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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 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.

Canadian Rugby Championship
Current season, competition or edition:
Current sports event 2018 CRC season
Canadian Rugby Championship logo.svg
SportRugby Union
Founded2009; 10 years ago (2009)
No. of teams4
Country Canada
Most recent
Ontario Blues (5th title)
Most titlesOntario Blues (5 titles)

Gord Sneddon is the current league commissioner.


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

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 4Edit

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 ChampionshipEdit

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. 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.

The CRCEdit

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 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 structureEdit

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 teamsEdit

Team Provinces represented Home field Capacity Head coach
BC Bears British Columbia Thunderbird Stadium 7,200 Tony Healy[3]
Prairie Wolf Pack Alberta, Manitoba, Saskatchewan Calgary Rugby Park 7,500 Col Jeffs
Ontario Blues Ontario Sherwood Forest Park / Fletcher's Fields 3,200 Chris 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



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[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
Team Titles
Ontario Blues 6
BC Bears 2
Prairie Wolf Pack 1
The Rock 1

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "IRB announces the ARC". Archived from the original on October 15, 2012.
  2. ^ Gottfried, Garth. "CRC kicks off in August".
  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.

External linksEdit