Sunday, March 15, 2015

LV= Anglo-Welsh Cup: Americas Players Review - Semi Finals

Photo Sarries TV
The final two of the Anglo-Welsh Cup have been confirmed. Saracens will face the Exeter Chiefs after the two Aviva Premiership sides defeated English rivals Northampton and Leicester this weekend. Involved were players from the Americas with Argentina, Canada and the USA all contributing players. The Americas has never been allocated hosting rights to a Rugby World Cup. Europe, in comparison, will host for the fourth time later this year. By 2019 Africa will have hosted one, Oceania three, Asia one and the Americas zero. Argentina is interested in hosting in 2023. 

Saracens 24-20 Northampton Saints
Saracens became the first finalist by defeating Aviva Premiership leaders Northampton on Saturday. Involved in the two tries a piece fixture were players from Argentina and the USA, of whom all are strong contenders to feature in the World Cup in September and October. Pumas Juan Figallo and Marcelo Bosch started at tighthead prop and outside centre respectably and were joined by USA forward Hayden Smith in the starting lineup at second-row. On the bench was USA mid-fielder Thretton Palamo. Smith and Samu Manoa may start together in the World Cup. Manoa played second-row for Northampton.  

Leicester Tigers 22-30 Exeter Chiefs
The high number of players missing to international duty saw the Leicester Tigers reduced to fielding few regular players. The Tigers were nonetheless expected to win given Exeter was not playing with it's top side. The Chiefs won by three tries to one against a team with players from Argentina, Canada and the USA. Veteran Puma Marcos Ayerza started at loosehead prop, Robert Babieri played back-row and Blaine Scully fullback. All are likely to play at Rugby World Cup 2015 but Barbieri for Italy.

Despite Northampton having been eliminated the club's home ground of Franklin's Gardens will play host to the Anglo-Welsh final next Sunday. 

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