USA Rugby Selects, Cruden, The Rugby Championship, Tier 2/3 Cups

Aaron Cruden
Please Share.

usa_rugby_logoNEW YORK, NY – Another weekend is in the books and there is loads of great rugby matches to recap. Before we get to the fixtures though there are some big developments in world rugby news and transactions to go over. Today’s RWU Global Rugby Recap has news re USA Rugby Selects, Aaron Cruden, The Rugby Championship, Tier 2/3 Cups and more… So, lets begin.

News & Transactions:

USA Rugby: USA Rugby selected twenty-six elite and developing athletes to the USA Rugby Selects squad (USA Eagles developmental side) squad for next month’s World Rugby Americas Pacific Challenge in Montevideo, Uruguay. According to General Manager of National Teams and Performance, Alex Magleby, “This might just be the youngest senior squad ever assembled under the USA Rugby crest.” For a look at the roster, coaching staff and schedule, click here.

Aaron Cruden
Aaron Cruden

Super Rugby: French rugby paper Midi-Olympique reports that a possible salary of $NZ1.2 million per season to play for Montpellier in the Top 14 could tempt current All Black fly-half Aaron Cruden to leave New Zealand rugby. We will see what our man in France, James Harrington has to say about this rumor… The Chief announced the re-signing of new All Blacks front-row Kane Hames and fast-paced winger Toni Pulu.  Hames has signed for the forthcoming 2017 season, while Pulu will don the Chiefs jersey in 2017 and 2018.

Aviva Premiership: Bath confirmed the signing of Otago, of New Zealand’s Mitre 10 Cup, backrower Paul Grant until the end of the season, with the player joining after the Mitre 10 Cup season ends.

World Rugby: Six nations will be competing at the Rugby Europe Women’s Championship in Madrid next month as they look to keep their Women’s Rugby World Cup 2017 dreams alive.

The weekend’s fixtures:

The Rugby Championship trophy

The Rugby Championship: New Zealand had already secured the title and will look keep their but fought successfully to keep their unbeaten streak intact in second match of the fifth round of The Rugby Championship against Argentina. In the opener, Australia travelled to South Africa and it was the hosts that won a physical affair.

Here are the results:
Sat – 1 Oct 2016
South Africa 18-10 Australia
Argentina 17-36 New Zealand


Aviva Cup

Aviva 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 saw Bristol crushed by Saracens and Northampton scrap by Exeter. Sale fought off Leicester, Gloucester lost a midland derby to Bath, Wasps thrashed Harlequins and finally Worcester fought off Newcastle.

Here are the results:
Fri – 30 Sep 2016
Bristol 0-39 Saracens
Northampton Saints 20-19 Exeter Chiefs
Sat – 1 Oct 2016
Sale Sharks 34-30 Leicester Tigers
Gloucester 6-15 Bath
Sun – 2 Oct 2016
Wasps 47-18 Harlequins
Worcester Warriors 11-9 Newcastle Falcons

Bouclier Brennus – Top 14 trophy

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 began with Castres falling to Clermont-Auvergne… There was also Bayonne drawing with Lyon, Pau came up just short against Bordeaux-Begles, Toulouse trounced Grenoble and Brive upset Stade Francais. Finally, Montpellier were put to the sword by Toulon in a heavyweight bout and Stade Francais defeated La Rochelle.

Here are the results:
Sat – 1 Oct 2016
Clermont-Auvergne 29-19 Castres
Bayonne 22-22 Lyon
Pau 28-30 Bordeaux-Bègles
Toulouse 31-3 Grenoble
Brive 25-16 Racing 92
Sun – 2 Oct 2016
Stade Français 31-26 La Rochelle
Toulon 28-6 Montpellier

Pro 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 started with Connacht knocking off Edinburgh, Newport-Gwent fell to Glasgow and Munster destroyed Zebre. Ulster squeaked Ospreys and the other Italian side Treviso lost to Scarlets while Cardiff suffered their first lost against Leinster to finish off the weekend.

Here are the results:
Fri – 30 Sep 2016
Connacht 28-15 Edinburgh
Newport Gwent Dragons 17-26 Glasgow Warriors
Sat – 1 Oct 2016
Munster 49-5 Zebre
Ulster 9-7 Ospreys
Benetton Treviso 6-22 Scarlets
Cardiff Blues 13-16 Leinster

The Currie Cup

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 final round of fixtures begins with Golden Lions defeated the Sharks, Eastern Province fell to a furious comeback by the Pumas, Western Province edged out Boland and Free State crushed Griquas.

Here are the results:
Fri – 30 Sep 2016
Golden Lions 28-16 Sharks
Eastern Province Kings 30-38 Pumas
Western Province 30-28 Boland Cavaliers
Sat – 1 Oct 2016
Free State Cheetahs 63-26 Griquas

The Kel Tremain Memorial Trophy now the Mitre 10 Cup rugby trophy.

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. The schedule began with Waikato falling to Canterbury as the red and black won the Ranfury shield. Tasman fell against Counties Mankau on the Thursday night ticket. In a Friday night lights affair, Wellington thumped Southland. Saturday saw Bay of Plenty fall to North Harbour, Manawatu came up short against Hawkes’ Bay, Auckland trounced Otago while Taranaki lost to Canterbury and Northland got their first win in 2 years against Waikato to end the weekend.

Here are the results:
Wed – 28 Sep 2016
Waikato 23-29 Canterbury
Thu – 29 Sep 2016
Tasman 15-10 Counties Manukau
Fri – 30 Sep 2016
Wellington 60-21 Southland
Sat – 1 Oct 2016
North Harbour 44-34 Bay of Plenty
Manawatu 21-30 Hawkes’ Bay
Auckland 54-17 Otago
Sun – 2 Oct 2016
Taranaki 34-39 Canterbury
Northland 48-27 Waikato

The schedule for the latest round begins with Manawatu against Wellington on Wednesday, then on the Thursday night ticket Auckland and Tasman do battle.

Here is the schedule:
Wed – 5 Oct 2016
Manawatu – Wellington
Thu – 6 Oct 2016
Auckland – Tasman

NRC trophy

Aus. 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 saw the NSW Country Eagles fall short against Queensland Country, Sydney Rays trounce the Canberra Vikings, the Perth Spirit were thrashed by Brisbane City and the Western Sydney Rams were soundly by the Melbourne Rising.

Here are the results:
Sat – 1 Oct 2016
Queensland Country 40-38 NSW Country Eagles
Sydney Rays 58-14 Canberra Vikings
Sat – 2 Oct 2016
Perth Spirit 30-68 Brisbane City
Melbourne Rising 60-22 Western Sydney Rams

Rugby Americas North

Rugby Americas North: The Rugby Americas North (formerly the North America and Caribbean Rugby Association or NACRA) 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. This weekend in the North, Guyana were crushed by Mexico.

Here are the results:
Sat – 1 Oct 16

North: Mexico 32-3 Guyana

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 Conference 2 North this weekend, Estonia lost big against Hungary.

Here are the results:
Sat – 24 Sep 2016
C2N: Estonia 5-53 Hungary

Sudamerica RugbySudamerica 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 CONSUR division and features Argentina’s B team, Uruguay and Chile. Speaking of the CONSUR, ther B division championship starts this weekend. Columbia oblieterated Ecuador and Venezuela dispatched Peru.

Here are the results:
Sat – 27 Aug 2016
B Division: Columbia 75-5 Ecuador
B Division: Venezuela 33-8 Peru


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.

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