Conrad Smith, Toulon, Spain in WRWC 2017, Autumn Internationals, Top14 News…

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Conrad Smith
Conrad Smith

NEW YORK, NY – Welcome back, we’re glad to have you. Despite our Turkey Hangover, we have plenty of news to go through. With that, here’s what happening and/or caught our eyes:  re: Conrad Smith, Toulon, Spain in WRWC 2017, Autumn Internationals, Top14 News...

News & Transactions:

Top 14: Former All Blacks center Conrad Smith is planning to stay with Top 14 side Pau beyond the end of his contract this season… As usual though, the Top 14 news is dominated by Toulon. Hooker Jean-Charles Orioli announced that he will end his 15-year association with the club at the end of the season. Toulon announced the signing of Fijian back Semi Radradra on a one-year contract. Born in Suva, Radradra has played international rugby league for both Fiji and Australia and spent three years in the NRL with the Parramatta Eels. Radradra, 24, become Toulon’s fifth signing ahead of next season following the recruitment of  Chris Ashton, Raphaël Lakafia, Filipo Nakosi and Hugo Bonneval. According to South African media reports, Super Rugby Stormers full-back Cheslin Kolbe is set to leave the financially beleaguered franchise to join Toulouse. Earlier this month, the Western Province Rugby Football Union obtained an order for provisional liquidation of their professional arm, Western Province Rugby (Pty) Ltd.

usa_rugby_logoUSA Rugby: USA Rugby has released their roster for the first two legs of the World Rugby HSBC 7s series. Click here for the roster.

World Rugby: The latest edition of the World Rugby Rankings have been released.

The weekend’s fixtures:

As always, Ladies first…
Women’s International: There were three internationals over the weekend. The biggest match of the weekend, in terms of importance was the Women’s Rugby World Cup qualifying match 2nd leg where Scotland against Spain trailing by 5. Spain held out to win a tough match and qualify for big dance, next year. The other matches of the weekend have England hosting Canada and finally Ireland welcome New Zealand. New Zealand made it five wins from five after defeating Ireland, while England replace Canada in second in the Women’s World Rugby Rankings after beating their fellow WRWC 2014 finalists at Twickenham.

Here are the results:
Fri – 25 Nov 2016
France 6-31 USA
Sat – 26 Nov 2016
England 39-6 Canada
Women’s Rugby World Cup 2017 Qualifying: Spain 15-10 Scotland
Sun – 27 Nov 2016
Ireland 6-38 New Zealand

Autumn Internationals: This was the final official weekend of the international fixture season. As for the fixtures themselves, they began with France fighting hard but falling short against New Zealand. The next batch of matches featured England defeating Argentina, Wales upset South Africa and Ireland shocked Australia. Scotland thumped  Georgia, Italy were slightly edged Tonga and Fiji won their tussle with Japan. Canada took the fight to Samoa but still came up short, Romania dominated Uruguay, and finally in the second match of their two match series, Germany cruised past Brazil.

Here are the results:
Sat – 27 Nov 2016
France 19-24 New Zealand
England 27-14 Argentina
Wales 27-13 South Africa
Ireland 27-24 Australia
Scotland 43-16 Georgia
Italy 17-19 Tonga
Fiji 38-25 Japan
Canada 23-25 Samoa
Romania 36-10 Uruguay
Germany 36-14 Brazil

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 began with Northampton falling short against Newcastle, Bristol lost to Leicester and Exeter thumped Worcester, Gloucester came up short against Saracens, Sale had no answer to Wasps and finally Harlequins won against Bath.

Here is the schedule:
Fri – 26 Nov 2016
Northampton 16-22 Newcastle
Bristol 16-21 Leicester
Exeter Chiefs 57-22 Worcester Warriors
Sat – 27 Nov 2016
Saracens 24-20 Gloucester
Wasps 34-24 Sale Sharks
Harlequins 21-20 Bath

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 saw Ulster and Zebre clash was postponed due to frozen pitch, Scarlets fought off Leinster, Connacht defeat Cardiff, and Glasgow had no answer to the Ospreys. In the last two matches, Munster crushed Treviso. and Newport-Gwent were too much for Edinburgh.

Here is the schedule:

Fri – 25 Nov 2016
Ulster PNP Zebre
Scarlets 38-29 Leinster
Connacht 18-7 Cardiff
Glasgow 5-22 Ospreys
Sat- 26 Nov 2016
Munster 46-3 Benetton Treviso
Sun – 27 Nov 2016
Newport-Gwent Dragons 27-19 Edinburgh

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.

As for the the weekend’s fixtures, in a Trophy division match, Switzerland narrowly defeated Moldvoa.

Here is the schedule:
Sat – 26 Nov 2016
RET: Switzerland 29-26 Moldova

Oceania Rugby U20 Trophy 2016: Fiji, Tonga, and the Cook Islands fight for the the title of the third best county in Oceania behind Australia and New Zealand. In the first match, Fiji thumped the Cook Islands.

Here are the results:
Sat – 26 Nov 2016
Fiji 50-3 Cook Islands

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, @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