The first ever RugbyX tournament takes place on October 29th at the O2 in London and things are heating up ahead of the competition.
Earlier this week TRM confirmed the final team line-up and the draw as to who will play who.
While in the women’s event there are only four nations involved so there will be two semi-finals which see England take on France and the USA face Ireland.
The day will be split into two sessions, the afternoon session between 4pm and 6pm, and the evening session between 8.30pm and 10.30pm.
In the opening session the men’s group stage will take place along with the women’s semi-finals, with the men’s quarter-finals, semi-finals and final, along with the women’s 3rd/4th place play-off and final taking place in the evening.
The sport has selected teams that are among the leading Sevens Nations in the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series and there are a number of stars already confirmed for the tournament.
Among them are England’s Dan Norton, who is the all-time leading try-scorer in the sevens game, USA’s double world player of the year Perry Baker and France’s Terry Bouhraoua.
While England’s women’s captain Abbie Brown will be among the women stars on show.
Speaking on RugbyX World Rugby CEO Brett Gosper believes that this will help grow rugby as a sport.
“The sanctioning of RugbyX marks an exciting step on World Rugby’s journey towards making the sport more accessible, providing an important entry point for new audiences to experience the joy, speed and skill of rugby in an indoor arena environment. Innovation is crucial to the continuing success of any sport and RugbyX presents a great opportunity to capitalise on increasing global interest in the days immediately preceding the Rugby World Cup final in Japan,” he said.
The new sport has the core fundamentals of full contact rugby with variations on certain laws to make the game faster in a five vs five match.
For example, there are quick-tap restarts on the goal-line, with no conversions. While there no line-outs as they are replaced by quick throw-ins from the team in possession during the 10 minute games that feature no half-time.
New Japanese League to be Set Up
A new Japanese rugby league is in the pipeline which could cause major problems for the Southern Hemisphere’s power countries
Japanese Rugby Football Union vice-president Katsuyuki Kiyomiya has confirmed that plans are being put in place for a new domestic league in the country to continue the rise of the sport in Japan.
Kiyomiya spoke to Japanese financial newspaper Nikkei and explained how the national team’s rise in the sport, which has seen them reach the quarter-finals of the Rugby World Cup, has aided them with their decision to put together a new league come 2021.
“This World Cup is a big event Japanese rugby has not experienced before and we are tested on how we take the excitement and enthusiasm created by this event to the next level. Now is the chance to start a professional league, which enables Japanese spectators to see star players in the World Cup 2019 playing at first hand, right in front of their eyes,” he said.
The vice-president confirmed that they would hold a press conference on November the 18th where they will discuss the plans and ambitions for the new competition which they say will run from August to January each year.
This schedule could cause tensions between the clubs in Japan and the Southern Hemisphere nations as their players could sign on for the season in Japan while also playing Super Rugby but that would mean that they could miss their international games.
Kiyomiya believes that this new league would bring in annual revenues of around 50 billions yen which would allow the league and its teams to compete with the financial power of European leagues such as the Top 14 in France.
The fear for the likes of countries like New Zealand would be that their players may use their contracts, which allow for a move to Japan before returning home, to go play in the new league while missing the international season.
Worries will be there for the likes of Beauden Barrett and Brodie Retallick signing new contracts this year will provide for a sabbatical in Japan which could cause major problems.
The new league would replace the current Top League which contains 16 teams with the proposed new league reducing to 12 teams.
We will have to wait and see what happens over the next couple of months but not only could we see countries finding it hard to get players to play internationally if the league goes ahead but for Super Rugby players it could lead to them becoming burned out as they try to play all year round between the two leagues. However, it would allow the Japanese players to continue to improve as they mix among the world’s best.
Six to be Added to Hall of Fame
Six legends of the game will be entering the World Rugby Hall of Fame later this year
World Rugby have confirmed that there will be a total of six new faces added to the World Rugby Hall of Fame on November 3rd this year.
World Rugby Chairman and Hall of Fame inductee Sir Bill Beaumont has congratulated all of the newcomers and has recognised them as key figures in the game.
“Our beloved game of rugby would not be what it is today without the contributions of remarkable trailblazers, men and women, who form the World Rugby Hall of Fame. They are players and coaches, true legends of the game that have embodied our values and will continue to inspire generations to come. On behalf of the rugby family, I would like to recognise and celebrate the outstanding achievements of this year’s six new inductees, Richie McCaw, Shiggy Konno, Os du Randt, Peter Fatialofa, Graham Henry and Diego Ormaechea for their outstanding career and thank them for their immense footprint on our game. We look forward to honouring them in November at what promises to be a very special night,” he said.
The players have been chosen due to their outstanding contribution to the sport throughout their careers, while they have also shown the key characteristics of the sport in passion, integrity, solidarity, discipline and respect.
All will be added to the Hall of Fame at the World Rugby Awards which take place on November the 3rd, following the final of the Rugby World Cup the day previous. The ceremony will be held in The Prince Park Tower in Tokyo with McCaw, Henry and Ormaechea expected to attend the event.
London Irish Omit Jackson from Squad
London Irish have decided against handing Paddy Jackson his debut this week to avoid controversy
It had been previously reported that Jackson could be in line for his debut for the Exiles against the men from southern Ireland. However, a number of people had expressed plans to protest if he played on Irish shores once more leading to the Premiership clubs’ decision.
Jackson, who was found not guilty during his high-profile court case in Belfast last year, was also left behind for a trip to Ireland by former employers Perpignan when they travelled to face Connacht in Galway during the Challenge Cup.
The fly-half’s move to the English side has also sparked debate among fans and has seen long-term sponsors Diageo cancel their deal with them.
Only last week the club’s head coach Declan Kidney backed Jackson for success with his new side but there is no doubt that whether that happens or not there will be bumps along the way.
In his absence Irish have selected Stephen Myler and Jacob Atkins as the options at out-half for the annual Jack Wakefield Memorial Trophy match.
While Jackson will have to wait until at least the 21st of September to play in his first game when they head to Kingsholm to face Gloucester.
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