Canadian Rugby Championship

Last updated
Canadian Rugby Championship
Current season, competition or edition:
Rugby football current event.svg 2018 CRC season
Canadian Rugby Championship logo.svg
Sport Rugby Union
Founded2009;10 years ago (2009)
No. of teams4
CountryFlag of Canada (Pantone).svg  Canada
Most recent
Ontario Blues (5th title)
Most titles Ontario Blues (5 titles)
Official website

The Canadian Rugby Championship (CRC) (French : Championnat provincial du Canada de rugby à XV) is an amateur rugby union league located in Canada, partially funded by the World Rugby. It is the highest level of domestic rugby in Canada. There are four representative teams from regions across Canada, competing for the MacTier Cup. The regular season goes from August to September, and there is no post-season. The CRC was started in 2009 by Rugby Canada. The league continues to grow each year, with further games being added to the schedule, and the format having changed in each of its first three years, making the league more competitive and a prospect of becoming professional one day.

French language Romance language

French is a Romance language of the Indo-European family. It descended from the Vulgar Latin of the Roman Empire, as did all Romance languages. French evolved from Gallo-Romance, the spoken Latin in Gaul, and more specifically in Northern Gaul. Its closest relatives are the other langues d'oïl—languages historically spoken in northern France and in southern Belgium, which French (Francien) has largely supplanted. French was also influenced by native Celtic languages of Northern Roman Gaul like Gallia Belgica and by the (Germanic) Frankish language of the post-Roman Frankish invaders. Today, owing to France's past overseas expansion, there are numerous French-based creole languages, most notably Haitian Creole. A French-speaking person or nation may be referred to as Francophone in both English and French.

Rugby union Team sport, code of rugby football

Rugby union, widely known simply as rugby, is a contact team sport that originated in England in the first half of the 19th century. One of the two codes of rugby football, it is based on running with the ball in hand. In its most common form, a game is played between two teams of 15 players using an oval-shaped ball on a rectangular field with H-shaped goalposts at either end.

Canada Country in North America

Canada is a country in the northern part of North America. Its ten provinces and three territories extend from the Atlantic to the Pacific and northward into the Arctic Ocean, covering 9.98 million square kilometres, making it the world's second-largest country by total area. Its southern border with the United States, stretching some 8,891 kilometres (5,525 mi), is the world's longest bi-national land border. Canada's capital is Ottawa, and its three largest metropolitan areas are Toronto, Montreal, and Vancouver.


Gord Sneddon is the current league commissioner.

Canadian Rugby Championship Tournament (U19 Men, U20 Women, Senior Women)

Rugby Canada also runs Canadian Rugby Championship tournaments for Under-19 Men, Under-20 Women and Senior Women. The national union hosts this week-long tournament in the last half of July annually. The most recent tournament took place from July 16-22, 2018 with the Ontario Blues winning the U19 Men's division, the Prairie Wolf Pack winning the U20 Women's division and Rugby Quebec winning the Senior Women's division.

For past results and more information: Canadian Rugby Championship website


The North America 4

In 2006, the IRB started the North America 4 (NA4), to help create a higher level of rugby in North America, as well as to develop players and provide a pathway to national team selection and to make North American rugby teams more competitive at international level. It was contested by four teams, two each from Canada and the USA.

The American Rugby Championship

On September 7, 2009 the IRB scrapped the NA4 and unveiled the ARC competition, in which Canada, the USA and Argentina would send representative teams to play for a championship title (Tonga was later added in the second season, replaced with Uruguay from 2012 onwards) [1]

Tonga national rugby union team rugby union team

The Tonga national rugby union team is nicknamed ʻIkale Tahi . Like their Polynesian neighbours, the Tongans start their matches with a war dance – the Sipi Tau. They are members of the Pacific Islands Rugby Alliance (PIRA) along with Fiji and Samoa. The Ikale Tahi achieved a historic 19–14 victory over France in the 2011 Rugby World Cup, but having lost to New Zealand and Canada, were unable to achieve what would have been their first ever presence at the quarter-finals.

The Uruguay national rugby union team, nicknamed Los Teros, is governed by the Unión de Rugby del Uruguay. One of the older test sides in the world, Uruguay has qualified four times for the Rugby World Cup, in 1999, 2003, 2015 and most recently 2019. As of 10 June 2019 they are ranked 17th in the world, and are ranked 3rd in the Americas region, behind rivals Argentina and the United States.

In order to select a team that would play in the ARC, Rugby Canada unveiled the CRC, with the champion and runner-up advancing to the ARC. The BC Bears Coached by Mike James and Kris de Scossa were inaugural champions, who went on to play Argentina Jaguars, Russia and England Counties. Following the first season, a Canada Selects team was chosen by Team Canada coach Kieran Crowley instead, exclusively from players who competed in the CRC.

Rugby Canada

Rugby Canada is the national governing body for the sport of rugby union in Canada. Rugby Canada was incorporated in 1974, and stems from the Canadian Rugby Football Union, a body established in 1884 that now governs amateur Canadian football as Football Canada; and the now-defunct Rugby Union of Canada, established in 1929. Rugby Canada administers the Canada national rugby union team and sanctions the Rugby Canada National Junior Championship, a national competition for under-20 men's teams. It previously sanctioned the Super League as the premier level of men's competition in the country, but scrapped that league after the Americas Rugby Championship was created in 2009 as a two-stage competition in which the first involved only Canadian teams.

Canada national rugby union team rugby union team

The Canada national rugby union team is governed by Rugby Canada, and play in red and white. Canada is classified by World Rugby as a tier two rugby nation. There are ten tier one nations, and thirteen tier two nations. Canada competes in competitions such as the Americas Rugby Championship and the Rugby World Cup.

Kieran Crowley New Zealand rugby union footballer and coach

Kieran James Crowley is a New Zealand rugby union coach, who was previously head coach of the Canadian men's rugby team. He is now the head coach of Italian side Benetton. He is a former member of the New Zealand All Blacks where he played as a fullback. He has also coached the New Zealand Under-19s in the 2007 World Championships as well as coaching provincial side Taranaki.


In the inaugural 2009 season, six games were played in a round-robin format, similar to that of The Rugby Championship, with the team collecting the most points over the season being named champions.

The Rugby Championship international rugby union competition

The Rugby Championship is an international rugby union competition contested annually by Argentina, Australia, New Zealand, and South Africa. Prior to the 2012 tournament, when Argentina joined, it was known as the Tri Nations. The competition is administered by SANZAAR, a consortium consisting of four national governing bodies: the South African Rugby Union, New Zealand Rugby Union, Rugby Australia and the Argentine Rugby Union The inaugural Tri Nations tournament was in 1996, and was won by New Zealand – known as the All Blacks. South Africa won their first title in 1998, and Australia their first in 2000. Following the last Tri Nations tournament in 2011, New Zealand had won ten championships, with South Africa and Australia on three titles each. The first Rugby Championship was won by New Zealand, who won all six of their matches.

The following season, the same six game season was used, however a post-season was added—with the top two teams squaring off in a final at the home venue of the team which amassed the most points during the regular season.

In 2011 the format changed yet again, scrapping the final and instead going back to a round-robin competition. This time with ten games, each team playing five. The western teams (the BC Bears and the Prairie Wolf Pack) played three home games and two away games, while this schedule was reversed for the two eastern teams, (the Ontario Blues and the Atlantic Rock). In 2012, this was switched, having the western teams play two home games and three away games, with the eastern teams playing the opposite.

Also in 2011 a U19 (Under 19) Canadian Rugby Championship (U19 CRC) was launched. The results over the last four years have seen the BC Bears U19 winning 3 out of the four national titles with Ontario Blues U19 gaining one title. The head coach of the BC Bears over this period was also Kris de Scossa (BC Bears senior coach), who with the BC Bears U19 won 15 out of 16 championship matches.

Season structure

The CRC is broken up into a pre-season and a round robin season, with no post-season. During the pre-season teams play exhibition matches against other teams, usually not participating in the CRC. The pre-season is not a formal one set by the league, but instead the individual teams can play club or touring sides at their own leisure, or may choose to not play any pre-season games at all.

Starting in mid August, and ending late September, the regular season follows the same format as The Rugby Championship, having teams playing in a round robin format, with the team that accumulates the most points throughout the tournament winning the MacTier Cup. Therefore, no post-season is required. Every team plays five games, the western teams playing three at home and two away, while the eastern teams play a reversed schedule. [2] There are no divisions or conferences.

The points system for the season is the same as most rugby competitions around the world:


The Player of the Year award is awarded at the end of the season to recognize the best player that year. The award is decided by votes from all the coaches, as well as a Rugby Canada representative.


The league has no deals with any networks; however, some teams provide live online streaming of their games. CBC Television aired the 2010 final live, but this was the only match shown on national television.


List of teams

TeamProvinces representedHome fieldCapacityHead coach
BC Bears British Columbia Thunderbird Stadium 7,200Tony Healy [3]
Prairie Wolf Pack Alberta, Manitoba, Saskatchewan Calgary Rugby Park7,500Col Jeffs
Ontario Blues Ontario Sherwood Forest Park / Fletcher's Fields 3,200Chris Silverthorn
The Rock Newfoundland and Labrador, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, Quebec Truro Saints RFC / Swilers Rugby Park 6,500 Dr. Pat Parfrey

Locations of the four Canadian Rugby Championship teams.png


The MacTier Cup was created in 1998 and awarded to the champion of the Rugby Canada Super League. Since the Super League folded, the MacTier Cup is now awarded to the Canadian Rugby Championship champion.


YearChampion Runner-up
2009 British Columbia Bears (1)Ontario Blues
2010 The Rock (1)Prairie Wolf Pack
2011 Ontario Blues (1)The Rock
2012 Ontario Blues (2)Prairie Wolf Pack
2013 Ontario Blues (3)Prairie Wolf Pack
2014 Ontario Blues (4)Prairie Wolf Pack
2015 [4] Prairie Wolf Pack (1)Ontario Blues
2016 [5] Ontario Blues (5)Prairie Wolf Pack
2017 [6] British Columbia Bears (2)Ontario Blues
2018 Ontario Blues (6)Atlantic Rock
MacTier Cup championships
Ontario Blues 6
BC Bears 2
Prairie Wolf Pack 1
The Rock 1

See also

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  1. "IRB announces the ARC". Archived from the original on October 15, 2012.
  2. Gottfried, Garth. "CRC kicks off in August".[ permanent dead link ]
  3. News, Americas Rugby (2017-03-28). "BC Bears announce new Coaching Staff". Americas Rugby News. Retrieved 2017-07-12.
  4. Ray, Bryan (2015-07-02). "Wolf Pack best Blues to win MacTier Cup". Americas Rugby News. Retrieved 2017-07-12.
  5. "2016 Canadian Rugby Championship - Americas Rugby News". Retrieved 2017-07-12.
  6. "Bears Defeat Ontario to Win Mactier Cup". Retrieved 2018-08-25.