George Ford, Spain qualify for Rio, Romania wins WRNC and More

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George Ford
George Ford

NEW YORK, NY – Belated Happy Father’s Day wishes to all the rugby dads out there. It was a slow weekend in the Rugby News and Transactions department. However, there was more than enough fixtures to cover. So without delay, let’s begin the Global Rugby Recap:

News & Transactions:

Aviva Premiership: Fly-half George Ford will see out his contract with Bath even though his dad, Mike Ford, was fired as the club’s head coach at the end of the 2015/16 season. Ford, the elder, paid the price after Bath’s disastrous Premiership campaign in which they finished the season in ninth place. The younger Ford confirmed he will see out his contract with Bath and dismissed suggestions that he wanted to leave.

World Rugby: The latest edition of the World Rugby Rankings are out. Click here to view full rankings.

The weekend’s fixtures:

pro-rugby-logo_smPRO Rugby: The tenth round of action in the inaugural season of PRO Rugby was heavy on the upsets. Lowly San Francisco managed to go on the road and down intrastate rivals San Diego. Meanwhile in a highly anticipated match-up, Ohio thumped previously undefeated Denver to take sole possession of first place. Ronan Nelson has a report with on-mic interviews of Mils Muliaina & Ryan Matyas.

Here are the results:
Sat – 18 Jun 2016
San Francisco 24-19 San Diego
Sun – 19 Jun 2016
Ohio 48-27 Denver

Top 14: The finalists for the Top 14 championship has finally been decided. In the first match-up of the weekend, Champions Cup finalists Racing 92 traveled to Clermont. In that match, Dan Carter‘s conversion of Juan Imhoff‘s try sealed an extra-time win for Racing 92. In the other match, powerhouse Toulon battled to an early lead and hung on against a furious Montpellier comeback to book their place in the final.

Here are the results:
Fri – 17 Jun 16
Clermont Auvergne 33-34 Racing 92
Sat – 18 Jun 16
Toulon 27-18 Montpellier

Spain qualify for Olympics
2016 Men’s Olympic Repechage: Spain shocked all rugby aficionados by defeating Samoa to claim the final qualification place for the 2016 Rio Olympics. In a pulsating final, Samoa, who are on the Sevens World Series circuit and won this year’s Paris 7s, came up short against a Spanish side that had been relegated from the Sevens World Series after the 2014/2015 season and remains relegated. Russia claimed the bronze to complete the thrilling weekend.

2016 Men’s  Olympic Repechage Final Standings
1. Spain
2. Samoa
3. Russia
4. Germany
5. Canada
6. Chile
7. Ireland
8. Hong Kong
9. Zimbabwe
10. Tonga
11. Sri Lanka
12. South Korea
13. Uruguay
14. Tunisa
15. Morocco
16. Mexico

Final list of Mens Sevens qualifiers for Rio Olympics 2016: Fiji, South Africa, New Zealand, Great Britain, Australia, USA, Argentina, France, Kenya, Japan, Brazil, Spain

June Internationals: The Men’s June International season continues this weekend and there are a lot matches to go over. In the first match of the weekend, a great second-half fight by the England Saxons saw them beat South Africa “A”. In the other earlier match of the weekend, a late penalty by Kenyan flier Darwin Mukidza saw Kenya complete a victory over Brazil. As for the long list of matches for Saturday, New Zealand sealed a test series victory by defeating Wales in the second test of their three test series. Australia were smothered by England as the English also secured a test series victory with one test left. South Africa made a ferocious comeback against Ireland to win their second test and even up their three match series at a one apiece. The fixture list continued with Japan losing to Scotland, Canada dominating against Russia and Georgia‘s tour of the South Pacific continued to be a good one as they edged out Tonga. The final matches of the weekend saw Argentina defeat a weakened France and the United States lost to Italy. Newcomer to the RWU staff, ‘s thorough review of the match, can be found you here.

Here are the results:
Fri – 17 Jun 16
South Africa ‘A’ 26-29 England Saxons
Brazil 17-18 Kenya
Sat – 18 Jun 16
New Zealand 36-22 Wales
Australia 7-23 England
South Africa 32-26 Ireland
Japan 13-26 Scotland
Canada 46-21 Russia
Tonga 20-23 Georgia
Sun – 19 Jun 16
Argentina 30-19 France
United States 20-24 Italy

Junior World Cup: The JWC is the yearly World Cup held for U-20 teams of the top tier rugby playing nations. Georgia qualified for it by winning last year’s Junior World Trophy, the second tier competition. This year’s tournament is being held in Manchester, England. For those looking to watch the action in the USA, the JWC can be seen using the Watch ESPN app on your Roku, Firestick and other devices or on ESPN3.com. With pool play completed, it is time for the knock out round and to make sure everyone has something to play for, every position is contested. In the ninth place semi-finals, Georgia will battle Italy and France will take on Japan. In the battle for fifth place New Zealand play Wales and Scotland challenge Australia. In the Championship semi-finals, we will see Ireland battle Argentina and England take on South Africa.

Here is the schedule:
Mon – 20 Jun 16
9th place semi-final: Georgia -Italy
9th place semi-final: France – Japan
5th place semi-final:  New Zealand – Wales
5th place semi-final: Scotland – Australia
Championship semi-final: Ireland – Argentina
Championship semi-final: England – South Africa

Nations Cup – The 11th annual World Rugby Nations Cup was held in Bucharest, Romania for the tenth time in a row. It was played between 9th and 18th of June. Normally it is run alongside the World Rugby Tbilisi Cup in Georgia but due to Georgia’s tour of the Pacific Islands in June, the Tbilisi Cup will not take place this year. Instead, the Nations Cup will feature six teams split in two pools of three, where the three European teams play the other three teams. All fixtures will be played at the 5,000 capacity Stadionul National de Rugby. The other teams in the tournament are Namibia, Spain, Emerging Italy, Uruguay and the Argentina XV. In the build up to the final, Uruguay defeated Spain to claim fifth place while Namibia took third by defeating Emerging Italy. In the championship match, Romania were too much for the Argentina XV as the hosts took the title.

Here are the results:
Sat – 17 Jun 16
NC: Romania 20-8 Argentina XV
NC: Namibia 38-26 Emerging Italy
NC: Uruguay 16-0 Spain

Pacific Nations Cup: Of all of World Rugby’s Cup tournaments to benefit Tier 2 and Tier 3 nations, the Pacific Nations Cup is arguably the biggest and best. The Pacific island nations of Tonga, Fiji and Manu Samoa are the top tier 2 nations in the world. They produce some of the world’s best players and on occasion a side can be found to be ranked higher than a 6 Nations side. This year’s PNC matches double as Rugby World Cup 2019 qualifying matches. With Georgia‘s tour of the Pacific Islands, it appears that when one of the three nations is suppose to be on a bye, they will be playing Georgia. While Tonga played Georgia as we previously mentioned, Fiji battled with Samoa. Fiji can be crowned as PNC champions after they came from behind for the second week in a row to win the title. All that is left is to decide second place, which will occur when Samoa and Tonga meet, this upcoming weekend.

Here are the results:
Sat – 17 Jun 16

Fiji 26-16 Samoa

Rugby Americas North: Another regional tournament in full swing is the Rugby Americas North (formerly the North America and Caribbean Rugby Association or NACRA) Championship. The RAN Championship is for the countries in North America and the Caribbean. RAN has 2 zones with top level (championship) and a bottom level (cup). Each Championship zone has 3 teams while the Cup Zones have 4 each. The Zones are regionally divided, so there is a North Zone and South Zone. USA Rugby competes in the North Zone Championship division. The USA is represented by the USA South Regional all-star team, in order to develop talent and make the competition a much fairer one. All of this year’s matches will double as World Cup Qualifiers. This weekend in the North, the Bermuda fell hard on the road at the Cayman Islands. In the South conference, Trinidad & Tobago were upset by Guyana and Jamaica clashed with Barbados. Unfortunately the as per World Rugby, Jamaica’s match with Barbados did not go ahead as scheduled and tournament organizers confirmed it will not be rearranged.

Here are the results:
Sat – 17 Jun 16
South: Trinidad & Tobago 18-23 Guyana
South: Jamaica – Barbados (Postponed)
North: Cayman Islands 47-11 Bermuda

Rugby AfriqueAfrica Cup: The Africa Cup 2016 will be the sixteenth edition of the continental tournament that involves the best African national teams, organized by the Rugby Afrique, formerly known as the Confederation of African Rugby (CAR). Given their superiority, the South African national team has rarely participated in most tournaments. The four times the SARU has participated, they sent either a U-23 team or amateur side, and went on to win it. Beyond South Africa, there are up to 27 rugby countries in the Cup with the national participants in the two divisions with each division divided into three groups (1A, 1B, 1C, 2 West, 2 East, and 2 South), with promotion and relegation. In 1B, the teams are divided into pools and in pool A action this weekend, Madagascar lost to Senegal in a rare home defeat for the Malagasy.

Here are the results:
Sun – 19 Jun 16
1B (Pool A): Madagascar 24 – 30 Senegal

2016 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 Ten’s fixtures began with Boland making light work of Border. The remaining matches saw Free State be too much for the Leopards, the Blue Bulls crushed the Falcons, the Welwitschias were absolutely destroyed by SouthWest District, Western Province won comfortably against Griffons and finally the Sharks XV fell hard to the Pumas.

Here are the results:
Thu – 16 Jun 16
Border Bulldogs 17–38 Boland Cavaliers
Sat – 18 Jun 16
Free State XV 23-14 Leopards
Blue Bulls 42-15 Falcons
Sun – 19 Jun 16
Welwitschias 5-96 SWD Eagles
Western Province 43-26 Griffons
Sharks XV 13-35 Pumas

That’s all for now, please feel free to comment below, look for and “Like” our Facebook Rugby Wrap Up Page and follow us on Twitter@: RugbyWrapUp, Junoir Blaber, @MeetTheMatts, Luke Bienstock, Ronan Nelson, Crawford Miller, James Harrington and Declan Yeats.

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.