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Black Ferns

Triple Header in Chicago - Tomorrow, Saturday, November 3, will serve up a three-course feast of first class rugby matches at Soldiers Field. The action begins at noon (Central Time) with the USA Women versus New Zealand, the top ranked team in the world, and winners of the last Women's World Cup in Ireland. The Black Ferns have dominated the sport since missing out on the semi-final round in the 2014 WRWC in France.

The mid game is a Test between two Six Nations sides, Ireland and Italy. Since Italy joined the Five Nations in 2000, Ireland have won 22 out of 23 games, which includes one 2015 RWC victory. Ireland's remarkable rise to the number two ranked team have seen them beat the Azzurri by an average of 44 points in the last three contests

The final match at 6 p.m. is the Eagles (13 new caps) against the Maori All Blacks, a side that has twice defeated the Eagles in the USA, first in Philadelphia, and then in Chicago.

Men's Players of the Year Announced - World Rugby announced the five men's candidates for 2018 Player of the Year. They are Beauden Barrett (NZ), Faf de Klerk (RSA), Rieko Ioana (NZ), Malcolm Marx (RSA) and Johnny Sexton (Ire). Past winners follow:

2017 – Beauden Barrett (New Zealand)
2016 – Beauden Barrett (New Zealand)
2015 – Dan Carter (New Zealand)
2014 – Brodie Retallick (New Zealand)
2013 – Kieran Read (New Zealand)
2012 – Dan Carter (New Zealand)
2011 – Thierry Dusautoir (France)
2010 – Richie McCaw (New Zealand)
2009 – Richie McCaw (New Zealand)
2008 – Shane Williams (Wales)
2007 – Bryan Habana (South Africa)
2006 – Richie McCaw (New Zealand)
2005 – Dan Carter (New Zealand)
2004 – Schalk Burger (South Africa)
2003 – Jonny Wilkinson (England)
2002 – Fabien Galthié (France)
2001 – Keith Wood (Ireland)

Women's Players of the Year Announced - World Rugby announced the five women's candidates for 2018 Player of the Year. Four of the five are French: Pauline Bourdon (F), Fiao'o Faamausili (NZ), Gaëlle Hermet (F), Safi N'Diaye (F), and Jessy Trémoulière (F). Past winners:

2017 – Portia Woodman (New Zealand) 
2016 – Sarah Hunter (England)
2015 – Kendra Cocksedge (New Zealand)
2014 – Magali Harvey (Canada)
2012 – Michaela Staniford (England)
2011 – Ruth Mitchell (Hong Kong)
2010 – Carla Hohepa (New Zealand)
2009 – Debby Hodgkinson (Australia)
2008 – Carol Isherwood (England)
2007 – Sarah Corrigan (Australia)
2006 – Maggie Alphonsi (England)
2005 – Farah Palmer (New Zealand)
2004 – Donna Kennedy (Scotland)
2003 – Kathy Flores (USA)
2002 – Monique Hirovanaa (New Zealand)
2001 – Shelley Rae (England)

Paul Zimmerman Obituary - The legendary Sport Illustrated NFL columnist for thirty-years died this week at age 86. Known affectionately as "Dr. Z.”; he was one of the founders of the Old Blue RFC in New York along with Bill Campbell, Billy Smith, Pat Moran, Dick Donelli, and John Wellington.