As there was no official test rugby this weekend (England played the Barbarians in a non-test match) I have had a short break away from the computer.
June is one of the busiest months on the international rugby calendar.
China v India in New Delhi (Asia Nations Div.2; Semi-final 1)
Thailand v Philippines in New Delhi (Asia Nations Div.2, Semi-final 2)
The two most populous nations in the world play each other in test rugby for the first time. If you had said to me 20 years ago that this event would occur I would have thought you crazy. These two nations actually fought a brief war in 1962 over territorial claims in India's North-East regions. There has always been tensions between these two nations. Of recent the Tibetan issue springs to mind.
This will be the first international 15's rugby tournament that India has hosted. I would expect Thailand to prevail. They have the longest history in the game.
Wales v South Africa in Cardiff
Fiji v Australia in Canberra
Ukraine v Romania in Bucharest (WCQ Europe R5; Semi-final 2nd leg)
Canada v Uruguay in Glendale (Churchill Cup, Pool A)
Russia v United States in Glendale (Churchill Cup, Pool B)
Final of the Asia Nations Div.2 tournament in New Delhi
Playoff for the above tournament
For the first time a Southern Hemisphere side will play in the Northern Hemisphere in June. South Africa kicks their 2010 season away for the first time that I can recall. The clash also begins Wales' southern tour!
Fiji and Australia begin their 2010 international rugby season. It will be a tough game for the Fijians as they struggle to field their best players. The Churchill Cup begins in the USA with the favourites the England Saxons (or England 'A') starting on Sunday week. I'd expect Romania to walk all over the Ukraine and progress to the World Cup repecharge stage whilst the finals of Asia Nations Division 1 will see who is promoted and who is relegated.