SA Rugby, Eramus, JWRT, RWC2019 Qualifiers, USA Rugby And World Rugby News

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SA RugbyNEW YORK, NY – It was far from a quiet weekend in the Rugby News and Player/Coach Transactions department. Combine this with the semi-finals of the European Champions/Challenge Cup, Super Rugby and a mind-boggling amount of Tier 2/3 championship contests. Less is more, so without delay, let’s dig into the Global Rugby Recap.

News & Transactions:

SA Rugby: South African Minister of Sport, Fikile Mbalula has revoked SA Rugby’s right to host international tournaments for failing to meet its agreed transformation targets (the integration of black and colored players into the national team). If you are wondering what is a Minister of Sport and how much power they have, here is a quick rundown:

    • Mbalula may also revoke the privilege of a federation to host and bid for major and mega international tournaments in South Africa and withdraw recognition of the said federation.
    • The sports minister may withdraw the federation’s opportunity to be awarded national colors via SASCOC (South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee) to players who participate under the auspices of that particular federation in order to represent the country, both locally and internationally.
    • Mbalula may also terminate the relationship and any cooperation between Sports & Recreation South Africa and the said federation due to non-compliance. Finally he may also withdraw political support and endorsements for sponsorships.

Mbalula added that he would review the decision when considering the results of the 2016/17 transformation barometer… In a press release, the South African Rugby Union it acknowledged the findings of the Eminent Persons’ Group (EPG) report on Transformation for 2014/15 and the sanction imposed by the Sports Minister Fikile Mbalula. The decision would be reconsidered at the next reporting of the EPG, which is expected in November.

Rassie Erasmus
Rassie Erasmus

Pro 12: SA Rugby CEO Jurie Roux confirmed that General Manager of High Performance Teams of SARU, Rassie Erasmus, has accepted the position of Director of Rugby at MunsterEdinburgh‘s three assistant coaches, Stevie Scott, Duncan Hodge and Peter Wilkins have signed 2 year contract extensions with the club… Ospreys announced that Ryan Bevington has signed a new one-year contract extension.

Premiership: Gloucester confirmed that hooker Darren Dawidiuk has agreed terms on a new contract to remain with the club.

#Top14: Toulouse scrum-half David Mélé signed a two-year contract with Top 14 rivals Grenoble beginning next season.

Super Rugby: Former Hurricanes and veteran Taranaki rugby coach Colin Cooper has been linked to the soon to be vacant Highlanders coaching job.

usa_rugby_logoUSA Rugby: Central Washington came close to preventing a fourth straight U of California, Berkley – Brigham Young University Varsity Cup final but in the end they were edged out by the Golden Bears. BYU in their semi-final crushed Arkansas State. The two winners are the only finalists in the four year history of the competition, with BYU having won all three finals to date, and will play in Provo, UT on May 7th for the tournament final… A pair of victories for Notre Dame College and UC Davis gives the teams two weeks to prepare for the D1-AA National Championship. The Final will be played on May 7 at Saint Mary’s College as part of the 2016 USA Rugby College 15s National Championships… The finalists for the first-ever Women’s D1 Elite National Championship has been determined this weekend as the Central Washington University Wildcats failed in their attempt to reach a second consecutive National Championship Final and lost the D1 Elite West Regional final, 24-10, to BYU. On the east coast, in East Regional D1 Elite Playoffs defending National Champions in the old Division 1, Penn State defeated Life University, 13-7, for the the right to play in the final. The USA Rugby Collegiate Women’s Division II Spring Champion is Tulane University. The Green Wave built an early lead and held onto it Sunday to overcome Humboldt State University, 39-32, and became the 2016 Women’s Division II Spring Champion. Tulane will head back to the Golden State for the May 7 College 15s National Championship weekend at Saint Mary’s College, where it will play Fall Champion, Davenport University for the DII National Championship title.

World Rugby LogoWorld Rugby: As part of its commitment to delivering evidence-based enhancements to player welfare and medical practices, World Rugby is calling for submissions for potential funded research projects for 2017. Interested parties should submit an initial concept document that will be assessed against World Rugby’s current research priorities by the members of the World Rugby Scientific Committee. This initial concept stage will be followed by a more in-depth, project plan assessment and, if applicable, an ethics approval process. Click here for more information on details and the application process.

The weekend’s fixtures:

PRO Rugby: After months of expectation, the inaugural season of professional rugby is finally here in America. The second week of action saw Sacramento welcome San Diego and Denver at San Francisco. Our own Jake Frechette has a review of the Sacramento v San Diego game and the Denver v San Fran game, if you follow the links.

European Rugby Champions Cup: Only two remain. The European (Rugby) Champions Cup completed the semi-final stages and it remains an Anglo-Franco affair. Once again, the RWU Wolf Man Ronan Nelson has put together an fantastic review featuring the RWU Analysts’ picks, coming up shortly.

European Rugby Challenge Cup: The second tier, European Challenge Cup tournament should not be dismissed because it is a second tier competition You will find it filled with European clubs with real ambitions and playing a very entertaining brand of rugby. This tournament also held its semi-final beginning on Friday with Harlequins dominating Grenoble while Saturday saw Montpellier grinded out a win against Newport-Gwent.

Here are the results:
Fri – 22 Apr 2016
Harlequins 30-6 Grenoble
Sat – 23 Apr 2016
Montpellier 22-12 Newport-Gwent Dragons

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, there was one game and it is a make up game. The match – originally scheduled to be held during Round 9, on 8 January 2016 – was postponed due to a European Rugby Champions Cup fixture for a Bath rearrangement that occurred as a result of the Paris terrorist attacks in November 2015. It was further rescheduled from 13 April 2016, after Sale were eliminated from the European Rugby Challenge Cup. In the match, Bath defeated Sale and got back to its winning ways in a exciting match.

Here are the results:
Sat – 23 Apr 2016
Bath 32-26 Sale Sharks

Super Rugby Trophy 2016

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 Sharks winning against a 14 man Highlanders by the skin of their teeth while the Rebels ran rampant over the Cheetahs. The rest of the weekend saw the Sunwolves get their first ever win over fellow expansion side the Jaguares, the Hurricanes lost by the slimmest margin possible to Chiefs in a big New Zealand derby, the Force were smashed by the Waratahs, the Stormers won handily against the Reds and Kings were crushed by the Lions to finish off Saturday. In a clash of former Super Rugby giants on Sunday, the Brumbies fell big to the Crusaders.

Here are the results:
Fri – 22 Apr 2016
Highlanders 14-15 Sharks
Rebels 34-14 Cheetahs

Sat – 23 Apr 2016
Sunwolves 36-28 Jaguares
Hurricanes 27-28 Chiefs
Force 13-49 Waratahs
Stormers 40-22 Reds
Kings 10-45 Lions
Sun – 24 Apr 2016
Brumbies 14-40 Crusaders

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 2B this weekend, Lithuania trounced Cyprus and in 2D, Turkey similarly trounced Finland.

Here are the results:
Sat – 23 Apr 2016
2B: Lithuania 47-15 Cyprus
2D: Turkey 45-12 Finland

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. This week, Division 3 west/Central are having their matches to determine who wins promotion. On Friday, Lebanon were unable to overcome a short turnaround from their previous match and fell to Qatar.

Here are the results:
Fri – 22 Apr 2016
D3 West/Central: Qatar 25-19 Lebanon


Regional World Cup Qualifiers: Each of World Rugby‘s regional rugby unions must hold their Rugby World Cup Qualifiers for the at-large qualification spots for Rugby World Cup 2019 in Japan. The regional unions are Rugby Afrique, Oceania Rugby, Rugby Europe, Asia Rugby, Rugby North America and ConSuR. RAN were the first to start theirs and round 1 continues this weekend. The first match of this round saw Guyana easily dispatch Barbados and in a heavyweight clash  Jamaica fell easily to Trinidad & Tobago.

Here are the results:
Sat – 23 Apr 2016
Guyana 46-17 Barbados
Trinidad & Tobago 34-14 Jamaica

Sudamerica Rugby: Formerly the SAMC now just Sudamerica Ruby is the same as the ENC – except it’s South America, a minor detail – and that it has 4 divisions featuring 15 teams. It is the battle to find the 2nd best team in South America with Argentina the firm number 1. The top division is called the Sudamerica Rugby Cup division and features Argentina’s B team, Uruguay and Chile. There are 3 division after that known as Division A,B, and C. This weekend was the first round in the South American A Championship and it saw Brazil fall to Uruguay while Chile destroyed Paraguay.

Here are the results:
Sat – 23 Apr 2016
Division A: Brazil 14-36 Uruguay
Division A: Chile 68-7 Paraguay

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 second round of fixtures, Pool A leaders Samoa defeated island rivals Fiji while hosts Zimbabwe fell hard to Uruguay. In Pool B, Spain cruised over Namibia and the United States led by captain Hanco Germishuys‘ two tries earned a third bonus point in their first win of the competition, a  defeat of Hong Kong.

Here are the results:
Sat – 23 April 16
Pool A: Samoa 32 – 8 Fiji
Pool A: Uruguay 50 – 22 Zimbabwe
Pool B: Spain 40 – 22 Namibia
Pool B: United States 32 – 12 Hong Kong

Here is the Pool A table after two rounds:
[supsystic-tables id=’66’]
Here is the Pool B table after two rounds:
[supsystic-tables id=’67’]

In the final round of fixtures, Pool A will have Fiji battle hosts Zimbabwe and Samoa taking on Uruguay. In Pool B, Namibia and Hong Kong will tangle and the United States faces Spain.

Here is the schedule:
Wed – 27 April 16
Pool A: Fiji – Zimbabwe
Pool A: Samoa – Uruguay
Pool B: Namibia – Hong Kong
Pool B: United States – Spain

According to our information, the tiebreaker for this tournament is head to head so basically the USA-Spain and Uruguay-Samoa matches will determine the finalists and are doubling as semi-finals.

The Currie Cup

2015 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. Round three’s fixtures saw Free State fall short against Western Province, Leopards edge out Falcons, and Pumas scrape past Boland. Elsewhere in the round, Eastern Province fell to Border, Golden Lions won comfortably against the Blue Bulls, Griquas defeated South West District and finally the Sharks dominated their match against the Welwitschias.

Here are the results:
Fri – 22 Apr 2016
Free State XV 31 – 36 Western Province
Leopards 26 – 24 Falcons
Pumas 12 – 10 Boland Cavaliers
Sat – 23 Apr 2016
Eastern Province Kings 14 – 28 Border Bulldogs
Golden Lions XV 38 – 17 Blue Bulls
Griquas 27 – 17 SWD Eagles
Sharks XV 48 – 18 Welwitschias

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