Tom Coventry, Aviron Bayonnais, Top 14 Final, JWC Final, More

Tom Coventry
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Tom Coventry
Tom Coventry

NEW YORK, NY – It is time for the weekend and that means it’s time for your weekly dose of the latest Rugby News, Transactions and scheduled matches. So without further delay, let’s begin the Weekend Rugby Update:

News & Transactions:

Aviva Premiership: London Irish confirmed that their head coach, Tom Coventry, has resigned  from his position with the club by mutual agreement in order to return home to New Zealand for family reasons… Gloucester veteran, Nick Wood confirmed that he will leave the club after 15 years with the cherry and whites.

AvironBayonnaisTop14: Newly promoted Top 14 side Bayonne have added three signings ahead of their return to the French top flight. The ProD2 playoff winners signed Super Rugby Blues back-row Tanerau Latimer, Racing 92 prop Davit Khinchagashvili and Aviva Premiership Wasps hooker Lorenzo Cittadini. Bayonne also confirmed the signing of Romain Martial from Castres, who was listed among their arrivals when the Top 14 transfer window closed last week. Bayonne’s other signings include Adam Jaulhac from Bordeaux-Bègles, Montpellier lock Tom Donnelly, Toulon‘s Willie du Plessis and Johnnie Beattie from Castres. Former Super Rugby Crusaders back Adam Whitelock has also signed a contract extension with the club.

Pro12: Ospreys announced that highly rated flanker Olly Cracknell has signed a contract extension, committing himself to the region until summer 2018. Along with Cracknell, it was announced that fullback Dan Evans has committed his future to the region ahead of the 2016/17 season.

Super Rugby: The Waratahs have re-signed promising hooker Hugh Roach on a deal which keeps him with the franchise until the end of the 2018 Super Rugby season.

usa_rugby_logoUSA Rugby: USA Rugby is pleased to recognize 67 student-athletes for selection to the 2015-16 Women’s Collegiate All-American teams. For the full list, click here.

World Rugby: The World Rugby website has opened voting to determine the World Rugby U-20 Player of the Year, which is essentially the best player in the Junior World Cup.

The weekend’s fixtures:

pro-rugby-logo_smPRO Rugby: Heading into the eleventh week of action in the inaugural season, San Francisco travels to the midwest to face Ohio. In the other match-up this weekend, Denver welcomes Sacramento to the Mile High city. We will have a preview of the match-ups coming out shortly.

Here is the weekend’s schedule:
Sun – 26 Jun 2016
San Francisco – Ohio
Sacramento – Denver

Logo_Top14_2012Top 14: The Top 14 final has arrived. It will be the battle of money bags as the league’s two richest clubs, Racing 92 of Paris and Toulon do battle. The clubs two owner Jacky Lorenzetti of Racing and Toulon’s Mourad Boudjellal, have a personal rivalry that is beyond just “rich boys and their toys.” There is a genuine dislike between the two and their arms race to secure top talent is for the sole purpose of winning the league so they can rub it in the face of the other. Strangely enough to expand the fan base for the Top 14, this year’s final will be held in Barcelona, Spain.

Here is the schedule:
Fri – 24 Jun 16
Toulon – Racing 92

RIO 2016 Rugby2016 Women’s Olympic Repechage: 16 nations will compete this weekend in the hopes of claiming the final qualification place for the 2016 Rio Olympics. In addition to nations that competed in the Womens’ Sevens World Series like Spain and Russia, there will be formidable teams from the regional world rugby union’s like the Asia Rugby Union’s Kazakhstan and Rugby Afrique’s Zimbabwe. Here is the full list of teams and pools.

2016 Women’s  Olympic Repechage Teams and Pools
Pool A: Russia, Samoa, Zimbabwe, Madagascar
Pool B: Spain, Mexico, Venezuela and Tunisia
Pool C: Ireland, China, Portugal, Trinidad and Tobago
Pool D: Hong Kong, Argentina, Kazakhstan and Cook Islands

sa_vs_irelandJune Internationals: The Men’s June International season continues this weekend and there are a lot matches to go over. The early result that came in from the other side of the world is that Georgia‘s tour of the South Pacific was a success. With their defeat of Fiji, the newly crowned Pacific Nations Cup champion, Georgia finished the tour undefeated with a record of two wins and one draw. The long list of matches for Saturday begins with New Zealand against Wales in the final test of their three test series. Australia and England also have the final test of their series. In the aforementioned series’, a winner has already been decided and it is down to whether it will be a 3-0 sweep or a 2-1 valiant defeat. However, the third test between South Africa and Ireland will be the series decider as it is tied 1-1. The fixture list continues with Argentina taking on a weakened France, Japan battles Scotland, the good ol’ USA faces Russia. The final match of the weekend has Canada hosting Italy.

Here are the results:
Fri – 24 Jun 16
Fiji 3-14 Georgia

Here is the schedule:
Sat – 18 Jun 16
New Zealand – Wales
Australia – England
South Africa – Ireland
Argentina – France
Japan – Scotland
United States – Russia
Sun – 26 Jun 16
Canada – 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 With pool play completed, it was time for the knock out round and to make sure everyone has something to play for, every position was contested. In the ninth place semi-finals, Georgia won by the smallest margin possible against Italy and France defeated Japan. In the battle for fifth place New Zealand destroyed Wales and Scotland fell to Australia. In the Championship semi-finals, we saw Ireland dominate Argentina and England be too much for South Africa.

Here are the results:
Mon – 21 Jun 16
9th place semi-final: Georgia 18-17 Italy
9th place semi-final: France 41-27 Japan
5th place semi-final: New Zealand 71-12 Wales
5th place semi-final: Scotland 19-35 Australia
Championship semi-final: Ireland 37-7 Argentina
Championship semi-final: England 39-17 South Africa

That results from Monday mean this is how “finals” day shapes up for the JWC. In the 11th place final, where the loser gets relegated Japan will take on Italy. For the 9th place France will battle Georgia while Celtic rivals Scotland and Wales face each other for the 7th place title. Long time foes New Zealand and Australia will renew un-plesantries in the 5th place final while long time friends South Africa and Argentina fight for 3rd place. In a mouth-watering championship final, foes since before the advent of time, England and Ireland will battle for the title.

The match-up has RWU’s own Declan Yeats shaking with excitement.

Here is the schedule:
Sat – 25 Jun 16
11th place final: Japan – Italy
9th place final: France – Georgia
7th place final: Scotland – Wales
5th place final: New Zealand – Australia
3rd place final: South Africa – Argentina
Championship final: England – Ireland

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 doubles 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 and this weekend it was Fiji as we previously mentioned. With Fiji having defeated Samoa and Tonga already to become the PNC champions, this weekend’s match between Samoa and Tonga will be a battle for second place. Rest assured though that despite no title being on the line, these sides will still leave it all out on the field.

Here is the schedule:
Sat – 25 Jun 16

Samoa – Tonga

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 B action this weekend, Tunisia will host Botswana.

Here is the schedule:
Sun – 19 Jun 16
1B (Pool B): Tunisia – Botswana

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 twelve’s fixtures begin with SouthWest District taking on the Blue Bulls, then we have Griffons against Free State, Griquas battle the Sharks, Pumas challenge Eastern Province. Also on the fixture list Leopards clash with the Golden Lions, Boland and the Welwitschias will tango and finally Falcons and Western Province will fight it out.

Here is the schedule:
Fri – 24 Jun 16
SWD Eagles – Blue Bulls
Sat – 25 Jun 16
Griffons – Free State XV
Griquas – Sharks XV
Pumas – Eastern Province Kings
Leopards – Golden Lions XV
Boland Cavaliers – Welwitschias
Falcons – Western Province

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.
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