Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Americas Tour - Events ahead of the weekend

With the Quarter Finals of the Amlin Challenge Cup starting on Thursday it is appropriate to get a head start ahead of what is going to be a bumper of a weekend for global rugby. A lot has been happening in the Americas with unions preparing for international rugby matches while elsewhere there is plenty of news regarding players from the Americas. 

Having been used as a replacement for the Southern Kings throughout this season former Toulouse scrumhalf Nicolás Vergallo has been named to start a Super Rugby match for the first time. Vergallo is pushing for a return to the starting lineup for Argentina afger having been overtaken by Martín Landajo and Tomás Cubelli in 2012. 

Departing Biarritz playmaker, Marcelo Bosch has been named in the starting lineup at fullback for the French clubs´s Amlin Challenge Cup Quarter Final against Gloucester on Thursday. He will be joined in the back-three by USA Eagles winger Taku Ngwenya and Argentine tighthead prop Francisco Gómez Kodela. With Biarritz well off thepace in the Top 14 it needs to win the Amlin Challenge Cup to book a place in next seasons Heineken Cup. Bosch will be playing in the Heineken Cup next season for Saracens.

The Uruguay and Los Jaguares squads are preparing for this Saturday´s match in Montevideo. Uruguay has confirmed its 26 man squad for the match by welcoming back players from Sevens duty including Juan Diego Ormaechea, Felipe Berchesi, Francisco Vecino, Gastón Mieres, Federico Favaro and Santiago Giberna. As it is a non-international Uruguay will not be fielding European based players. The match will serve as preperation for the 2012 South American Championship which starts at the end of this month and will see Uruguay fighting it out with Brazil and Chile for the right to face the runner-up of North America. 

Rugby Canada is pushing hard to promote Canada´s upcoming home test match against Ireland in Toronto. The match will be played in ten weeks time at BMO Field, the same venue that hosted Italy in 2012 and the USA one year earlier.

The rumoures two match series between Brazil and Mexico has been confirmed by the IRB. Brazil will host both tests this month with the first being played in São José dos Campos on April 16 and the second on April 21 in São Paulo. It wll be the first time the teams have ever met and is crucial for Brazil ahead of the South American Championship. 

England´s failure to take matches outside of London has just been compounded by the loss of Old Trafford for Rugby World Cup 2015. Manchester United has said it will not allow rugby matches to be played  at its stadium in the World Cup. Argentina, in contrast moves matches throughout the country with Los Pumas seet to play tests in Buenos Aires, La Plata, Mendoza, Rosario and Salta this year. England, in contrast, has not moved a match away from Twickenham since 1998. Argentina moved a 2009 test from Buenos Aires to Old Trafford in what was the second test there after England faced New Zealand in 1997. The RFU and RWC Ltd have serious work to do to promote the tournament outside of London and it has been allowed to occur without criticism.

Video of the week goes to Brazil´s João Paulo Minchio of the site rugbymania. Minchio had been critical of the coverage from ESPN in Brazil during the Six Nations. The Brazilian commentators declared that France won the wooden spoon by virtue of finishing bottom of the standings. To the contrary, Minchio argued that this is merely an English interpretation and not one shared by others. Examples were sourced in both French and Spanish but the issue would not die down. Minchio is of the view that the wooden spoon is only handed to a team if it loses every match. In the case of France in the 2013 Six Nations les Bleus defeated Scotland and drew with Ireland, thus not collecting the wooden spoon according to the non-English interpretation. In the end Minchio, contacted French netword TV5 Monde and this past weekend the question was put to bed as Minnchio was proven correct.


  1. I believe you meant a bumper weekend rather than a bummer weekend. Meanings of the two are completely opposite!

  2. Minchio has NOT been proven correct. Merely he has proven that in different culures/countries there is a difference in interpretation to what constitutes the term wooden spoon.

    The English interpretation is very clear in all English speaking countries that the team finishing last whether they lost all their games or not gets the wooden spoon. That's why it's been commonly reported in English speaking media that Italy has often got the wooden spoon despite the fact that on many occasions they won a match.

    1. Thats right, and Minchio´s point was that just because in English the wooden spoon goes to the loser it does not mean it does elsewhere.

      His issue was with the Brazilian commentators (who does not commentate in English) saying the loser of the 6N gets the wooden spoon. He made it clear that in Argentina, France and Italy (crucial nations for our sport) the case differs tho that used in English. He was actually asked to quiet down a bit as it got to be a bit messy. Now though, he is very happy to have gotten mentioned on TV5 Monde.