Ronan O’Gara, Francois Hougaard, Champions and Challenge Cup

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NEW YORK, NY – It’s been a wild couple/three days in rugby. Let’s catch you up on some of the goodies that caught my eye re: Ronan O’Gara, Francois Hougaard, Champions and Challenge Cup and more.

News & Transactions:

Pro 12: Racing 92 assistant coach Ronan O’Gara does not believe the soon-to-be-vacant head coaching role at Connacht is one he is ready for.

Aviva Premiership: Worcester Warriors want compensation for an injury sustained by Francois Hougaard while on Test duty with the Springboks.

USA Rugby: There are new challenges ang growing tension between club rugby and PRO rugby. Read more here.

World Rugby: World Rugby has announced the pools for the third round of the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series in Wellington at the end of January, click here for the draw.

The weekend’s fixtures:

As always, Ladies first…
Women’s International: The biggest match of the weekend, in terms of importance was the Women’s Rugby World Cup qualifiers between, Hong Kong, Japan and Fiji. A midweek match is scheduled between Japan and Fiji.

Here is the schedule:
Tues – 13 Dec 2016
Women’s Rugby World Cup 2017 Qualifying: Japan – Fiji

Cape Town 7s: The 2016/2017 HSBC World Rugby Mens 7s Series continued this weekend in Cape Town. As we did last weekend for Dubai, we have look at the tournament from a USA perspective and review all of the action. Check back later this week for the piece.

Champions Cup
Champions Cup

European Champions Cup: The 2016/2017 European (Rugby) Champions Cup third week of action kicks off this weekend. We are at the halfway point now and only a few teams have chance of making the quarterfinals. We have a fantastic review of the round, coming out soon. Check it out once it does.

European Challenge Cup: The second tier European Challenge Cup is a quality tournament in its own right. It is played by mid-table European clubs, they play good rugby and are looking to move up to the Champions Cup next season. The weekend began with Gloucester defeating La Rochelle, Ospreys thumped the Top 14’s Grenoble, Lyon cruised past Newcastle and Treviso upset Bayonne. The next batch of matches saw Enisei-STM fell big to Brive, Harlequins travel to face Romanian side Timisoara Saracens and thumped them. Cardiff roughed up Bath, Worcester were too strong for Newport-Gwent, Edinburgh defeated Stade Francias, and finally Bristol resoundingly defeated Pau for their first win in all competitions.

Here are the results:
Thu – 8 Dec 2016
Gloucester 35-14 La Rochelle
Fri – 9 Dec 2016
Grenoble 7-59 Ospreys
Lyon 42-12 Newcastle Falcons
Bayonne 15-28 Treviso
Sat – 10 Dec 2016
Enisei-STM 8-43 Brive
Timisoara Saracens 3-42 Harlequins
Cardiff Blues 28-3 Bath
Worcester 33-20 Newport-Gwent
Edinburgh 28-23 Stade Francais
Sun – 11 Dec 2016
Bristol 41-14 Pau

Guatemala Men celebrate with their Women, who won 7s exhibition match earlier.

Sudamerica 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. In the C division championship Panama defeated El Salavador to win third place and Guatemala won a tough contest against Costa Rica to be named C Division Champions.

Here are the results:
Sat – 10 Dec 2016
C Division Championship 3rd Place: El Salavador 19-39 Panama
C Division Championship Final: Guatemala 24-16 Costa Rica

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. Fiji narrowly beat Tonga to win the Oceania U20 Trophy and qualify for next year’s World Rugby U20 Trophy.

Here are the results:
Sat – 10 Dec 2016
Fiji – Tonga

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