Monday, May 31, 2010


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.

Monday, May 24, 2010


Argentina A 48, Chile 9 in Santiago.

Sunday, May 23, 2010


Japan 94, Hong Kong 5 in Tokyo (WCQ Asia R2; Asia5Nations)
Kazakhstan 32, Korea 25 in Incheon (WCA Asia R2; Asia5Nations)
Romania 33, Ukraine 3 in Kiev (WCQ Europe R5 Playoff, 1st leg)
Slovenia 16, Norway 13 in Oslo (ENC 3B)
Finland 22, Estonia 15 in Viismi (Friendly. Estonia’s first test match

Japan is going to the 2011 Rugby World Cup finals in New Zealand. Sounds like a big announcement and it is. It's just that that fact was known long ago as Japan is light years ahead of any Asian rivals, as this years Asia5Nations results prove. Japan were too good for a Hong Kong team who needed a bonus point to keep their 2nd Asia spot. It wasn't to be because fireworks were happening across the water in Korea.

Kazakhstan came from being down 25-13 to mount the mother of a comeback to gain all the points needed (including a bonus for 4 tries, 3 to a certain Anton Rudoy!) and snatch that second place away from Hong Kong. What a game they tell me. I said it would be a cracker!

Romania, with a number of stars absent, rumbled their way over Ukraine to gain a decisive 33-3 win. Romania look to have Europe R5 sewn up with a home game second leg fixture against Ukraine in Bucharest next month.

Slovenia will play in ENC 3A for 2010-12 with a close 16-13 win in Oslo, whilst Estonia kicked off their international rugby with a respectable loss to Finland in Estonia.

We, players and media, have an international rugby rest next weekend as there are no, as far as I'm aware, test matches scheduled for the 29th. Which is just as well as I'm running a stamp and coin fair in my home town here in Tasmania.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

WORLD CUP RUGBY: Japan certain of Title and No.1 Spot

Hong Kong v Japan in Tokyo (WCQ Asia R2; Asia5Nations)

Venue: Prince Chichibu Memorial Rugby Stadium


Unless Hong Kong can produce a stunner of a performance, Japan will almost certainly go to the 2011 Rugby World Cup as Asia No.1. Japan has had the spot virtually wrapped up even before this tournament began. It is a worrying factor that Japan stands so far out from the pack. The other nations just do not seem to be catching up.

Hong Kong has had, apart from the loss to the Arabian Gulf a great season. They started with a convincing win over Korea and then defeated Kazakhstan 19-15 at home. But given those successes, Japan is in an Asia shelf all on its own. Even if John Kirwan placed his most inexperienced players on the paddock, it would still be enough to defeat Hong Kong.

Hong Kong will be without two stalwarts in the forwards. Prop Nigel Hobler, who scored a vital try against Kazakhstan and was one of the best of the forwards, is out with injury, and lock forward Simon Clarke has returned to England.

Previous Encounters
02.05.2009 Japan 59-6 in Hong Kong (Asia5Nations)
18.05.2008 Japan 75-29 in Niigata (Asia5Nations)
29.04.2007 Japan 73-3 in Tokyo (Asia Nations Div.1)
18.11.2006 Japan 52-3 in Hong Kong (WCQ Asia R3; 20th Asia Champ.)
08.05.2005 Japan 91-3 in Tokyo (WCQ Asia Qualifying; Div.1)

Hong Kong defeated Japan 17-16 back in 1998 in the Pacific Rim days, but not since.

GWC Rugby Rankings
World Table-Japan 13th, Hong Kong 27th
IRB Rankings: Japan 70.59,13th; Hong Kong 52.49, 26th
GWC Asia table-Japan 1st, Hong Kong 2nd.

Prediction: Japan by 50 points.



Hong Kong Squad
John Abel (DeA) 31
Timothy Alexander (Valley) 29
Alexander Baddeley (Valley) 29
Jack Bennett (Valley) 28
Colin Bisley (HKCC) 31
Renaud Chavanis (Valley) 29
Kenneth Chun Hang(Kowloon) 20
Charles French (HKFC) 26
Simon Hempel (HKCC) 30
Tsang Hing Hung (DeA) 24
Rory Hussey (HKFC) 32
Yiu Kam Shing (Valley) 22
Simon Leung (HKCC) 29
Kwok Ka Chun (Kowloon) 24
Alexander McQueen (HKCC) 22
Alex Ng Wai Shing (Valley) 21
Adam Raby (HKFC) 24
Keith Robertson (DeA) 23
Peter Spizzirri (HKFC) 35
James Stokes (Valley) 30
Rowan Varty (DeA) 24
Mark Wright (HKFC) 25

Head Coach: Dai Rees

Adapted from


15. Goshi Tachikawa (Toshiba) Age 33, 16 Tests
14. Alisi Tupuailei (Canon Eagles) 29, 5
13. Koji Taira (Suntory) 27, 20
12. Ryan Nicholas (Suntory) 30, 19
11. Kosuke Endo (Toyota) 29, 28
10. Shaun Webb (Coca-Cola) 28, 18
9. Fumiaki Tanaka (Sanyo) 25, 16
8. Ryuko Holani (Sanyo) 27, 8
7. Toetu’u Taufa (Kintetsu) 29, 12
6. Masakazu Toyota (Coca-Cola) 23, 8
5. Luke Thompson (Kintetsu) 29, 21
4. Hitoshi Ono (Toshiba) 31, 39
3. Shinsuke Nakamura (Suntory) 22, 4
2. Shota Horie (Sanyo) 24, 4
1. Hisateru Hirashima (Kobe) Age 27, 13 Tests
16. Hiroki Tuhara (Toshiba) 26, 2
17. Naoki Kawamata (Sanyo) 24, 5
18. Toshizumi Kitagawa( Toyota) 29, 27
19. Michael Leitch (Tokai University) 21, 9
20. Timoki Toshida (Toshiba) 28, 21
21. James Arlidge (Newport Gwent Dragons, Wales) 30, 19
22. Kaoru Matsushita (Toyota) 26, 3

Head Coach: John Kirwan

Adapted from

WORLD CUP RUGBY:Asia Saga About to End

Kazakhstan v Korea in Incheon (WCQ Asia R2; Asia5Nations)



Forget about the Asia5Nations. Both these teams are well out of that race. Both have eyes on other targets.

Korea is in the position of facing relegation. Never before has Korea been in this situation. Up until today they have lost to all the other teams in this competition and another loss will mean they possibly play in Asia Nations Division 1 for 2010, being replaced by Sri Lanka. That may not eventuate depending upon what the Asia RU will do with the disbanded Arabian Gulf. Until that decision is made Korea's position is precarious. They must win today to regain some credibility.

Kazakhstan has a special prize within its grasp. Loses to Arabian Gulf and to Hong Kong has meant that the valued 2nd Asia position has slipped from its grasp, a position they held last year. A win with a bonus point for 4 or more tries will be their aim. If they can do that, and hope that Hong Kong doesn't somehow manage a bonus point against Japan, then the second place will be theirs. This game will be a cracker!

Kazakhstan are not the team they were in 2009. I watched the recorded Hong Kong-Kazakhstan game and the boys from Almaty have little more happening in their game plan other than grunting away in the forwards. It was very one dimensional. They will struggle if Korea decides to play an expansive game out wide and use their backs. Another factor will be if their world class loose forward Anton Rudoy will play.

Previous Encounters
02.05.2009 Kazakhstan 30-27 in Almaty (Asia5Nations)
17.05.2008 Korea 40-21 in Seoul (Asia5Nations)
20.10.2003 Korea 45-19 in Seoul (Asia Tournament)

GWC Rugby Rankings
Asia Table-Kazakhstan 3rd, Korea 5th
IRB Rankings-Korea 55.73, Kazakhstan 54.05, Korea being just one place away on the Asia table

Prediction: Korea by 3 points and Hong Kong takes 2nd place and a chance to go the the Rugby World Cup finals.

Teams are not as yet available.
65[1] 67[1]


Argentina A 38, Uruguay 0 in Santiago (CONSUR A, 2nd Phase)

WORLD CUP RUGBY: Ukraine Face a Huge Test

Romania v Ukraine in Kiev (WCQ Europe R5 Final, 1st leg)

Venue: Spartak Stadion,

Referee: Maciello (France)

The Ukraine defeated Lithuania 27-16 on the 8th of May to progress to this stage in the World Cup qualifying stage. The win ended Lithuania's amazing run of consecutive test victories, 18, which is now a world record. Ukraine's win ended a horror run of losses in ENC 2A in which it still managed to hold the top place in that division.

Romania is here because it gained 3rd place overall in ENC division 1 for 2008-10. Georgia and Russia gained 1st and 2nd gaining them automatic qualification to the 2011 Rugby World Cup finals.

Romania arrives in Ukraine without their coach (sacked?), nor with experienced regulars Dumitras, Sirbu, Tonita, Petre, Tincu, Dima, Carpo and Lazar. Hmmmm!

Ukraine was briefly in ENC 1 back in 2005-06. They got thrashed in the two games they played against Romania.

Previous Encounters
03.06.2006 Romania 58-0 in Kiev (ENC 1)
19.03.2005 Romania 97-0 in Bucharest (ENC 1)
30.05.1998 Romania 39-17 in Kiev (WCQ Europe, Pool 2, Rnd B)

GWC Rugby Rankings
Europe Table-Romania 7th, Ukraine 15th
IRB Ratings-Romania 67.85, Ukraine 54.42, with 5 places between them on the Europe table only.

Prediction: I can see Ukraine putting up a good fight at home in front of a passionate crowd but it wont be enough. Romania by 15 points

Romania Squad
Ionut Botezatu (CSM Baia Mare) Age 22, 6 tests
Stelian Burcea (CSU Arad) 26, 21
Stefan Ciuntu (CSM Baia Mare) 23, 21
Alin Coste (Narbonne, France) 21, 9
Robert Dascalu (CSA Steaua Bucuresti) 25, 25
Ionut Dimofte, Capt. (CSM Baia Mare) 25, 39
Danut Dumbrava (CSA Steaua Bucuresti) 28, 42
Silviu Florea (US Montauban) 32, 22
Csaba Gal (CSM Baia Mare) 24, 20
Valentin Ivan (CS Dinamo Bucuresti) 21, 3
Viorel Lucaci (CSA Steaua Bucuresti) 23, 2
Mihai Macovei (CSM Baia Mare) 22, 14
Samuel Maris (CSA Steaua Bucuresti) New
Catalin Nicolae (RCJ Farul) 29, 11
Cezar Popescu (Saint Medard en Jalles) 32, 37
Andrei Radoi (CSM Baia Mare) New
Marius Sirbe (Tarbes, France) New
Socol Sorin (FC Oloronais, France) 31, 51
Florin Surugiu (CSM Bucuresti) New
Sergiu Ursache (Casino di Venezia, Italy) ?, 1
Valentin Ursache (CSM Baia Mare) 24, 23
Florin Vlaicu (CSA Steaua Bucuresti) 23, 29
Bogdan Zebega (CSA Steaua Bucuresti) 25, 17

Coaches: Romeo Gontineac and Steve McDowell

Adapted from


Ukraine Squad
Orlov Віта (Enisey-STM-Krasnoyarsk, Russia)
Evigney Chaika (RC Kredo 63)
Vitaly Dotsenko (RC Aviator)
Sergei Garkavy (RC Olymp-RSC KhTZ)
Vladyslav Grabovsky (RK Sokol)
Oleg Kosarev (RC Olymp-RSC KhTZ)
Nikolai Kirsanov (RC Olymp-RSC KhTZ)
Vyacheslav Krasylnyk (RC Olymp-RSC KhTZ)
Maksym Kravchenko (RC Olymp-RSC KhTZ)
Oleksandr Lomakin (RC Olymp-RSC KhTZ)
Jaba Malaguradze (RC Kredo 63)
Pavlo Masyukov (RCKredo-63)
Andrei Melnikov (RC Olymp-RSC KhTZ)
Demen Mikola (RC Aviator) New?
Serge Monastir (RC Kredo 63)
Dmytro Mukhin (RC Olymp-RSC KhTZ)
Vyacheslav Ponomarkenko (RC Olymp-RSC KhTZ)
Serhiy Sukhykh (RC Olymp-RSC KhTZ)
Oleksandr Tsapenko (RC Olymp-RSC KhTZ)
Serhiy Tserkovny (RC Olymp-RSC KhTZ)
Maksym Tyurikov (RC Olymp-RSC KhTZ)
Eduard Vertiletsky (RC Kredo 63)
Bogdan Voloshin (RK Sokol)
Sergei Yanchiy (RC Olymp-RSC KhTZ)
Ievgen Zapolsky (RK Sokol)
HeadCoach: Valeri Kochanov

Adapted from


Slovenia v Oslo in Oslo (ENC 3B)

Venue: Aksla Stadion, Ålesund

Referee: Kulakoskis (Lithuania)

Previous Encounter
25.04.2009 Slovenia 14-10

'This is the game that will decide promotion from Division 3B. Slovenia need to win or draw the match to overtake Hungary and seal 1st place, a defeat for them means that Hungary win the Division on the head-to-head try count of 7 - 5 as the scores from the two games are equal at 43 - 43. Norway could take 3rd place above Denmark with a win, both teams would have 16 points but Norway have a 5 point advantage from the head-to-head games', so says 'Quentin' at

*This will be the last game in charge for John Chappell the Norway coach and prop Håkon Stengrimsen will retire from international rugby. Erik Lund, who moves to Heineken Cup finalists Biarritz Olympique for next season may be in the Norway squad.
* from

Thanks again to 'Quentin'.

GWC and IRB Rugby Rankings
GWC Europe Table-Slovenia 29th, Norway 33rd

IRB Points-Slovenia 39.96, Norway 38.21, Norway being two places below Slovenia in just European terms.

Prediction: Slovenia by 9 points



Norway Squad
Kristoffer Borsheim (Stavanger RK)
Thomas Bichard Breaud (Oslo RK)
James Buncle (London Scottish RFC, England)
Alex Diessner (Stavanger RK)
Andreas Fyri (Oslo RK)
Joseph Greenshields (Bergen RK)
Andrei Hanger (Cheltenham RFC, England)
Neal Hughes (Stavanger RK)
William Hume (Bergen RK)
Francis Hunt (Oslo RK)
Stein Ove Kristensen (Trondheim RK)
Timothy Landridge (Tønsberg RK)
Eivind Lunde (Stavanger RK)
Erlend Meldalen (OSI RK)
Pascal Raclin (Oslo RK)
Oliver Rogers (Tunbridge Wells RFC, England)
Stian Røstberg (Bergen RK)
Michael Shelley (Bergen RK)
Fredrik Skovly (Oslo RK)
Andre Slaatta (Bergen RK)
Håkon Stengrimsen (Holstebro RK)

Head Coach: John Chappell


Slovenia Squad
Damjan Ahačič (RK Ljubjana)
Žiga Burnik (RK Ljubjana)
Peter Gobec (RK Ljubjana)
Simon Gombač (RK Bežigrad)
Marko Gumzej (RK Bežigrad)
Andrew Harrison (Foreign club)
Tit Hočevar (Oxford Harlequins, England)
Alejandro Hostnik (Pucara, Argentina)
Iztok Javornik (RK Ljubjana)
Goran Jelenčič (RK Bežigrad)
Damjan Jovič (RK Ljubjana)
Peter Kavčič (RK Ljubjana)
Matej Kos (RK Ljubjana)
Žarko Krsmanovič (RK Ljubjana)
Luka Miklič (RAK Olimpija)
Grega Miljuš (RK Ljubjana)
Lovro Sambol (RK Bežigrad)
Klemen Slavec (RK Bežigrad)
Dali Suljič (Foreign club)
Anže Troppan (RK Ljubjana)
Borut Završan (RAK Olimpija)
Pavle Žle (RK Ljubjana)

Head Coach: Žiga Dobnikar

Adapted from ... ice&id=287


Finland v Estonia in Viimsi (Friendly)

News image

Venue: Viimsi Stadium


This match is a semi-official test match as it has not been sanctioned by FIRA-AER. This is probably because Estonia is yet to be a member of the European rugby body. Nevertheless, my Finnish source informs me that both sides will only field eligible players.

Despite that in real terms this will be Estonia's first international rugby test match. Estonia has five clubs listed on their new web site RFC Märjamaa, which has a very flash and informative web site, Paide RFC, Tallin Sharks, Tartu Lelo and the Uudeküla Bulldogs.

In the past Estonia has been more involved with rugby league although the Tallin Sharks has also played rugby union. Last year Latvia played the English Deaf side in Folkstone (where I believe a number of Estonians have established themselves) and lost 21-36.

It is difficult to predict a result, especially as the strength of the Finnish side is not known, although I would be surprised if Finland turned up with their strongest side. Finland came last in FIRA-AER 3C and will play in 3D for 2010-12, the level that Estonia would enter once they are affiliated.

Prediction: Finland by 12 points.

Friday, May 21, 2010


Uruguay v Argentina 'A' in Santiago



This is a very experienced Argentina Jaguars team that arrives in Santiago. I would expect that Uruguay Friday, and Chile Sunday to have serious troubles containing this side. For the Argentine players many have the prospect of being selected for the full Argentine side to play France and Scotland next month. No fewer than eight players in Argentina 'A' ply their trade in Europe. Uruguay and Chile has a handful between them!

Uruguay performed better than expected against Chile Wednesday. They will be beginning to feel the strain of continuous rugby this week but they do have the advantage of recent match play and time for team skills. In the end I don't these advantages will count for much.

Last Five Encounters
06.11.2009 Argentina XV 55-13 in Buenos Aires
01.11.2009 Argentina XV 54-22 in Cordoba
23.05.2009 Argentina 'A' 33-9 in Montevideo (CONSUR A Final)
31.05.2008 Argentina "A' 43-8 in Montevideo (CONSUR A)
15.05.2005 Argentina XV 27-21 in Buenos Aires (26th S.America Champ.)

Argentina defeated Uruguay 26-0 in an official test in July 2006, as part of the World Cup 2007 qualifying stage.

GWC Rugby Rankings do not apply.

Prediction: Argentina too slick, too good, by 60 points.


Argentina A Squad
Belisario Agulla (Hindú Club)
Horacio Agulla (Brive, France)
Gabriel Ascárate (Natación y Gimnasia Tucumán)
Rodrigo Báez (Liceo R.C)
Lucas Borges (Albi, France)
Rodrigo Bruno (Jockey de Villa María Cordobesa)
Carlos Cáceres (Tucumán Lawn Tennis)
Alejandro Campos (Mountabaun, France)
Matías Cortese (Liceo R.C)
Tomás Cubelli (Belgrano Athletic)
Álvaro Galindo (Racing Metro, France)
Mauricio Guidone (La Plata R.C)
Agustín Guzmán (Tucumán R.C)
Pablo Henn (Brive, France)
Juan José Imhoff (Duendes R.C)
Alfredo Lalanne (London Irish, England)
Marcos Augusto Lobato (Tala R.C)
Francisco Merello (Regatas de Bella Vista)
Ignacio Mieres (Stade Francais, France)
Ramiro Pacheco (Atlético de Rosario)
Luciano Proto (Tucumán Lawn Tennis)
Guillermo Roan (La Plata R.C)
Nicolás Sánchez (Tucuman Lawn Tennis)
Agustín Smidt (La Tablada Cordobesa)
Benjamín Urdapilleta (C.U.B.A.)
Matías Viazzo (Bourgoin, France)

Head Coaches: Daniel Hourcade and Raul Perez

No fewer than eight players ply their trade in France or England

Carlos Arboleya (Trébol Rugby) 1985.07.23, Age 24, 9 tests
Santiago Arocena (Old Christians) 1987.06.19, Age 22, New cap
Nicolas Badano ( Old Boys) 1983.10.06, Age 26, New cap
Edgardo Benitez (Trébol Rugby) 1988.05.15, Age 21. New cap
Matias Braun (Pucarú-Stade Galuois)1987.02.06, Age 23, New cap
Emiliano Caffera (Champagnat) 1978.10.30, Age 31, 25
Alejo Corral (San Isidro, Argentina) 1981.09.11, Age 28, New cap
Martin Crosa (Old Boys)1986.09.08, Age 23, 2
Juan De Freitas (Champagnat) 1989.12.13, Age 20, New cap
Santiago Deicas (Old Christians) 1986.10.31, Age 23, New cap
Ivo Dugonjic (Pucarú-Stade Galuois)1985.06.12, Age 24, 10
Martin Espiga (Old Christians)1985.02.02, Age 25, 9
Matais Fonseca (Los Cuervos)1988.07.25, Age 21, 5
Santiago Gortari (Old Boys) 1989.09.20, Age 20, New cap
Ignacio Grignola (Trébol Rugby) 1982.10.22, Age 27, New cap
Juan Pablo Horta (Old Christians) 1986.10.10, Age 23, 2
Leandro Leivas (Old Christians)1988.07.06, Age 21, 4
Adrian Lewis (Los Cuervos)1988.06.10, Age 21, New cap
Juan Martin Llovet (Old Christians)1985.10.15, Age 24, 13
Diego Lussich (Trébol Rugby) 1985.09.12, Age 24, New cap
Diego Magno (Montevideo Cricket Club)1989.04.27, Age 21, 1
Manuel Martinez (Old Christians) 1984.12.10, Age 25, 1
Gaston Mieres (Los Lobos Rugby)1989.10.05, Age 20, New cap
Nicolas Morales (Trébol Rugby) 1984.04.07, Age 26, 12
Juan Pedro Rombys (Trébol Rugby) 1987.03.05, Age 23, 5
Juan Pablo Ruffalini (Los Cuervos)1989.02.24, New cap

Head Coach: Gonzalo Camardón


Uruguay v Argentina 'A' in Santiago (CONSUR A, Phase 2)

Hong Kong v Japan in Tokyo (WCQ Asia R2; Asia5Nations)
Kazakhstan v Korea in Incheon (WCQ Asia R2; Asia5Nations)
Romania v Ukraine in Kiev (WCQ R5, Semi-final, 1st leg)
Norway v Slovenia in Oslo (ENC 3B)
Finland v Estonia in Viimsi (Friendly)

Chile v Argentina 'A' in Santiago (CONSUR A, Phase 2)

The Korea v Kazakhstan game takes centre stage in Asian rugby. A win with a bonus point to Kazakhstan could see them take second place on the Asia5Nations table and into second place. Hong Kong needs a bonus points against Japan to see them hold second place and a World Cup repecharge position.

In Europe the fist leg of the World Cup Europe Round 5 final begins in Kiev. Ukraine will play Romania, the second leg taking place in early June.

Slovenia looks poised to take promotion to ENC 3A for 2010-12. A win against Norway will secure this place.

I'm awaiting confirmation of the status of the Finland-Estonia game. If it is an official test it will be Estonia's first

Thursday, May 20, 2010


Brazil 23, Paraguay 18 in Santiago
Uruguay 36, Chile 19 in Santiago

Brazil continued its dominance over its South American neighbour Paraguay, whilst Uruguay surprised a little with a 36-19 win over Chile. Chile would be disappointed with that result. By my reckoning, this was not Uruguay's strongest side, with retirements and unavailability requiring an fairly inexperienced side to travel to Santiago.

What next ?
Last Year Argentina 'A' or the Jaguars, then came on the scene and played, firstly the seconded placed side, which was Chile, and then the winner played Uruguay.

According to the CONSUR web site, Argentina 'A' will play Uruguay tomorrow Friday, and then Chile on Sunday. Frankly, that doesn't make sense to me.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

TEST RUGBY: CONSUR A Preliminary Finals

Brazil v Uruguay in Santiago
Uruguay v Chile in Santiago

As most would have predicted the teams playing on the final day of the CONSUR Preliminary round are Chile v Uruguay in the final, and Brazil and Paraguay struggling for 3rd and 4th.

Brazil v Paraguay

In this match last year Brazil overtook Paraguay as the number 4 team in CONSUR. They won 36-21. It looks like it could the same way this year. Brazil lost to Chile 8-31 whilst Paraguay lost to Chile 6-42. Brazil pushed Uruguay in the first game 10-26 whilst Paraguay lost 14-47 to Uruguay in the second round. On those performances, Brazil has the edge.

Prediction: Brazil by 17 points

Chile v Uruguay

This year I see this result ending up differently from last year. Chile has the home ground advantage and that counts for a lot at this level of international rugby. Uruguay has brought the experienced team they had last year.

Prediction: Chile by 10 points

Monday, May 17, 2010


Chile 31, Brazil 8
Uruguay 47, Paraguay 14

These results set up predictable 'finals' for Thursday. Chile will play Uruguay and must fancy their chances of upsetting their eastern rivals. The Brazil v Paraguay was always going to be. Last year Brazil took this one out 36-21. Can they do the same again?

Sunday, May 16, 2010


Paraguay v Uruguay
Chile v Brazil

Thursday's games told us that Uruguay has brought a young developing side. They have at least a dozen of their top players not here. They have either retired or unable to travel. I'd hope that they would be available for the vital clashes coming up. Uruguay will play in this years Churchill Cup before they take on the second Asian side in the World Cup repecharge playoff in July.

Paraguay struggled against hosts Chile last week. They will want to take advantage of a weakened Uruguayan side. On the other hand Brazil will also want to put up a good show against tournament favourites Uruguay ahead of their clash with Paraguay next week. The tournament draw has pitted Uruguay against Chile next week in what will probably be the final. If Brazil or Paraguay can cause an upset it will likely lead to one of them coming second. Second place getting get to face Argentina Jaguars or 'A' a week later in the preliminary final. The winner of that game will face the No.1 team in the Grand Final.

Paraguay v Uruguay

82[1] 24[1]

Last Five Encounters
25.04.2009 Uruguay 85-7 in Montevideo (CONSUR A Preliminary)
30.04.2003 Uruguay 53-7 in Montevideo (24th S.American Championship)
04.05.2002 Uruguay 81-6 in Mendoza (23rd S.American Championship)
06.10.2001 Uruguay 62-8 in Montevideo (22nd S.American Championship)
10.10.1998 Uruguay 93-3 in Asuncion (20th S.American Championship)

Paraguay has never defeated Uruguay since their first game in 1971.

GWC Rugby Rankings
CONSUR Table-Uruguay 2nd, Paraguay 5th

IRB Ranking Points
Uruguay 60.89
Paraguay 50.93

Prediction: Uruguay by 20 points

Chile v Brazil

48[1] 43[1]

Last Five encounters
25.04.2009 Chile 79-3 in Santiago (CONSUR A Preliminary)
13.10.2005 Chile 57-13 in Sao Paulo (WCQ America R2)
13.04.2002 Chile 46-6 in Sao Paulo (WCQ Americas R3)
15.10.1993 Chile 37-26 in Santiago (17th S.American Championship)
21.08.1991 Chile 23-16 in Santiago (16th S.American Championship)

Brazil has never defeated Chile. The closest they got was at the 3rd South American Championship in 1964, held in Brazil, when they drew 16-16.

GWC Rugby Rankings
CONSUR A Table-Chile 3rd, Brazil 4th

IRB Ranking Points
Chile 57.95
Brazil 54.97

Prediction: Chile by 46 points


Japan 101, Kazakhstan 7 in Tokyo (WCQ Asia R2; Asia5Nations)
Slovenia 14, Denmark 12 in Ljubliana (ENC 3B)
Austria 19, Hungary 17 in Vienna (ENC 3B)
Laos 16, Cambodia 14 in Vientiane (Mekong Cup)

Kazakhstan shipped a huge cricket score against Japan. A disaster for Kazakhstan rugby. They are not up to Rugby World Cup finals standard on that performance. My money for the 2nd Asia spot is now on Hong Kong. Next weekend's Korea v Kazakhstan will be interesting. How the Kazahks do and how Hong Kong deals with japan will determine 2nd place.

Slovenia pipped Denmark in the dying stages of this match keeping Slovenia's hopes of promotion well and truly alive. After Austria's shock 19-17 win over leaders Hungary all Slovenia has to do against Norway next weekend is win and they are in. Hungary must be wondering what they have to do to win in Vienna (They lost 6-9 back in 2008 under exact same circumstances).

Saturday, May 15, 2010

ASIA 5 NATIONS: Kazakhstan Tackles Japan

Kazakhstan v Japan in Tokyo (WCQ Asia R2; Asia5Nations)

Venue: Prince Chichibu Memorial Ground


HONG KONG32016039211112
ARABIAN GULF420270131-611011

It would be a little presumptuous to expect Kazakhstan to win in Tokyo. Originally scheduled for Kazakhstan, the match was transferred to Tokyo because the facilities/amenities in Almaty were not up to standard. Whatever chance Kazakhstan had of winning (and it was slim even in the best possible circumstances) disappeared with that decision.

However, Kazakhstan has a real possibility of securing the much prized second Asian place in this competition. That would result in a repecharge playoff with Uruguay. Only Hong Kong stands in their way. Kazakhstan would have to win against Korea and hope that Hong Kong doesn't get a bonus point against Japan, or, most unlikely, a win.

Kazakhstan has a couple of dynamic players. Anton Rudoy is a world class loose forward. He bagged 3 tries against Arabian Gulf, missed the game against Hong Kong (which Kazakhstan lost) but returns against Japan. Fullback Lifantov is a real asset at fullback. Dynamic when he enters the backline and has a huge boot.

Anton Rudoy (left) could well make life very difficult for Japan. Image thanks to

Japan is on the home run for that finals place at the world Cup. John Kirwan has made a number of changes in the lineup and has left out seasoned campaigners Holani, captain Kikutani, Kitigawa and half back Toshiba. Is it a gamble? Well, I just can't see Kazakhstan getting close but it might not be a cricket score either.

Previous Encounters
24.04.2009 Japan 87-10 in Osaka (Asia5Nations)
10.05.2008 Japan 82-6 in Almaty (Asia5Nations)
10.12.1998 Japan XV 118-3 in Bangkok (Asia Games)

GWC Rugby Rankings
Asia Table-Japan 1st, Kazakhstan 3rd

Prediction: Japan by 30 points



15. Goshi Tachikawa (Toshiba) 33, 15
14. Kosuke Endo (Toyota) 29, 27
13. Koji Taira (Suntory) 27, 19
12. Ryan Nicholas (Suntory) 30, 18
11. Yasunori Nagatomo (Suntory) 24, 2
10. Shaun Webb (Coca-Cola) 28, 17
9. Fumiaki Tanaka (Sanyo) 25, 15
8. Masakazu Toyota (Coca-Cola) 23, 7
7. Toetu’u Taufa (Kintetsu) 29, 11
6. Sione Vatuvei (Sanyo) 27, 2
5. Luke Thompson (Kintetsu) 29, 20
4. Hitoshi Ono (Toshiba) 31, 38
3. Kensuke Hatakeyama (Suntory) 24, 11
2. Shota Horie (Sanyo) 24, 3
1. Hisateru Hirashima (Kobe) Age 27, 12 Tests
16. Takeshi Kizu (Tokai Univ) 21, 2
17. Shinsuke Nakamura (Suntory) 22, 3
18. Nozomu Fujita (Honda Heat) 25, 2
19. Shinya Makabe (Suntory) 23, 1
20. Koji Wada (Toyota) 25, 1
21. James Arlidge (Newport Gwent Dragons, Wales) 30, 18
22. Alisi Tupuailei (Canon Eagles) 29, 2

Head Coach: John Kirwan

Adapted from


Kazakhstan Squad
Ildar Abdrazakov (Almaty RFC) 11.09.1987, Age 22
Azattto Abishev (Almaty RFC) 19.11.1981, Age 28
Daulet Akymbekov (CSKA Almaty) 06.04.1988, Age 22
Evgeniy Antonov (Enisey-STM-Krasnoyarsk) 03.05.1974, Age 35
Akhmetzhan Baratov (Almaty RFC) 15.12.1985, Age 24
Mikhail Bzhitskih (RC Novokuznetski, Russia) 29.12.1986, Age 22
Denis Cherkashin (Almaty RFC) 06.01.1979, Age 31
Vladimir Chernykh (RC Novokuznetski, Russia) 12.08.1973, Age 36
Oleg Gusel’nikov (RC Novokuznetsk, Russia) 25.04.1989, Age 21
Sergey Harlov (RC Novokuznetsk, Russia) 26.08.1983, Age 26
Grigoriy Ivanchenko (Almaty RFC) 24.03.1985, Age 25
Sergey Konev (CSKA Almaty) 06.10.1987, Age 22
Maxim Lifontov (Enisey-STM-Krasnoyarsk) 30.12.1986, Age 23
Timur Mashurov, Capt.), (Almaty RFC) 19.04.1981, Age 29
Ilya Poplavskiy(RC Novokuznetsk, Russia) 01.01.1985, Age 25
Yevgeniy Romanov (CSKA Almaty) 12.05.1987, Age 22
Anton Rudoy (Enisey-STM-Krasnoyarsk) 21.02.1983, Age 27
Yevgeniy Shekurov (RC Novokuznetsk, Russia) 28.11.1978, Age 31
Roman Sorokodzyuba (RC Novokuznetsk, Russia) 19.12.1988, Age 21
Alexandr Zakharov (RC Novokuznetsk, Russia) 17.09.1986, Age 23
Alehandr Zateev
Serik Zhanseitov (CSKA Almaty) 08.07.1981, Age 28

Head Coach: Valeriy Popov

Adapted from

INTERNATIONAL RUGBY: Denmark Travels to Slovenia

Denmark v Slovenia in Ljubliana (ENC 3B)

Venue: Oval v Stanežičah

Referee: Mossford (Finland)


It would appear that only Slovenia has a chance of winning this division and thus promotion. Slovenia's main contender, Hungary, is playing Austria today. Denmark will have to play in ENC 3B again for 2010-12. Slovenia's big disappointment of the season was to be eliminated from Rugby World Cup qualifying by lowly Israel. They can make up for that with promotion.

Slovenian coach Dobnicar has plenty of experience in the side with Hocevar now in his 10th year with the side, the return of England-based Harrison (Slovenian grandparents) and the Hostnik brothers who play for Pucara in Argentina. Slovenia are certainly taking their bid to reach ENC 3A very seriously.

Žiga Dobnikar
Slovenian coach Ziga Dobnicar. Image thanks to

Previous Encounters
01.11.2008 Slovenia 25-19 in Odense (WCQ Europe R1, ENC 3B)
25.10.2003 Denmark 21-3 in Odense (ENC 2B)
02.11.2002 Denmark 13-10 in Ljubliana (ENC 2B)

GWC Rugby Rankings
Europe Table-Denmark 29th, Slovenia 33rd.

Prediction: Slovenia at home and more to play for, by 7 points



15. Bradley Diamandis (RK Speed) 3 tests
14. Gerard Hounou (RK Speed) 2
13. Andy Nielsen (Aalborg RK) 15
12. Jesper G. Jensen (Lindø RSC) 21
11. Peter Madsen (CSR/Nanok) 8
10. Dominick Wilson (Barnes RFC, England) 21
9. Kenneth Steel (RC Odense) 12
8. Nathanael Smalley (Aarhus RK) 11
7. Johannes Soussan (CSR/Nanok) 14
6. Kristian Riberholdt (Holstebro RK) 7
5. Jonas Haaning (Frederiksberg RK) 32
4. Nicolas Eegholm (Lindø RSC) 2
3. Søren Brobyskov, Capt. (RC Odense) 35
2. Kasper Vad Pedersen (Aarhus RK) 25
1. Niels Bjerg Jensen (CSR/Nanok) 8
16. Niels Gotfredsen (Aarhus RK) 5
17. Matias Dinesen (Frederiksberg RK) 3
18. Stephen Leitch (Aarhus RK) 3
19. Emad Libis (CSR/Nanok) 1
20. Alfi Escarbarte (CSR/Nanok RK) 1
21. Alexander Østergaard (RK Speed)
22. Stefan Sousson (CSR/Nanok)

Head Coach: Chrstopher Adby

Adapted from


Slovenia Squad
(36 named earlier to be reduced to 22 on match day)
Damjan Ahačič (RK Ljubjana)
Luka Arko (RK Ljubjana)
Boris Brezar (RAK Olimpija)
Žiga Burnik (RK Ljubjana)
Goran Djuratovič (RK Ljubjana)
David Duh (RAK Olimpija)
Peter Gobec (RK Ljubjana)
Simon Gombač (RK Bežigrad)
Marko Gumzej (RK Bežigrad)
Andrew Harrison (Foreign club)
Tit Hočevar (Oxford Harlequins, England)
Alejandro Hostnik (Pucara, Argentina)
Martin Hostnik (Pucara, Argentina)
Iztok Javornik (RK Ljubjana)
Goran Jelenčič (RK Bežigrad)
Damjan Jovič (RK Ljubjana)
Grega Kosanovič (RK Bežigrad)
Peter Kavčič (RK Ljubjana)
Matej Kos (RK Ljubjana)
Žiga Kosi (RK Ljubjana)
Žarko Krsmanovič (RK Ljubjana)
Igor Kukovec (RK Bežigrad)
Urban Magušar (RAK Olimpija)
Darko Maslakovič (RK Ljubjana)
Luka Miklič (RAK Olimpija)
Grega Miljuš (RK Ljubjana)
Luka Potnik (RAK Olimpija)
Luka Recek (RK Bežigrad)
Lovro Sambol (RK Bežigrad)
Klemen Slavec (RK Bežigrad)
Klemen Šobak (RK Ljubjana)
Dali Suljič (Foreign club)
Mirt Suljič (Foreign club)
Anže Troppan (RK Ljubjana)
Borut Završan (RAK Olimpija)
Pavle Žle (RK Ljubjana)

Head Coach: Žiga Dobnikar

Adapted from

RUGBY TEST MATCH: Hungarians in Vienna

Hungary v Austria in Vienna (ENC 3B)

Venue: Sportklubplatz

Referee: Goffinet (Belgium)


Top team plays bottom team on home turf. A situation fraught with danger for the visitors. If you recall Austria won 9-6 back in 2008 here in Vienna. That win pushed a very disappointed Hungarian team away from promotion.

For today, which team has the most to fight for? From 'Quentin' at "A win for Hungary is enough to seal the promotion spot as they have a better try count in the head-to-head with Slovenia who are the only team who can equal their final points total unless Austria spring a surprise win here". Slovenia has a game in hand.

No matter the result Austria will be relegated to ENC 3C for 2010-12. A win would not give them enough points to overtake Norway. Three years ago Austria was in Division 3A. Now they slide further to 3C. What is happening in Austrian rugby?

During the week Austrian rugby was surprised by George Kaiser's announcing his retirement after a decade and more than 50 tests for Austria. There is some doubt over Krauchenberg’s position as he was injured at training.

Last Five Encounters
18.04.2009 Hungary 25-13 in Estergom (WCQ Europe R1; ENC 3B)
08.06.2008 Austria 9-6 in Vienna (ENC 3B)
21.04.2007 Hungary 27-5 in Dunaujvaros (ENC 3A)
29.04.2000 Hungary 48-18 in Budapest (FIRA D1)
10.04.1999 Austria 33-7 in Vienna (FIRA Pool B)

Hungary hasn't won in Vienna for a good many years. (My data base does not have venues for some of the earlier Austria-Hungary test matches)

GWC Rugby Rankings
Europe Table-Hungary 30th, Austria 32nd

Prediction: Hungary's first win in Austria for a long time, by 6 points



15. Max Navas (RC Donau)
14. Nicola Bignotti (AC BB, France)
13. Martin Leidl (RC Wombats Wr. Neustadt)
12. Rudi Glock (RC Donau)
11. Paul Hruschka Capt. (RC Wombats Wr. Neustadt)
10. Alexis Rigaud (RC Stade Viennois)
9. Valentin Richter (?)
8. Amir Yassari (RC Stade Viennois)
7. Ferdinand Richter (Vallee du Girou, France)
6. Alexander Krauchenberg (RC Donau)
5. Clemens Kaindl (RC Stade Viennois)
4. Andreas Gaul (RC Donau)
3. Max Müller (RC Stade Viennois)
2. Milad Farkhondeh Fal (RC Stade Viennois)
1.Wilfried Payer (RC Reichenhall, Germany)
Sebastian Borer (RC Donau)
Alberto Gomez Novak (RC Stade Viennois)
Christoph Forchtner (RC Donau)
Sebastian Freydell (RC Donau)
Mushegh Aslanyan (Vienna Celtic RFC)
Michael Kerschbaumer (RC Donau)
Julian Zöchling (?)

Head Coach: Gael Mouysset


Team not yet known



Arabian Gulf 21, Korea 19, in Dubai (WCQ Asia R2; Asia5Nations)
Lebanon 27, Jordan 8 in Dubai (Friendly)

Korea slumped to yet another defeat. With only Kazakhstan to play they look likely to take bottom place. But does that mean relegation? With the demise of the AGRFU will perhaps United Arab Emirates take their place? Will keep you posted once something official is announced.

Lebanon and Jordan played their first ever rugby test match. Lebanon being the winner. The new Gulf region is on its way.

Friday, May 14, 2010


Korea v Arabian Gulf in Dubai (WCQ Asia R2; Asia5Nations)

Venue: Sevens Stadium


This will be the final test played by the present Arabian Gulf Rugby Union. As explained on a previous thread, the Union will disband and individual nations will form their own unions. It is a special occasion, a changing from one era to another. A win to Korea would certainly save an embarrassing situation in which they are bottom of the table. I expect, though, that Sri Lanka will be promoted to join Asia5Nations for 2011 without any relegation as the Gulf Union disbands.

Previous Encounters
09.05.2008 Korea 43-20 in Doha (Asia5Nations)
05.05.2006 Korea 20-5 in Al Ain (WCQ Asia R4, Division 1)

GWC Rugby Rankings
Asia Table-Arabian Gulf 4th, Korea 5th

Prediction: The Gulf to go out with a bang, and win by 7 points.



Arabian Gulf Squad
Taif Al Delamie (Lansdowne FC, Ireland)
Paul Beard
Rama Chand (Dubai?)
David Clark (Dubai Exiles)
Michael Cox-Hill, Capt. (Dubai Exiles)
Nicholas Croker (Doha RFC)
Nicolas De Marco (French Club)
Trent Eastgate (Dubai Dragons)
Lindsay Fiztgerald (Doha RFC)
Mark Gathercole (Dubai Exiles)
Daniel Heal (Dubai Dragons)
Sean Hurley (Dubai Dragons)
Byron Kraemer (Dubai Dragons)
Edward Le Pine-Williams (Dubai Dragons)
James Love (Hartpury College, England)
John MacDonald (Cardiff University, Wales)
Duncan Murray (Dubai Hurricanes)
Rory Power (Bahrain RFC)
Michael Riley (Dubai Exiles)
Steven Smith (Dubai Hurricanes)
Karl Sutcliffe (Bahrain RFC)
Jason Voyce (Muscat RFC)

Head Coach: Bruce Birtwistle

Adapted from


Team not yet available

FIRST RUGBY TEST: Lebanon and Jordan

Lebanon v Jordan in Dubai



index_r1_c1 Jordan_Recruiting[1]

I am awaiting details of both these teams, newcomers to the stage of international rugby. It is no coincidence that these two teams meet in Dubai as a curtain-raiser for the Korea v Arabian Gulf Asia5Nations test match. The occasion marks the 41st and last test match to be played by the Arabian Gulf Rugby Union. The union will disband. The present nations in the gulf will emerge as rugby identities in their own rights in time. Syria is already formed. Bahrain, Kuwait, United Arab Emirates will quickly form, then we should see Oman and Saudi Arabia follow. The first clash today signifies the end of an era and the starting of a new one.

Jordan failed to turn up to their first international 15s tournament last year in Uzbekistan. However they are ready for this encounter. There is sadly no information on the web address

The Beirut Phoenicians was the only club in Lebanon from 1995 to 2004. In that year a new was formed, the Jamhour Black Lions. The Lebanon coach is Robbie Yule, a New Zealander. The Lebanese web site also says Lebanon will play Syria in a test match 21 May. But sadly no team list posting

GWC Rugby Rankings do not apply but these two nations will join the Asia Table after this match.

Prediction: Lebanon look to have the longer established clubs and a Kiwi coach. What else do you need? I'll say Lebanon by 10 points.


Uruguay 26, Brazil 10 in Santiago (CONSUR A, Round 1)
Chile 42, Paraguay 6 in Santiago (CONSUR A, Round 1)

Thursday, May 13, 2010


Paraguay v Chile in Santiago

Venue: Santiago

Referee: G.Gerbasi (Uruguay)

In last years tournament Chile fielded their reserves and rested players in this game, won 34-13. I'd expect this year for the Chileans to come out firing in their first game of the tournament in front of a home crowd. For Paraguay this could be bad news.

Last Five Encounters
29.04.2009 Chile 34-13 in Montevideo (CONSUR A Preliminary)
08.10.2005 Chile 38-22 in Santiago (WCQ America R2)
03.05.2003 Chile 102-0 in Montevideo (24th S.America Champ.)
28.04.2002 Chile 57-5 in Santiago (23rd S.America Champ.)
27.10.2001 Chile 48-0 in Santiago (22nd S.America Champ.)

Paraguay last defeated Chile back in 1993, when they won 25-24 in Santiago at the 17th S.American Championship. That has been the only time Paraguay has won in test matches going back to 1971.Given Paraguay's scant exposure to rugby outside CONSUR and the few tests they play, I can't see this trend changing.

The Chileans will be under enormous pressure to perform in front of their home crowd. Defeating Brazil and Paraguay should be a given, but the aim would be to defeat Uruguay and thus make the CONSUR final.

2010 coach-Graco
Chilean coach Graco and his team will be under pressure.

GWC Rugby Rankings
CONSUR Table-Chile 3rd, Paraguay 5th

Prediction: Chile by 42 points



Chile Squad
Oliver Bassa (Universitat Santo Tomas)
Felipe Brangier (Prince of Wales Country Club)
Matias Cabrera (Old Boys)
Aldo Cornejo (Viña R.C.)
Francisco De La Fuente (Auch, France)
Sergio De La Fuente (Old Mackayan's)
Francisco Deformed (Old Mackayan's)
Benjamin Del Solar (Old Boys)
Matias Gamboa (Prince of Wales Country Club)
Philipp Gerhard (Prince of Wales Country Club)
German Herrera (Old John's)
Pablo Huete (Old Boys)
Pablo Llorens (Prince of Wales Country Club)
Paul Marsalli (Univ. Catolica)
Cristian Onet (COBSA)
Rolando Pellerano (Viña R.C.)
Juan Pablo Perrot (Univ. Catolica)
Alejandro Rios (Catholic Univ) (Univ. Catolica)
Diego Sahadi (Univ. Catolica)
Diego Schachner (COBSA)
German Suazo (Stade Francais)
Rodrigo Tobar (Old John's)
Javier Valderrama (Old John's)
Nicolas Veneges (Stade Francais)
Cristobal Westeneck (Manly RFC, Australia)
Claudio Zamorano (Stade Francais)
Head Coach: Daniel Graco
List adapted from and

Not selected from original Training squad
Saloman Diaz ( COBSA)
Manuel Gurruchaga (Old John's)
Farncisco Hurtado (Old George’s)
Alfonso Lepe (Old John's)
Mathieu Manas (Stade Francais)
Luka Salamunic (Old Boys)
Rocardo Sifri (Univ. Catolica)
Ignacio Silva (Stade Francais)
Patricio Valladares (Viña R.C.)
Matias Vergara (Old Boys)
Felipe Yaconi (Old John's)


Sergio Alvarenga (Luque Rugby)
Argaña Diego (Club Universitario de Asunción)
Diego Ayala (Santa Clara)
Juan Ballasch (Club Universitario de Asunción)
Daniel Bittar (Club Universitario de Asunción)
Matias Carbonatti (Club Universitario de Asunción)
Geralt Cutties (Club Universitario de Asunción)
Diego Duarte (Santa Clara)
Alejandro Feldmann (Club Universitario de Asunción)
Fabio Franco (Stramburgo)
Juan Manuel Gabigan (Luque Rugby)
Guillermo Gomez (Club Universitario de Asunción)
Eberhard Heydel (San Jose)
Rodrigo Llamosas (San Jose)
Ariel Lopez (Luque Rugby)
Daniel Nasser (Club Universitario de Asunción)
Horacio Ocampos (Club Universitario de Asunción)
José Otaño (U.S. Cenac, France)
Eduardo Peña (Club Universitario de Asunción)
Martin Pineda (Club Universitario de Asunción)
Juan Portillo (Luque Rugby)
Fernando Recalde (Santa Clara)
Sarubi Francisco (Universidad Autónoma de Asunción)
Alexander Sharman (Club Universitario de Asunción)
Diego Sotelo (University of New Mexico Rugby, USA)
Felix Zarate (Luque Rugby)
Head Coach: Marcelo Gomez

Wednesday, May 12, 2010


The teams involved in this tournament are Chile (host), Paraguay, Brazil and Uruguay. The Argentine Jaguars come into the picture later when they play the second placed side from above, and if they win that they play the first placed side. (last year Argentina defeated Chile, then defeated Uruguay in the final)

Brazil v Uruguay (CONSUR A Preliminary)

Venue: Santiago

Referee: J.Vial (Chile)

A number of Uruguay's top players are unavailable either through retirement, or through work commitments. I'd expect a number will return for the World Cup repecharge rounds beginning in June. The two coaches are brothers. Would this be unique in world rugby? Uruguay is on another planet as far as comparing these two teams, but this Uruguayan side has a 'development' look about it, so I'd expect Brazil to get closer than they did in Montevideo last year.

Last Five Encounters
29.04.2009 Uruguay 71-3 in Montevideo (WCQ America R2; CONSUR A Preliminary)
1981 Uruguay 77-0 in Montevideo (S.America Champ.)
1979 Uruguay 48-0 in Santiago (S.America Champ.)
1977 Uruguay 47-15 in Tucuman (S.America Champ.)
1975 Uruguay 38-7 in Asuncion (S.America Champ.)

GWC Rugby Rankings
CONSUR Table-Uruguay 2nd, Brazil 4th

Prediction: Uruguay by 50 points


Uruguay Squad (DOB)
Carlos Arboleya (Trébol Rugby) 1985.07.23, Age 24, 9 tests
Santiago Arocena (Old Christians) 1987.06.19, Age 22, New cap
Nicolas Badano ( Old Boys) 1983.10.06, Age 26, New cap
Edgardo Benitez (Trébol Rugby) 1988.05.15, Age 21. New cap
Matias Braun (Pucarú-Stade Galuois)1987.02.06, Age 23, New cap
Emiliano Caffera (Champagnat) 1978.10.30, Age 31, 25
Alejo Corral (San Isidro, Argentina) 1981.09.11, Age 28, New cap
Martin Crosa (Old Boys)1986.09.08, Age 23, 2
Juan De Freitas (Champagnat) 1989.12.13, Age 20, New cap
Santiago Deicas (Old Christians) 1986.10.31, Age 23, New cap
Ivo Dugonjic (Pucarú-Stade Galuois)1985.06.12, Age 24, 10
Martin Espiga (Old Christians)1985.02.02, Age 25, 9
Matais Fonseca (Los Cuervos)1988.07.25, Age 21, 5
Santiago Gortari (Old Boys) 1989.09.20, Age 20, New cap
Ignacio Grignola (Trébol Rugby) 1982.10.22, Age 27, New cap
Juan Pablo Horta (Old Christians) 1986.10.10, Age 23, 2
Leandro Leivas (Old Christians)1988.07.06, Age 21, 4
Adrian Lewis (Los Cuervos)1988.06.10, Age 21, New cap
Juan Martin Llovet (Old Christians)1985.10.15, Age 24, 13
Diego Lussich (Trébol Rugby) 1985.09.12, Age 24, New cap
Diego Magno (Montevideo Cricket Club)1989.04.27, Age 21, 1
Manuel Martinez (Old Christians) 1984.12.10, Age 25, 1
Gaston Mieres (Los Lobos Rugby)1989.10.05, Age 20, New cap
Nicolas Morales (Trébol Rugby) 1984.04.07, Age 26, 12
Juan Pedro Rombys (Trébol Rugby) 1987.03.05, Age 23, 5
Juan Pablo Ruffalini (Los Cuervos)1989.02.24, New cap
Head Coach: Gonzalo Camardón

Brazil Squad


Front Row
01.Ramiro Daniel Mina (C) (Bandeirantes RC)
02.Daniel Xavier Danielewicz (Desterro RC)
03.Gabriel Lombello Bueno (San Jose)
04.Ian Korolkovas (Bandeirantes RC)
Henrique César 05.Júlio FIGAL
Second Line
06.Antônio Górios (Rio Branco RC)
07.Reges Comoretto Portela (Desterro RC)
08.Marcelo Tessari Danesin (RR Ribeirão)
09.Pedro Sorribes Rosa (Bandeirantes RC)
Third Line
10.Danilo Wood Taino (Ilhabela)
11.Diego Martins Giménez López (AC Pasteur)
12.Henrique Dantas Pinto (San Jose)
13.João Luiz da Ros (Desterro RC)
14.Lucas Piero Celestino T. de Moraes (Desterro RC)


Scrum Halves
15.Felipe CALRE St. Anne Silva (SPAC)
16.Leandro Castiglioni Amaral (SPAC)
Fly Half
17.Lucas Rodrigues Duque (São José)
18.Fernando Henry Jungers Portugal (Bandeirantes RC)
19.Felipe Bezian Zeni (Pasteur AC)
20.Moisés Rodrigues Duque (São José)
21.Paulo Ricardo Souza (Ilhabela)
Wings and Fullbacks
22.Daniel Hubert Gregg (Niterói RFC)
23.David Grael Vasconcellos Dias (Niterói RFC)
24.Fernando Aurélio Bueno Martins (São José)
25.Gustavo Badino Krahembuhl (Pasteur AC)
26.Philip Theodor Veeren Ramos (Desterro RC)
Coach: Rodrigo Camardón


CONSUR A tournament begins Thursday in Santiago, Chile
Brazil v Uruguay
Paraguay v Chile

Korea v Arabian Gulf in Dubai (WCQ Asia R2; Asia5Nations)
Lebanon v Jordan in Dubai (Friendly, first test match for both nations, curtain raiser to above)

Japan v Kazakhstan in Tokyo (WCQ Asia R2; Asia5Nations)
Denmark v Slovenia in Ljubliana (ENC 3B)
Austria v Hungary in Vienna (ENC 3B)
Laos v Cambodia in Vientiane (Mekong Cup)

Second round of CONSUR B in Santaigo, Chile
Paraguay v Uruguay
Chile v Brazil

Sunday, May 9, 2010


Japan 60, Arabian Gulf 5 in Tokyo (WCQ Asia R2; Asia5Nations)
Hong Kong 19, Kazakhstan 15 in Hong Kong (WCQ Asia R2; Asia5Nations)
Ukraine 27, Lithuania 16 in (WCQ Europe R4; Final)
Andorra 10, Switzerland 0 in Andorra La Vella (ENC 3A)
Barbados XV v British Virgin Islands in Bridgetown (Friendly)

Japan continued on its winning way and is still way out in fron as far as gaining the No.1 Asia rugby spot and a place in the Rugby World Cup finals. The second place getter looks more interesting. This team will qualify for the repecharge rounds. Hong Kong's win over Kazakhstan has now made it even more interesting. Korea looks well out of it and in danger of relegation!

The Ukraine ended Lithuania's dream of a place in the World Cup finals with this win. It also ended Lithuania's run of 18 wins on end. All hats off to Lithuania. To me they are the team of the year.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

TEST MATCH RUGBY: Japan and Asia 5 Nations

Arabian Gulf v Japan in Tokyo (WCQ Asia R2; Asia5Nations)

Venue: Prince Chichibu Stadium


Japan looks certain favourite to take the Asia 1 spot at the Rugby World Cup finals. Their 71-13 win over Korea last weekend will cause alarm bells to ring throughout Asia.

This game will be huge for the visiting Arabian Gulf side. Their record against Japan is not good. The last time they played in Japan, in 2008, they lost by a huge 114-6! This will be their third game in three weeks, two of them away. They did defeat Hong Kong at home 16-9 last weekend but Japan will be a different prospect.

Japanese coach John Kirwan has rung the changes from last week's side. “We want to give everyone an opportunity,” said Kirwan. “But we have to balance not putting the World Cup at risk.” So there is a smattering of experienced players. The only real hope the Gulf has is that this Japanese combination will not work. That I can't see happening.

Another preview of this game here

Previous Encounters
03.05.2008 Japan 114-6 in Osaka (Asia5Nations)
16.04.2006 Japan 82-9 in Tokyo (WCQ Asia R4, Division 1)
20.04.2003 Japan XV 79-5 in Colombo (Asia Tournament, Pool A)

GWC Rugby Rankings
Asia Table-Japan 1st, Arabian Gulf 3rd

Prediction: Japan by 65 points



Arabian Gulf
15.James Love (Hartpury College, England)
14.Joshua Sherrin
13.Trent Eastgate (Dubai Dragons)
12.Taif Al Delamie (Lansdowne FC, Ireland)
11.Steven Smith (Dubai Hurricanes)
10.Duncan Murray (Dubai Hurricanes)
9.John MacDonald (Cardiff University, Wales)
8.David Clark (Dubai Exiles)
7.Byron Kraemer (Dubai Dragons)
6.Karl Sutcliffe (Bahrain RFC)
5.Jason Voyce (Muscat RFC)
4.Michael Cox-Hill, Capt. (Dubai Exiles)
3.Nicholas Croker (Doha RFC)
2.Rory Power (Bahrain RFC)
1.Michael Riley (Dubai Exiles)
16. Daniel Heal (Dubai Dragons)
17. Mark Gathercole (Dubai Exiles)
18. Steven Little (Dubai Dragons)
19. Edward Le Pine Williams (Dubai Dragons)
20. Sean Hurley (Dubai Dragons)
21. Paul Beard
22. Ross Stapleton (Bahrain RFC)

Head Coach: Bruce Birtwistle

Adapted from


15. Kaoru Matsushita (Toyota) Age 26, 2 tests
14. Kosuke Endo (Toyota) 29, 26
13. Alisi Tupuailei (Canon) 29, 3
12. Ryo Kanazawa (Ricoh) 28, New cap
11. Yasunori Nagatomo (Suntory) 25, 1
10. James Arlidge (Newport Gwent Dragons, Wales) 30, 17
9. Tomoki Yoshida (Toshiba) 28, 20
8. Takashi Kikutani, Capt. (Toyota) 30, 29
7. Sione Vatuvei (Sanyo) 27, 1
6. Masakazu Toyota (Coca Cola) 23, 6
5. Toshizumi Kitagawa (Toyota) 29, 26
4. Luke Thompson (Kintetsu) 29, 19
3. Shinsuke Nakamura (Suntory) 22, 2
2. Hiroki Yuhara (Toshiba) 26, 1
1. Hisateru Hirashima (Kobe Steel) 27, 11
16. Takeshi Kizu (Tokai Univ.) 21, 1
17. Nozomu Fujita (Honda) 25, 1
18 Hitoshi Ono (Toshiba) 32, 38
19. Touetsu Taufa (Kintetsu) 29, 10
20. Koji Wada (Toyota) 25, New cap
21. Ryohei Yamanaka (Waseda Univ.) 21, New cap
22. Ryan Nicholas (Suntory) 30, 18

Head Coach: John Kirwan

Adapted from

ASIA 5 NATIONS TEST RUGBY: Could this be the Decider?

Kazakhstan v Hong Kong in Hong Kong



This could be the test match that decides which team will take second place in this the final round of Asian World Cup qualifying matches.

Hong Kong began with a hiss and a roar to defeat Korea 32-8 a few weeks again. They crashed last weekend to the Arabian Gulf away but will host Kazakhstan this week. Two key players returnfor Hong Kong. Both Colin Bisley and Nigel Hobler could not travel to Bahrain but are back in the side. They must win this match to stay up in the leading group. A loss today would almost certainly eliminate them from any chance of gaining that second place. Hong Kong will be out to repeat their 2008 home win against Kazakhstan.

Kazakhstan will be without their top player Anton Rudoy who was not released by his Russian club. The side is a different team without him. They will have to work hard against Hong Kong who will have a huge local support.

Kazakhstan will be without Anton Rudoy. Image thanks to

Previous Encounters
24.05.2009 Kazakhstan 25-6 in Almaty (Asia5Nations)
03.05.2008 Hong Kong 23-17 in Hong Kong (Asia5Nations)

GWC Rugby Rankings
Asia Table-Kazakhstan 2nd, Hong Kong 4th.

Prediction: Kazakhstan by 5 points.

65[1] 32[1]

Neither team lists are as yet available

RUGBY TEST MATCH: Lithuania's Big Day Out

Ukraine v Lithuania in Šiauliai (WCQ Europe R4 Final)

Venue: Šiauliai miesto centrinis stadionas

Referee: Cyril Lafon (France)

2010.05.08 Lith-Ukr Poster
Poster image thanks to

This is THE big match ever for Lithuania. This Baltic rugby nation, with only a handful of clubs and with even fewer foreign-based players to call upon, will face the might of the Ukraine in a winner takes all World Cup qualifying Europe Round 4 final. The winner of this game will go on to face Romania on the 22 May in the first leg Round 5 two-leg elimination series.

Lithuania broke the world record for the most consecutive winning test matches on the 24 April when they defeated Serbia 77-5 in a European Nations Cup Division 3A test match. They broke the record of 17 held jointly by the might All Blacks and South Africa. Illustrious company indeed.

Last year they broke Israeli and Dutch hearts as they powered their way to get to this stage in the Rugby World Cup qualifiers. Today they come up against a much more formidable foe.

The Ukraine has got to this stage by winning the European Nations Cup Division 2A. This is some three divisions ABOVE Lithuania although the Baltic nation has already gained promotion to ENC 2B for the 2010-12 competition.

The Ukraine though has not produced good form of late. They have dropped their last three games, two in the competition and one against Georgia 'A' back in November. It was a close thing as the other 2A teams rushed up to the Ukraine in this later part of the season. Winning 2A also means promotion to a newly structured ENC 1st Division for 2010-12. It appears they will be without Jaba Malaguradze, Vadym Mysyk and Russian-based Vitay Orlov according to

But the fact is the Ukraine has lost recent matches and will face a fired up Lithuania in Lithuania. It should be a cracker!

This and other test matches reviewed at

An article about that record

No word yet about the makeup of the Lithuanian squad.

Previous Encounter
10.08.1995 Ukraine 27-8 in Šiauliai (FIRA B3)

GWC Rugby Rankings
Europe Table-Ukraine 15th, Lithuania 18th

Prediction: Lithuania by 3 points in a result that will stun the rugby world. It won't be Lithua..who? any more!



Ukraine Squad
Evigney Chaika (RC Kredo 63)
Vitaly Dotsenko (RC Aviator)
Sergei Garkavy (RC Olymp-RSC KhTZ)
Vasyl Glushchenko (Battai Bulldogok, Hungary)
Vladyslav Grabovsky (RK Sokol)
Nikolai Kirsanov (RC Olymp-RSC KhTZ)
Oleg Kosarev (RC Olymp-RSC KhTZ)
Vyacheslav Krasylnyk (RC Olymp-RSC KhTZ)
Maksym Kravchenko (RC Olymp-RSC KhTZ)
Oleksandr Lomakin (RC Olymp-RSC KhTZ)
Oleg Lytvynenko (RC Olymp-RSC KhTZ)
Jaba Malaguradze (RC Kredo 63)
Pavlo Masyukov (RCKredo-63)
Serge Monastir (RC Kredo 63)
Dmytro Mukhin (RC Olymp-RSC KhTZ)
Vyacheslav Ponomarkenko (RC Olymp-RSC KhTZ)
Serhiy Sukhykh (RC Olymp-RSC KhTZ)
Oleksandr Tsapenko (RC Olymp-RSC KhTZ)
Serhiy Tserkovny (RC Olymp-RSC KhTZ)
Eduard Vertiletsky (RC Kredo 63)
Bogdan Voloshin (RK Sokol)
Sergei Yanchiy (RC Olymp-RSC KhTZ)
Ievgen Zapolsky (RK Sokol)

HeadCoach: Valeri Kochanov


Lithuania squad not yet known.

INTERNATIONAL RUGBY: Andorra v Switzerland

Switzerland v Andorra at Andorra La Vela


Referee: Janssens (Belgium)


These two teams, both at the bottom of the table, will battle to avoid relegation.'Quentin' at says, 'Switzerland won the first game between the teams last year by 32 - 9 with three tries to nil, so should these teams finish level on points they have a big advantage. The Swiss also have a game in hand but as that is against the runaway division winners Lithuania this is pretty much a game they can't afford to lose or draw to avoid the bottom place. If Andorra win or draw - although mathematics could still come into play - they are safe barring an unlikely Swiss victory against Lithuania'.

In recent games for both sides, Andorra lost 17-26 away to Armenia whilst Switzerland defeated Armenia at home 18-0.

For the hosts Roger Font will make his 50th appearance whilst Arnaud Olive and Nuno Oliveira Teixeira will be making their test debuts.

Previous Encounters
14.03.2009 Switzerland 32-9 in Avusy (WCQ Europe R2; ENC 3A)
05.05.2001 Switzerland 38-25 in Switzerland (WCQ Euro. Rnd A; FIRA Pool 1)
26.09.1998 Switzerland 15-14 in Andorra La Vela (FIRA D)
29.10.1992 Switzerland 10-0 in Andorra La Vela (WCQ Europe)

GWC Rugby Rankings
Europe Table-Andorra 25th, Switzerland 27th

Prediction: Switzerland by 5 points


Andorra Logo

Andorra Squad
Paul Alieu
Peter Ambor
Àlex Ballesta
Jeremy Berrier
Albert Canturri
Benjamí Fajol
Àlex Fernández
Roger Fité
Roger Font
Galaction Gagnidze
Jonathan Garcia
Marc Gispert
David Kirikaixvili
Josep Magallón
David Martínez
Franck Mitjana
Arnaud Olive
Manu Sarti-Gardes
Màxim Taurinyà
Nuno Oliveira Teixeira
Eduard Vergara
Xavier Vilasetrú
Head Coach: Michael Broad

Adapted from


Switzerland Team not yet available