Thursday, April 24, 2014

What's Next For Taku Ngwenya?


Despite being healthy Taku Ngwenya hasn't appeared for Biarritz in their last two matches. That incredible for someone that has played for the club nearly two hundred times in seven years. However, it's not a coincidence that those two matches align with Biarritz being doomed to relegation. It's unclear whether Ngwenya was left of the team to rest and give time to younger players ahead of next season or whether he is simply on the outs at the club. Either way with Biarritz headed to the Pro D2 Ngwenya is going to have some decisions to make this summer. In our latest column at RugbyRugby we break down some of the options available to Ngwenya. He could stay in France either with Biarritz or another team, or he could head somewhere else in Europe. Either way this is the first time since the beginning of his career that he has options. It should be fun to follow.

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Where do you think Ngwenya will end up next year?

Grubber Trivia Contest Results

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We'd like to thank all of those that participated in our Grubber trivia contest. As usual we had strong participation with several people getting all three answers correct. Tom Engrav won the random drawing and will get a free t-shirt courtesy of Grubber! All the other entries with correct answers will receive a 10% discount. Here are the trivia questions and their answers:

1. Who was captain of the 1924 U.S. Olympic team? Colby "Babe" Slater

2. Who did the Eagles play their first match in 1976 (bonus: where was the match played)? Australia (Anaheim)

3. Who has the most 7s caps in U.S. history? Zack Test

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Opening Kick

Opening Kick is a segment devoted to bringing you all Eagles and U.S.A. Rugby news in one location. It is brought to you everyday bRugby Marketplace, your independent rugby store! 

Rugby Marketplace is having a huge boot clearance sale!

We are extremely pleased to announce our partnership with Canterbury USA.

National Teams:

The potential match between the U.S. and New Zealand next fall has cleared one of its biggest hurdles. Soldier Field will be available according to the just released NFL schedule.

The Junior All-Americans, Eric Fry, and college playoffs all show up in this week's Winners & Losers list.

Kimber Rozier is the latest Eagle to blog. She talks about what it means to play for the Eagles.

Several of the city-based 7s teams are having tryouts for potential players, beginning this weekend in Chicago.

Take the jump to read more.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

No NFL Schedule Conflict For Potential U.S.-New Zealand Match


The NFL released their 2014 schedule today and for rugby fans that meant an answer on whether Solider Field would be available for a potential U.S.-New Zealand match on November 1st. Good news. The Chicago Bears have a bye week on the weekend and hence will not have a conflict. The U.S.-New Zealand match is not confirmed but is understood to be nearly completed. The New Zealand Rugby Union has been a big proponent of the match while U.S.A. Rugby is on board if the All Blacks play the Eagles. It looks like that will happen but the U.S. still has yet to secure player releases for their top players. The potential fixture falls outside the Autumn International test window.

Winners & Losers: JAA's, Fry, College Blowouts

Winners

Women Eagles: Yes, they lost to Canada last Saturday on the heels of a very embarrassing loss earlier in the week. However, their performance on Saturday was much improved and gave cause to think they can make an impact at this summer's World Cup. It was apparent over the two-match series that it's time for some of the younger players on the squad to play a bigger role. It was solid to see so many of them step up when called upon.

Central Washington vs. Utah: This was arguably the best match of the year. The outcome was only decided in the last minute when Central Washington's Josh Bower hit a penalty to win the game. Both sides brought a lot of intensity and skill. Overall it was a great advertisement for college rugby. Too bad no one besides those there could watch it live.

Take the jump to read more.

NCRC Expands, Adds Second Division


The Northwest Collegiate Rugby Conference (NCRC) powered by Serevi is set to undergo a major expansion next season as a number of smaller enrollment schools in the Pacific Northwest join the conference in what is being called the Northwest Cup. At least seven teams have accept with five or six more schools from Western Washington and Oregon having expressed interest and are expect to join. Teams confirmed for the competition include Gonzaga University, North Idaho College, WSU-Tri Cities, Evergreen State College, Pacific University, and Whitman College. Idaho has elected to drop from the DI-AA competition to the new division.

The Northwest Cup will sit under the current DI-AA competition and each of the schools will have an opportunity to earn promotion to that competition through a playoff with the lowest finishing DI-AA team if they choose to pursue promotion. To help ease travel on the new teams the competition will be structured into geographic pods. The hope is that 12 teams will be divided among four divisions.

Take the jump to read more.

Rugby Marketplace Player Of The Week: Josh Bower


Josh Bower is our undisputed Rugby Marketplace Player of the Week after nailing a 40 meter penalty to give Central Washington a come from behind 25-24 win over Utah in their Varsity Cup quarterfinal match last week. The Wildcats were down by two with only a left when they earned the penalty. Bower, who had early made a penalty and two conversion, calmly stepped up and hit the winner on the last kick of the game. It was easily the most thrilling game of the Varsity Cup so far and one of the best games of the year. You have to love it when a player has ice in their veins.

Rugby Marketplace is your independent rugby retailer. No frills, just rugby. We aim to bring you some of the amazing things that have fallen through the cracks. That can be books, boots, balls, odds and ends, accessories, or anything thing else that comes our way. Help support independent rugby and shop Rugby Marketplace!

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