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Eighteen Test Matches This Weekend – Starting today, Friday, February 5, and continuing to Sunday, February 7, three continents will offer 18 test matches, the most ever on a weekend in the history of the sport. The key games will begin the Men’s Six Nations Championship, the first tests after the past Rugby World Cup with Scotland vs. England (Calcutta Cup), Ireland vs. Wales, and France hosting Italy. The Six Nations Women’s sides also start today, featuring the same national games and similar home hosting. Tomorrow, the USA Eagles welcome Argentina to Houston, Texas, for the start of the Americas Rugby Championship. Canada host Uruguay, and Chile are home against Brazil.
Sydney is New Host for Aussie 7s. - After World Rugby analyzed attendance records for the HSBC World Rugby 7s tournaments, it suggested that the Australian leg of the circuit be moved from Gold Coast to Sydney this weekend, and to a larger stadium. World Rugby also moved the South African 7s venue from George to Cape Town with spectacular results, filling the 35,000 Cape Town Stadium. The World Rugby analysis also eliminated Tokyo and Scotland because of low attendance, and replaced these with Singapore (NEW) and Paris (NEW). Finally, it added a 10th city (Vancouver, Canada) for the 2016 event.
Cal’s Jack Clark and Tom Billups Rehired – The University of California at Berkley announced the rehiring of Jack Clark as head rugby coach of the Bears until 2021. Clark is in his 33rd year in this position with an outstanding record of 594-76 (.880) in fifteen play, and 103-84 (.800) for sevens. He was elected into the USA Rugby Hall of Fame in 2014. Billups was elevated to a new position as Associate Head Coach. He is in his 17th year at Cal, and entered the USA Hall of Fame in 2015.
Six Nations on TV This Weekend – You can watch individual Six Nations Men’s matches at two locations: Premium Sports and beIN Sports. Premium Sports (www.premiumsports.com) will stream games for $20 or you can buy a series package for $129. beIN Sports (www.beinsports.com) will offer tape delayed action.
USA Sevens, Las Vegas – One month away (March 4,5 and 6) and good stadium seats and hotel deals are still available. Link to www.usasevens.com.