Super Rugby Schedule, Tuitavake, James, USA Rugby, U20 Championship

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Super Rugby LogoNEW YORK, NY – Last week, the talk was about a global calendar. This week it was about the SANZAAR calendar, mainly Super Rugby. In addition, today’s  RWU Weekend Preview has news re Super Rugby Schedule, Tuitavake, James, USA Rugby, U20 Championship and more… So, off we go.

News & Transactions:

Super Rugby: Click on this link to download the 2017 Super Rugby match schedule.

Aviva Premiership: Newcastle Falcons have agreed to a permanent deal with center Fred Burdon following a successful trial spell with the club… Northampton Saints announced the signing of Nafi Tuitavake into the club’s squad. The Tongan international joins the Saints from Narbonne, where he has played for the past year since moving from his native New Zealand. Tuitavake was joined by Fijian lock Api Ratuniyarawa who signed with Saints after Agen agreed to release him early from his contract… Worcester tighthead prop Nick Schonert has committed his future to the Premiership club by signing a new contract to remain at Sixways.

Pro 12: Tom James has penned a new long-term deal with Cardiff Blues following his flying start to the PRO12 season. The Blues attack and backs coach Matt Sherratt will link up with Wales during 2016’s November Series in a shared role with the region.

usa_rugby_logoUSA Rugby: USA Rugby officially announced the 2017 National Development Summit for January 13-15, 2017, at the Renaissance Baltimore Harborplace Hotel in Baltimore, Md. In conjunction with Visit Baltimore. Read more here… Four capped Eagles have joined the first XVs-specific residency program at the Olympic Training Center in southern California, USA Rugby announced, as the national team heads into the final year of Women’s Rugby World Cup 2017 preparations. For more information, go here.

World Rugby: The schedule has been announced for U20 Championship 2017 in Georgia. The cities of Tbilisi and Kutaisi will play host to the future stars of world rugby in May and June when Georgia host the World Rugby U20 Championship 2017. Click Here for the  match schedule… Katie Sadleir has been appointed World Rugby’s first General Manager for Women’s Rugby after an extensive recruitment process… Sadleir, who represented New Zealand at the 1984 Olympic Games and won a medal at the 1986 Commonwealth Games in synchronized swimming, will take up the new role on 1 November, 2016.

The weekend’s fixtures:

Aviva_Premiership_Rugby_Logo.svgAviva Premiership: The 2016/2017 Aviva Premiership will be the 30th season of the top flight of English domestic rugby union competition, and the seventh to be sponsored by Aviva Insurance. The current champions are Saracens. The most recently promoted side is Bristol, who have returned to the top flight after defeating Doncaster in the 2015-16 RFU Championship Play-Off Final. This weekend will have Bristol hosting Exeter and Gloucester welcoming Newcastle. Harlequins tackle Saracens, Northampton play Wasps. Worcester will face Sale and finally Leicester battle Bath.

Here is the schedule:
Sat – 24 Sep 2016
Bristol – Exeter Chiefs
Gloucester – Newcastle Falcons
Harlequins – Saracens
Northampton Saints – Wasps
Worcester Warriors – Sale Sharks
Sun – 18 Sep 2016
Leicester Tigers – Bath Rugby

Top 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). The line-up for the weekend begins with Casters and Racing 92 doing battle… There’s also Bordeaux against Lyon, Grenoble versus Pau, La Rochelle challenges Bayonne and Toulouse plays Stade Francais. Finally, Montpellier faces Brive and in a heavyweight bout and rematch of the 2015 final Toulon and Clermont-Auvergne clash.

Here is the schedule:
Sat – 24 Sep 2016
Castres – Racing
Bordeaux – Lyon
Grenoble – Pau
La Rochelle – Bayonne
Toulouse – Stade Français
Sun – 25 Sep 2016
Montpellier – Brive
Toulon – Clermont-Auvergne

Guinness Pro12Pro 12: The 2016–17 Pro12 (also known as the Guinness Pro12 for sponsorship reasons) will be the sixteenth season of the professional rugby union competition originally known as the Celtic League, and the seventh with its current four-country format. It is the third season to be referred to as the Guinness Pro12. The weekend starts with Treviso welcoming Newport-Gwent, Glasgow host Ulster and Leinster go against Ospreys. Munster will face Edinburgh and the other Italian side Zebre host the Cadiff Blues do battle while Scarlets versus Connacht finish off the weekend.

Here is the schedule:
Fri – 23 Sep 2016
Benetton Treviso – Newport Gwent Dragons
Glasgow Warriors – Ulster
Leinster – Ospreys
Sat – 24 Sep 2016
Munster – Edinburgh
Zebre – Cardiff Blues
Scarlets – Connacht

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 sixth round of fixtures begins with Boland against the Blue Bulls, Griquas take on Western Province, Pumas welcome Free State and Eastern Province will try to avoid a thrashing by the Golden Lions.

Here is the schedule:
Fri – 23 Sep 2016
Boland Cavaliers – Blue Bulls
Griquas – Western Province
Sat – 24 Sep 2016
Pumas – Free State Cheetahs
Eastern Province Kings – 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. With 12 All Blacks released back to the provincial sides for the weekend, it guarantees that the action will only get more intense. The schedule for week 5 began with Southland scrapping by Bay of Plenty. Northland fell against Wellington on the Thursday night ticket, with Northland on the road against Tasman. In a Friday night lights affair Counties Manukau tackle Waikato. Saturday sees Otago travel to Canterbury to do battle, Manawatu clash with Taranaki, Hawke’s Bay battle Tasman while North Harbour at Southland and Bay of Plenty versus Auckland ends the weekend.

Here are the results:
Wed – 21 Sep 2016
Southland 20–16 Bay of Plenty
Thu – 22 Sep 2016
Northland 21–29 Wellington Lions

Here is the schedule:
Fri – 23 Sep 2016
Counties Manukau – Waikato
Sat – 24 Sep 2016
Canterbury – Otago
Taranaki – Manawatu
Hawke’s Bay – Tasman
Sun – 25 Sep 2016
North Harbour – Southland
Bay of Plenty – Auckland

NRC logoAus. NRC: Australia’s third tier competition goes into its third year as the National Rugby Championship kicks off. Those with New York Rugby Club ties like me, will be supporting the two-time defending champs Brisbane City since one of their feeder clubs, is New York’s sister club West (Brisbane) Bulldogs. This weekend will see the NSW Country Eagless host the Perth Spirit, Western Sydney Rams against Queensland Country, Canberra Vikings tackle Melbourne Rising and the Sydney Rays will travel to face Brisbane City.

Here is the schedule:
Fri – 23 Sep 2016
NSW Country Eagles – Perth Spirit
Sat – 24 Sep 2016
Western Sydney Rams – Queensland Country
Canberra Vikings – Melbourne Rising
Sat – 25 Sep 2016
Brisbane City – Sydney Rays

Rugby Europe LogoEuropean 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 Championship, Trophy, Conference 1 North &1 South and 2 North & 2 South over a two-year cycle. The Championship, 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 the Trophy conference this weekend, Poland hosts Ukraine.

Here is the schedule:
Sat – 24 Sep 2016
Trophy: Poland-Ukraine

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, @Brian C Cole 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.