Friday, November 15, 2013

Americas Weekend Preview - Five Hot Points

CONSUR C dates set for November and December
1. CONSUR C to be played in Costa Rica. 
The Federacion de Rugby Costa Rica has confirmed that the third division of CONSUR will have its annual tournament played between November 30 and December 7 in the Costa Rica province of Cartago. Despite being in North America Costa Rica has had a long association with South America due to the common language. It is similar to other Central American counties including El Salvador and Guatemala who will both participate in the CONSUR C tournament. The fourth participant is to be Ecuador who like the others is not a full IRB member yet and is such is not listed in the IRB World Rankings. Neither Nicaragua nor Panama are IRB members either but the growth of rugby in the region sees both included on an invitational basis. Should they be added then the tournament will be modified to have all six participating.

2. Rugby enters the Bolivarian Games
Going further south in Latin America substantial progress has seen rugby added to the Bolivarian Games and the sport will make its debut over the coming days as Peru hosts the 17th edition of the event from November 16-19. Both mens and womens teams will compete in Rugby Sevens. The mens division will feature six competing teams with Chile, Colombia, Guatemala, Paraguay, Peru and Venezuela fighting out for the right to be champion. The womens section will feature seven teams with Costa Rica joining Chile, Colombia, Guatemala, Paraguay, Peru and Venezuela

3. Argentine Players Starting for Italy
Italy´s match against Fiji on Saturday is to be history making as two Italian players are to earn their 100th caps. Both Sergio Parisse and Martín Castrogiovanni will have the honor as with Gethin Jenkins who will earn his 100th cap playing for Wales against Argentina. Both Parisse and Castrogiovanni are from Argentina and both have been captains. Parisse has been the permanent captain since 2008 with Castrogiovanni replacing him due to injury during the June tour of Argentina, the USA and Canada. Both players are to start against the Fijians as will Gonzalo Canale and Luciano Orquera who are other players from Argentina. Matias Aguero is also to be involved as a replacement.

4. Free Live Online Coverage 
The IRB has been significantly boosting the profile of Tier Two rugby by providing free online coverage of matches. Last weekend it was possible to watch Georgia v Canada, Portugal v Fiji and Romania v Tonga live on the IRB website. This weekend will see Russia v Japan and Georgia v USA shown live by the IRB while the Romanian Rugby website will be broadcasting Romania v Canada and it will also be possible to watch Uruguay v Spain in real time. The matches appearing on irb.com can be seen by clicking here.

5. Campeonato Argentino 
The final round of the initial phase of the 2013 Campeonato Argentino takes place this weekend. In Group One Alto Valle will host Córdoba in a match in which both teams need to win to secure they remain in the top division. The northern battle between Tucumán and Salta will determine who will finish top of the group and host a Semi Final. In Group Two Cuyo will host Mar del Plata in Mendoza while Rosario will take on Buenos Aires at home. Both Rosario and Buenos Aires are undefeated in the 2013 and are contenders for the title. Players featuring for all teams are to be in the spotlight due to them providing the basis for Los Pampas XV. Together with the leading domestic based players who are currently in Cardiff preparing to face Wales this weekend players from the Campeonato Argentino will form the 2014 squad. 

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