Thursday, April 24, 2014

International Rugby: 2014 Form June Pumas Squad - Part I Forwards

Photo Rugby 365
Carizza missed June 2013 & 2014
With the European club season entering its final weeks of the regular season it is a final opportunity for many players to push for selection. Argentina will be hosting two tests against Ireland and one against Scotland. Many players will be missing due to Daniel Hourcade not being able to field European based players contracted for the 2014-2015 season whom he wishes to utilize during the 2014 Rugby Championship. In Part one of a three part series Argentina 2023 takes a look at the players likely to be selected to represent Argentina this coming June. 

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

CONSUR: Uruguay Squad to face Paraguay

Los Teros headcoach Pablo Lemoine has selected a twenty-three man squad for Uruguay´s opening match of the 2014 South American Championship. The squad is notably different to that which represented Uruguay in the recent Rugby World Cup home and away qualification series against the USA. Uruguay will travel to Asunción to face Paraguay in a first round match this Saturday. 

CONSUR: Brazil team to face Chile

Photo CBRu
Brazil´s team to face Chile has not yet been released but Brazilian site Portal do Rugby has nonetheless gained access to it. Brazil will play host to Chile with the fourth ranked South American country looking for a rate win over a higher ranked CONSUR member. The match will be played at the Arena Barueri in Greater South Paulo on Saturday.  

CONSUR: 2014 South American Championship Dates and Venues

The 2014 South American Championship will begin this Saturday with two matches taking place. Paraguay will play host to Uruguay in Asunción and Brazil will host Chile in São Paulo. The structure of the tournament is much changed with it having not only expanded but been altered to be a tournament with all competitors hosting and playing matches on the road. Teams will do so with sufficient rest and recovery time unlike in the past. 

NACRA: Mexico to take on Bermuda this Saturday

Logo FMRU Nuevo
Image Mex Rugby
The national mens rugby team of Bermuda will travel to Mexico City this Thursday to prepare for this weekends test match between the nations. It is to be an official test match sanctioned by the IRB and one played between two official IRB members. Both countries are NACRA rugby playing nations. 

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Top 14: Martín Bustos Moyano secures last minute draw against Grenoble

Photo AB Rugby
For the second consecutive weekend Argentina´s Martin Bustos Moyano saved Bayonne from defeat in the Top 14. The Córdoba winger backed up his twenty-four point haul against Stade Français in Spain last weekend by scoring eleven points against Grenoble on Saturday. His goalkicking saved Bayonne from two defeats and has seen the Basque club continue to fight against the serious threat of relegation.  

Aviva Premiership: Horacio Agulla scores v Worcester

Photo ESPN Scrum
Veteran Puma Horacio Agulla contnued his strong form in the Aviva Premiership in scoring a first half try for Bath against the Worcester Warriors on Saturday. Bath won the match 32-20 to put one foot inside the play-offs. bath´s two remaining regular season matches are against the Northampton Saints and the Harlequins. Should the club succeed in winning one of them it will secure a place in the final four. 

Monday, April 21, 2014

Aviva Premiership: Jebb Sinclair scores v Northampton

Photo Sport 24
Twenty-eight year old Canadian international Jebb Sinclair scored his first Aviva Premiership try of the season this past weekend. The utility forward crossed for a second half try from a pick-and-go metres from the opposition try line as London Irish faced the second placed Northampton Saints in an away fixture. London Irish was not able to win the match nor did it secure any bonus points but it is in no danger of being relegated out of the Aviva Premiership. 

Top 14: Santiago Fernández sets up Marvin O´Connor try v Grenoble

Photo Sports Yahoo
Twenty-eight year old Argentine international Santiago Fernández has taken the opportunity presented to him of a return to France with both hands. The Pumas flyhalf or inside centre has been the clubs first choice pivot, starting ahead of New Zealander Stephen Brett. This past weekend Fernández set up a try for winger Marvin O´Connor. 

Top 14: Juan Imhoff scores v Clermont Auvergne

Photo Planet Rugby
Argentine international winger Juan Imhoff scored an impressive try for Racing Métro in the club´s home Top 14 fixture against Clermont Auvergne on Saturday. The Pumas left winger played the match on the right wing for his French club and scored the only try of the match when he went over four mintues from fulltime. Imhoff collected an attacking kick and showed too much speed for French international scrum-half Morgan Parra. His try completed a 22-6 victory to deny Clermont Auvergne any competition points as the clubs are now tied for third position on 69 points. 

Top 14: Benjamín Urdapilleta try assist for Oyonnax v Toulouse

Photo Net Pro Solutions
Argentine fly half Benjamín Urdapilleta continued his impressive form this season as he saw his club, Oyonnax, fight to the finish to draw with French powerhouses Toulouse.  Urdapilleta scored fourteen points for Oyonnax in landing four penalties and a conversion off his left boot. He also set up the first try of the match as he kicked through off his right boot for fullback Florian Denos to chase and touch down two minutes before the interval. 

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Rabo Direct Pro 12: Americas Exports Round 20 Wrap

Photo Welsh Rugby Pics
Córdoba´s Luciano Orquera saw
Zebre defeat Edinburgh
With two rounds remaining the Rabo Direct Pro 12 is far from being decided. The top two is clear with Leinster and Munster all but certain to be hosting Semi Finals. Ulster and Glasgow are likely to be the visitors with the Ospreys being the only other side in contention. The competition though now has added interest due to clubs playing for places in the new European competition which is to allocate slots on merit rather than  nationality. Teams ranked as low as last place now have everything to play for in the final two rounds. Involved were players from Argentina, Canada and the USA. The region of the Americas is the only IRB defined continent to never have been allocated a Rugby World Cup.

Aviva Premiership: Americas Exports Round 20 Wrap

Photo Get Reading
England´s domestic championship is approaching the final rounds but with two matches remaining per club it would appear that everything has already been confirmed. The Worcester Warriors will be relegated, Saracens, Northampton, Leicester and Bath will be in the Semi Finals while Harlequins and the Sale Sharks wll be joining them in the new European competition next season. Changes could occur but the chances are low. Involved in round twenty were players from the Americas, the last IRB defined region to be allocated a Rugby World Cup.

Nacional de Clubes: Round Six Wrap

The sixth and final round of the Nacional de Clubes was played in Argentina over the weekend. It confirmed which teams will be playing in the Semi Finals as the four pool winners will be those advancing. Involved were notable players to have featured for Argentina including players involved in Rugby World Cups.

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Top 14: Americas Exports Round 25 Wrap

Photo France Info
The penultimate round of the Top 14 was played on Friday and Saturday in France. It featured a host of players from the Americas, the final IRB defined region to be allocated a Rugby World Cup. Players from this region delivered important performances for French clubs who remain fighting hard to secure every competition point possible to secure qualification for the new European competition in addition to the Top 14 play-offs. Many other clubs are also fighting for their survival as a second club will be joining Biarritz in the second division next season. With one round remaining three clubs are tied for the second relegation slot. 

Friday, April 18, 2014

CONSUR: Chile name twenty-two man squad to face Brazil

sula 2014
Chilean rugby coaches Elías Santillán and Mark Cross have announced their squad to face Brazil next weekend in São Paulo. The largest city in South America is to be the setting for a round one match in the much changed South American Championship which is to see the teams ranked second to fifth all host two matches and do so in a manner which puts an end to players backing up by playing two or more matches on a short turn-around.

CONSUR: Venezuela Prepares for South American B Championship

Photo Emilito
Venezuela has named a fifty-eight man training squad to prepare for the 2014 CONSUR B tournament which will take place in August in Colombia. The two day training camp will take place on April 26-27 in Mérida and is to bring together players from the states of Bolívar, Carabobo, Lara, Mérioda, Miranda, Monagas, Distrito Capital, Nueva Esparta and Zulia. 

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Super Rugby: The Impact of Expansion to South America and Asia

Image Pink Rugby
Super Rugby will change from a fifteen team event involving five teams from three countries to an eighteen team event. Additions are to see South Africa having six teams while both Argentina and Singapore are to join the fold. Argentina 2023 reader Simon Cox has a number of notable opinions on the changes. As a New Zealander who has lived and worked in Asia Simon can offer unique insight into the winners and losers as well as giving the perspective of a rugby enthusiast. 

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Aviva Premiership: Eric Fry signs for Newcastle Falcons

Photo London Scottish
Aviva Premiership club the Newcastle Falcons have announced the signing of a new player, USA Eagles international prop Eric Fry. The Californian front-rower joins the Northern English club from second division side London Scottish in hat is to be a two year deal which will see him playing for the Falcons in the seasons before and after Rugby World Cup 2015. 

Super Rugby: Argentina and Singapore to join in 2016

Image Pink Rugby
An expanded Super Rugby competition is to come into effect in 2016. The existing fifteen teams from Australia, New Zealand and South Africa are to be joined by a sixth South African franchise while Argentina and Singapore are both to have one team each. With two new countries added Super Rugby is to expand for the first time since it became a professional competition in 1996. Argentina will also become a SANZAR member.
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