural season of professional rugby in America kicked off. The first game will see Ohio at Denver and then Sacramento welcomes San Francisco. Our own Jake Frechette has a review of the Ohio v Denver game and the Sac-town v San Fran game, if you follow the links.

Aviva Cup

Aviva Premiership: The 2015/2016 Aviva Premiership headed into its home stretch and the push for European Cup places and playoffs increased the intensity of every clash. This weekend will begin with Gloucester‘s huge upset of Exeter, then Wasps scored 6 tries, or more accurately, Wasps winger Christian Wade scored six tries as they won their shootout with WorcesterHarlequins were unable to match Saracens upfront and lost the London Derby, aka the match of the round. Another big match-up and derby is the Midlands derby which saw a well fought match between Northampton and Leicester go in Leicester’s favor. The more intriguing match-up this weekend saw two struggling sides led by two guys battling for the England 10 jersey, Danny Cipriani and George Ford, when Sale hosted Bath. Sale’s Danny Ciprani won the match up as Sale won convincingly. The final match of the round saw a relegation six-pointer go Newcastle‘s way against the London Irish.

Here are the results:
Fri – 15 Apr 2016
Gloucester  16-9 Exeter Chiefs
Sat – 16 Apr 2016
Worcester Warriors 35-54 Wasps
Saracens 22-12 Harlequins
Northampton Saints 24-30 Leicester Tigers
Sun – 17 Apr 2016
Sale Sharks 29-17 Bath
Newcastle Falcons 13-6 London Irish

Bouclier Brennus – Top 14

Top 14: The Top 14 had a full slate of matches this weekend also. There are only a few rounds left and the heat is on to make the playoffs or avoid relegation. The first match of the weekend saw Castres win on the road at Grenoble, then Toulon traveled to Pau and got back on the winning track as Brive rolled Oyonnax, Clermont-Auvergne crushed Agen, and La Rochelle outlasted Bordeaux-Begles. Finally on Sunday, Stade Francias fell to in-form Montpellier and in the big match of the round, Toulouse grinded out a win against the formidable Racing 92.

Here are the results:
Fri – 15 Apr 2016
Grenoble 28-33 Castres
Sat – 16 Apr 2016
Pau 9-25 Toulon
Brive 31-13 Oyonnax
Clermont-Auvergne 38-10 Agen
La Rochelle 22-15 Bordeaux Begles
Sun – 17 Apr 2016
Stade Francais 20-26 Montpellier
Toulouse 14-3 Racing 92

Pro 12: The Pro 12 had a very big round of its own dripping with playoff and European cup permutations. Edinburgh traveled to Dublin lost to Leinster. Italians Treviso headed over to Wales to lose big to Ospreys. Also this weekend Scarlets fell hard to Glasgow and Zebre lost bit to Ulster. In an important clash, Munster fell to Connacht as the Con-men did the double over Munster for the first time in the history of the Pro 12. Final match of the weekend will be a Welsh derby as Cardiff trounced Newport-Gwent.

Here are the results:
Fri – 15 Apr 2016
Leinster 30-23 Edinburgh
Ospreys 47-10 Benetton Treviso
Sat – 16 Apr 2016
Scarlets 10-46 Glasgow Warriors
Zebre 17-47 Ulster
Connacht 35-14 Munster
Sun – 17 Apr 2016
Cardiff Blues 28-8 Newport Gwent Dragons

Super Rugby Trophy

Super Rugby: Super Rugby continues into the eighth round of the newly re-formatted tournament that crosses 7 time zones. As for this round of fixtures, it started with the Crusaders easily putting away the Jagueres and the Hurricanes making light work of the Force. In the other matches this weekend, the Sunwolves continue their South Africa tour and snotklapped by Cheetahs, the Blues broke their 10 year drought against the Sharks as the Durban based side started their New Zealand tour. The Waratahs continued to struggle as they fell to the Brumbies in a big Aussie derby, The Stormers traveled cross-country to face the Lions and lose in a SA local derby and finally the Bulls won comfortably against the Reds.

Here are the results:
Fri – 15 Apr 2016
Crusaders 32-15 Jaguares
Rebels 13-38 Hurricanes
Cheetahs 92-17 Sunwolves
Sat – 16 Apr 2016
Waratahs 20-26 Brumbies
Blues 23-18 Sharks
Bulls 41-22 Reds
Lions 29-22 Stormers

Rugby Europe Logo

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 2A this weekend, Malta defeated Israel while Switzerland beat up on Croatia. In 2BLatvia crushed next door neighbors Lithuania meanwhile in 2C, Serbia edged out Denmark and in 2D, Norway fell hard to Bosnia-Herzegovina.

Here are the results:
Sat – 16 Apr 2016
2A: Malta 30-9 Israel
2A: Switzerland 40-15 Croatia
2B: Latvia 37-7 Lithuania
2C: Serbia 23-20 Denmark
2D: Norway 17-33 Bosnia-Herzegovina

Asia_Rugby_Championship_logoThe Asian Rugby Championship: which is similar to the ENC (European Nation’s Cup) but with 5 divisions with the 3 most dominant teams, the tri-nations of Korea, Hong Kong, and Japan in the top division. There are 4 teams in division 1 and 2 then division 3 is broken up into East, Central and West with 3 teams each before we finally get to division 4 with 7. Believe it or not this is allegedly streamlined from previous years where it was just 5 divisions and 5 teams in each. Over the weekend, Qatar comfortably defeated Iran.

Here are the results:
Sat – 16 Apr 2016
D3 West/Central: Qatar 35-12 Iran

Junior World Trophy and Captains
Junior World Trophy and Captains

Junior World Rugby TrophyThe Junior (Under-20) World Rugby Trophy is a tournament for the second tier nations of rugby at the U-20 level. The winner gets promoted to the Junior World Cup competition which features, the top tier nations in international rugby. It is being held in Harare, Zimbabwe this year. The teams playing this year are the USA, Uruguay, Zimbabwe, Spain, Namibia, Fiji, Samoa and Hong Kong. This week will be the start of pool play. Fans can watch live streaming of the tournament around the world on the World Rugby site. In the first round of fixtures, Zimbabwe were dominated by Samoa, Uruguay fell narrowly to Fiji. Spain continued their good form against Hong Kong and the USA lost to Namibia courtesy of last minute try.

Here are the results:
Tue – 19th April 16
Samoa 54 – 24 Zimbabwe
Uruguay 34 – 38 Fiji
Spain 44 – 8 Hong Kong
USA 44 – 46 Namibia

Currie Cup2015 Currie Cup qualification: The tournament is a competition between which will be played between 9 April and 23 July 2016. It will feature all fourteen South African provincial unions plus the Welwitschias from Namibia and will also serve as a qualifying competition for the 2016 Currie Cup, the 78th edition of South Africa’s premier domestic rugby union competition. Nine teams from this competition will play in the 2016 Currie Cup Premier Division, while the remaining six teams will play in the 2016 Currie Cup First Division. In round 2 action,  SouthWest District Eagles edged out Pumas, Valke fell to Griquas and Border Bulldogs were too much for the Sharks. Boland beat the Eastern Province Kings, while defending champs the Golden Lions trounced the Welwitschias, the Griffons destroyed the Leopards and the Blue Bulls scrapped by the Free State Cheetahs.

Here are the results:
Fri – 15 Apr 2016
SWD Eagles 25-21 Pumas
Valke 29-56 Griquas
Border Bulldogs 37-32 Sharks
Sat – 16 Apr 2016
Boland Kavaliers 37-18 Eastern Province Kings
Nambia Welwitschias 12-66 Golden Lions
Griffons 76-26 Leopards
Blue Bulls 20-17 Free State Cheetahs

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 and Declan Yeats, respectively

And as always, stay low and keep pumping those legs.

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.