Ratu Peni Rayani, Rennie, Willis, Ioane, Top 14, Rugby Championship

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Ratu Ben Ryan
Ryan sitting down to receive the medal from the President of Fiji

NEW YORK, NY – The schedule is starting to fill back up. There was action in both hemispheres once again. We have coverage of the action along with important events, as this edition of our Global Rugby Recap contains news re: Ratu Peni Rayani, Dave Rennie, Cillian Willis, Digby Ioane, Top 14, Rugby Championship and more… so without delay, here you go.

News & Transactions:

Ratu Peni Rayani: Fiji‘s Olympic gold winning coach, Ben Ryan, was accorded the highest order of the grateful nation, when he was presented with the Companion of the Order of Fiji award. Only 2 other non-Fijians have been given this order (Paul Reeves and Michael Somare). For those curious, Ratu Peni Rayani means Chief Ben Ryan in Fijian.

A happy Dave Rennie

Pro 12: It was a busy last few days for the Scottish Rugby Union. In the weekend preview, we reported that Glasgow Warriors head coach Gregor Townsend would replace Vern Cotter as Scotland head coach at the end of the 2016/17 season when Townsend’s contract expired, which would be the same time as Cotter. Well, now comes even bigger news and proof of clear forward thinking by the SRU as the Glasgow Warriors announced that Super Rugby winning coach Dave Rennie will be the man to replace Townsend in 2017… Connacht and the Irish Rugby Football Union (IRFU) announced the contract extension of Ireland international prop Finlay Bealham until at least the end of 2018/19.

Aviva Premiership: Former Sale Sharks scrum half Cillian Willis is suing his former club as he believes they did not handle his concussion correctly which led to his forced retirement. The case could set a precedent as he is the first player ever to sue his club or former club for medical negligence according to the Daily Mail.

Digby Ioane (your welcome, ladies!)
Digby Ioane (your welcome, ladies!)

Top14: Argentina second row Guido Petti could sign for Top 14 giants Toulon in the coming days according to reports in France.

Super Rugby: The Crusaders confirmed that former Wallabies wing Digby Ioane is heading to Christchurch to join the squad in 2017… The Melbourne Rebels have added 30-year-old Welsh international Dominic Day to their second-row stocks for the 2017 Super Rugby season.

USA Rugby: A panel of former Eagles who commentated at the Championship weekend has generated a list of the very best of the best from Club 7s Nationals to form the 2016 Men’s Dream Team. Click here for the list.

World Rugby LogoWorld Rugby: World Rugby has announced a strong line-up of speakers to participate in the Marketing the game – using insight to grow audiences and partnerships panel at the World Rugby Conference and Exhibition 2016 (ConfEx) on 14-15 November at the Hilton London Metropole. Sports data and marketing expert Aiden Cooney, Chief Executive of InCrowd Sports, will take part alongside Fiona Green, Chief Executive of Winners, a CRM and business intelligence consultancy, and Matt Rogan, Chairman of data driven sports agency Two Circles.

The weekend’s fixtures:

Ladies first,
Women’s Exhibition Match: Germany‘s women returned to test rugby after a six-year absence with a convincing win against Switzerland on the artificial surface at Heidelberg Rugby Club .

Here are the results:
Sun – 21 Aug 2016
Exhibition: Germany 36-0 Switzerlend

top14logo on grassTop 14: If it feels like the Top 14 season just ended, it did. It was less than 60 days between the end of the Top14 final and the start of the season, not to mention the players also had to deal with pre-season. The season was extended a month because of the Rugby World Cup so hopefully this year, it won’t last as long. The twelve returning teams this season are champions Racing 92, runners-up Toulon, Clermont, Montpellier, Toulouse, Castres, Bordeaux, Brive, La Rochelle, Grenoble, Pau and Stade Français . Two new teams from the 2015–16 Pro D2 season were promoted to Top 14 this year, Bayonne and Lyon in place of the two relegated teams, Agen and Oyonnax. It marks the first time that both teams relegated are both promoted in the following season (Bayonne and Lyon where both relegated during the 2014–15 Top 14 season). As for the weekend’s action, Stade Francias thrashed Grenoble, Lyon and Brive shared the spoils and Toulouse were too strong for a Montpellier side that field only 5 Frenchmen in their matchday 23. Bordeaux were too much for Racing, Castres secured a solid win over Pau with La Rochelle and Clermont fighting to a draw. The final match of the weekend was the shock of the weekend as Bayonne upset giants Toulon.

Here are the results:
Sat – 20 Aug 2016
Stade Français 54 – 20 Grenoble
Lyon 15 – 15 Brive
Toulouse 20 – 12 Montpellier
Bordeaux 15 – 9 Racing
Castres 28 – 11 Pau
La Rochelle 30 – 30 Clermont
Sun – 21 Aug 2016
Bayonne 28 – 23 Toulon

The-Rugby-Championship logo 1The Rugby Championship: New Zealand won round 1 in their defense of the Bledisloe Cup in Sydney against Australia’s Wallabies in the first match of the The Rugby Championship. The All Blacks run away winners, scoring with six tries and picking up a bonus point and a very poor Wallabies side.  Argentina made the long trip to the Republic to face their long time friend and rivals, South Africa. The Springboks fought back from 10 down at the half  to the Pumas to win the match.

Here are the results:
Sat – 20 Aug 2016
Australia 8-42 New Zealand
South Africa 30-23 Argentina

2016 Currie Cup qualification: The tournament is a competition that will be played between 5 August and 15 October 2016 and will feature nine teams that qualified through the 2016 Currie Cup qualification competition. The 9 South African provincial unions are Pumas, Sharks, Blue Bulls, Western Province, Eastern Province, Boland, Griquas, Free State and Golden Lions. This will be the 78th edition of South Africa’s premier domestic rugby union competition. The third round of fixtures began with Boland falling to the Sharks, Free State traveled to Western Province and left victorious. The Blue Bulls won a shootout against Eastern Province and finally Griquas shocked on-lookers as they ended the over 1 year long undefeated streak of the Golden Lions.

Here are the results:
Fri – 19 Aug 2016
Boland Cavaliers 20-41 Sharks
Western Province 25-32 Free State Cheetahs
Blue Bulls 49-35 Eastern Province Kings
Sat – 20 Aug 2016
Griquas 30-24 Golden Lions


Mitre 10 Cup: The Mitre 10 Cup (formally known “National Provincial Championship” or “NPC“) is the highest level of New Zealand domestic professional rugby union competition, contested annually from late August to early November and managed by the New Zealand Rugby Union (NZRU). Building off competitions dating back to the National Provincial Championship in 1976, with teams from a number of provinces, the Mitre 10 Cup officially started with the 2006 season with 14 teams after the National Provincial Championship (NPC) was split into this professional competition and the amateur Heartland Championship competition. The competition was known as the Air New Zealand Cup to the end of the 2009 season; the name then changed to the ITM Cup for the 2010 season after ITM, the trading name of Independent Timber Merchants Co-operative Ltd., a New Zealand building supplies retailer took over as lead sponsor. In 2016 the New Zealand-owned home improvement and garden retailer, Mitre 10 took over sponsorship after out-bidding ITM. For the Mitre 10 Cup competition it will involve the top 14 provincial unions of New Zealand. We will hopefully have more information in our Southern Hemisphere preview. The schedule for week one began with North Harbour edging out Counties-Manukau. The weekend continued with Northland falling to Manawatu, Bay of Plenty losing to Taranaki, Hawkes Bay came up short against Wellington and in surprise Canterbury destroyed Auckland in a rematch of last year’s final. The final two matches of the weekend saw Tasman take down Waikato and Otago thump Southland.

Here are the results:
Thu – 18 Aug 2016
North Harbour 20-17 Counties Manukau
Fri – 19 Aug 2016
Northland 27-34 Manawatu
Sat – 20 Aug 2016
Bay Of Plenty 22-30 Taranaki
Hawkes Bay 26-36 Wellington
Canterbury 43-3 Auckland
Sat – 21 Aug 2016
Tasman 24-19 Waikato
Southland 17-40 Otago

“That’s all for now, please feel free to comment below, look for and “Like” our Facebook Rugby Wrap Up Pageand follow us on Twitter@: @RugbyWrapUp,@Junoir Blaber, @MeetTheMatts, @Luke Bienstock,@Ronan Nelson, @Zack Stryfeller, @Brian C Cole,@Garrett Harper, @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 MeetTheMatts.com.