It was a busy week for American overseas and it all began in Japan as Todd Clever played his last match for Suntory in the Top League final against the Panasonic Sanyo Wildcats. Clever has yet to decide where he will be playing next (rumors have it he has offers in Japan and France), but that didn’t stop him from going out in style. Clever come off the bench and played 15 minutes as Suntory beat the Wildcats 47-28 to win the championship.
The regular season concluded in the RFU Championship this week. Shawn Pittman started and played 51 minutes for London Welsh as they lost to Robbie Shaw and Leeds Carnegie 39-29. Shaw came off the bench and played 26 minutes while Mike MacDonald is still injured and did not play. Here are highlights of the match.
Andrew Suniula is still injured and did not feature in the Cornish Pirates 32-17 victory over Moseley.
At the conclusion of the regular season, the Pirates tied for 2nd in the table (with Bedford and behind Bristol) with 74 points. London Welsh finished 4th with 67 points, two places above Leeds Carnegie who finished 6th with 60 points. Click here for the final standings. This means that all three are in the promotion playoffs, even though Pirates and Welsh cannot be promoted due to stadium issues. The Pirates and Leeds are in the same pool with Rotherham and Bedford, while London Welsh are in a pool with Bristol, Nottingham, and Doncaster.
In the Aviva Premiership, Chris Wyles signed a new contract with Saracens this week. Wyles started and played 80 minutes but couldn’t help his team who lost 16-11 to Worcester. Saracens didn’t look that great and are now 6 points behind Harlequins for first place. Hayden Smith was not in the lineup for the Sarries.
Samoa Manoa started at #6 for Northampton in their 30-23 victory over London Irish. Manoa went 76 minutes in the game. Northampton are 3rd in the table, four points behind Saracens and one point ahead of Leicester.
In his second week with London Wasps, Paul Emerick came off the bench and played 35 minutes as his team lost to Sale 46-34. Wasps are second to last in the table with 23 points.
Chris Biller’s time with Bath has come to a close but rumor has it he may be signing with Northampton as cover.
Elsewhere in the British Isles, Hanno Dirksen started and played 80 minutes as the Ospreys lost to Ulster 15-14. Ospreys are second in the RaboDirect Pro13 standings, 11 points behind Leinster and one point ahead of Munster.
Fourth in the RaboDirect Pro 12 standing is Tommy Seymour and his surprising Glasgow side. Seymour came off the bench and played 13 minutes as Glasgow tied with Leinster 10-10.
Graduate students Derek Asburn and John Law will once again play for Oxford as they take on the Penguins on Wednesday.
Tim Usasz and his Barking team played their rearranged fixture with Birmingham and Solihull over the weekend.
In France, Taku Ngwenya (Biarritz), Seta Tuilevuka (Montpellier), and Scott LaValla (Stade Francais) all had the weekend off. Kevin Swiryn is out injured and did not dress for Agen as they picked up a crucial win against Castres 23-12. Biarrtiz are 13th in the table and only one point from bottom club Lyon. Montpellier are in 5th place, followed by Stade Francais. Agen are 8th in the table.
In the Pro D2, Inaki Basauri played 9 minutes for Perigueux as they beat Albi 32-27. Perigueux are fifteenth in the sixteen team league.
Curtis Reed is the editor and founder of This Is American Rugby and can be found at www.thisisamericanrugby.com or on Twitter @ThisIsAmerRugby