TORONTO – Following on the heels of the inaugural Canadian University Men’s Rugby Championship (CUMRC) hosted by the University of Guelph in 2017, and the 2018 CUMRC hosted by the University of Victoria, the 2019 Championship will be held November 20-24 in Montreal, hosted by Concordia University.
Concordia University – 2019 Host
Once again voted as the premier Sports Destination in Canada, Montreal is poised to host the Championship – now expanded to 8 teams – in partnership with Concordia, the City of Montreal, Montreal Tourism, the Province of Quebec, and Rugby Quebec, and with the support of Rugby Canada. A full regular season of jockeying for playoff contention and qualifying for entry into the Championship tournament still awaits, but teams in Western Canada (BC, Alberta, Saskatchewan) Ontario, Quebec, and the Maritimes (PEI, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia) have been hot on the recruiting trail, and preparing for their training camps. Will one of those teams successfully knock off two-time Champions UBC? We’ll have to wait and see, but the upcoming season promises to be a scrum-ptious spectacle.
University Men’s Rugby is in a unique position in Canada – varsity programs in Ontario (OUA)and Quebec (RSEQ), varsity and club programs in the West including UBC and UVic’s membership in the BC Premier League, and Club sports in the Maritimes – but unlike Women’s Rugby, not an official U SPORTS sport…yet. It was in view of this gap in U SPORTS programming that the Canadian University Men’s Rugby Championship was developed in 2016 and had its inaugural tournament in 2017.
No longer will university men’s rugby seasons end with regional and provincial championships. Rather, all teams will have an opportunity to compete against the best university rugby teams across Canada, play for bragging rights as THE best team annually, and play an important role in the development path for Canada’s national team and the MLR including Canada’s sole member, the Toronto Arrows. Of course, the role played by the Canadian Rugby Foundation which has been the primary seed funder, and by CRF Chairman Mike Holmes who continues as a founding member of the CUMRC Organizing Committee, has been critical to our success and much appreciated.
As the CUMRC continues to grow, the Organizing Committee has also expanded its scope, with support to the first (annual) match between the Canadian University All Stars and the USA Collegiate All Americans in Glendale, CO on July 27 and the return engagement in 2020 back in Canada. Also under early development is a true national championship for University Men’s 7’s, hosted by UBC in conjunction with the Vancouver 7’s tournament in March 2020, with two national semi-final tournaments.
We wish a warm welcome to our 2019 participating teams, families, friends, and rugby fans. Bienvenue et à bientôt à Montréal!
by Jeff Chan