Canadian Rugby Championship

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Canadian Rugby Championship
Current season, competition or edition:
Current sports event 2016 CRC season
Canadian Rugby Championship logo.svg
Sport Rugby Union
Founded 2009; 8 years ago (2009)
No. of teams 4
Country  Canada
Most recent
Ontario Blues (5th title)
Most titles Ontario Blues (5 titles)
Official website

The Canadian Rugby Championship (CRC) is an amateur rugby union league located in Canada, partially funded by the International Rugby Board (IRB). 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.

Gord Sneddon is the current league commissioner.


The North America 4[edit]

Main article: 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[edit]

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]

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. 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.

The CRC[edit]

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 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 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[edit]

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:

  • 4 points for a win
  • 2 points for a draw
  • 0 points for a loss
  • 1 bonus point for scoring 4 tries or more
  • 1 bonus point for losing by 7 points or less


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[edit]

Team City/Area Field Capacity Head Coach
BC Bears Langford, British Columbia Bear Mountain Stadium 1,600 Kris de Scossa[3]
Prairie Wolf Pack Calgary, Alberta Calgary Rugby Park 7,500 Colin Jeffs[4]
Ontario Blues Toronto, Ontario TBA, Fletcher's Fields 3,000 Rob Doyle[5]
The Rock St. Johns, Newfoundland Swilers Rugby Park 6,500 Pat Parfrey

Locations of the four Canadian Rugby Championship teams.


Main article: MacTier Cup

The MacTier Cup was created in 1988 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.


Year Champion 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[6] Prairie Wolf Pack (1) Ontario Blues
2016 Ontario Blues (5) BC Bears
MacTier Cup championships
Team Titles
Ontario Blues 5
BC Bears 1
Prairie Wolf Pack 1
The Rock 1

See also[edit]


External links[edit]