Rugby in the Square event a big success in its inaugural year

June 14, 2018


Corporate Rugby Tournament and Mixed Abilities Showcase highlight Rugby in the Square presented by Toronto Wolfpack in Toronto.

A great day of rugby at Nathan Phillips Square celebrated the sport in a one-of-a-kind way!

(TORONTO, ON) – On Friday June 8, 2018, Nathan Phillips Square transformed into a full-fledged rugby park as corporate teams participated in Rugby in the Square presented by the Toronto Wolfpack. Hosted by Rugby Ontario and the Toronto Inner-City Rugby Foundation, the inaugural event was a platform to promote rugby, raise funds for the future champions of the sport and celebrate rugby in the region. The event included on-site activations, a fast-five flag rugby tournament and a Mixed Abilities Showcase (the first of its kind in Canada).

The corporate tournament included twelve teams from companies and organizations around the Greater Toronto area. The teams who participated in a celebration and promotion of rugby in Ontario and invested in the future of rugby in the region were Abbot Environmental, Blackshire Capital, Brook Restoration, CIBC, Dineen Coffee, Eventi Capital, Sherrard Kuzz LLP, TD Securities, Tenzing IT Services, Toronto Wolfpack and Velocity Trade.

“Rugby in the Square was a fantastic community and charity event held in a very public space hosting corporate teams with people of all levels of rugby IQ,” said Andrea Burk, National Senior Women’s team athlete and athlete for TD’s corporate team. “Why this is important is because the event exposed rugby to a number of people who were not familiar with the sport prior to Rugby in the Square.”

After an enjoyable day of competition, Eventi Capital and Dineen Coffee met in the final match to crown the inaugural Rugby in the Square champions. In a high-scoring, fast-paced flag rugby match, the teams were neck-and-neck for most of the 20 minutes. Eventi Capital ultimately pulled ahead to win the championship and was presented with the Rugby in the Square trophy.

“What an exciting day of rugby,” exclaimed Mike Brown, CEO of Rugby Ontario. “Our rugby community stepped up to support this event and enjoyed a one-of-a-kind rugby tournament. Big thanks go out to all of our partners, participants and volunteers, especially our presenting sponsor the Toronto Wolfpack who participated in all aspects of the event day.”

“The Fast Five Flag Rugby format worked better than we anticipated. This resulted in high scoring games and lots of enthusiastic participants - some picking up the ball for the very first time,” said Amanda Neale-Robinson, Executive Director of Toronto Inner City Rugby Foundation. “Players, spectators and participants were moved by the Mixed Abilities Showcase and the many ways TIRF has impacted the lives of young people through rugby.“

A highlight of the day was the Mixed Abilities Showcase in the afternoon. Participants in the match included individuals from the Abilities Centre’s Thrive program, Toronto Wolfpack athletes, past and present National team athletes and Rugby in the Square corporate tournament participants.

“On behalf of Abilities Centre, we would like to sincerely thank Rugby Ontario and all corporate partners for enabling the Mixed Ability Showcase,” said Stu McReynolds, Director of Sport, Recreation and Partnerships at the Abilities Centre. “We are excited to build on this initiative moving forward, and are excited about the opportunity to provide athletes of all abilities with an opportunity to experience the benefits and values of participating in rugby.”

The showcase was a celebration of the inclusivity and culture of rugby and was also the stepping stone for developing mixed abilities rugby in the province. The goal of the showcase was to promote social inclusion, equitable access to healthy lifestyle choices and drive support for Canada to put forward a team in an upcoming Mixed Ability Rugby World Tournament.

Rugby Ontario, TIRF and the Toronto Wolfpack are overjoyed by the success of this event in its inaugural year and are already looking ahead to next year’s edition of Rugby in the Square.

“We aspire to make this a staple in the City of Toronto’s schedule and Ontario rugby schedule,” added Brown. “Building off of the success in its inaugural year, we will continue to listen to all stakeholders to create an entertaining and successful event for years to come.”

“This was an incredible event that Toronto Wolfpack were very proud to support. Our fans, players and coaches (and new mascot) very much enjoyed the opportunity to celebrate the game of rugby in such an iconic location,” said Jon Pallett, Head of Marketing and Communicaitons at the Toronto Wolfpack. “All of the key stakeholders in the delivery of this event demonstrated what can be achieved through collaboration to grow the sport of rugby in Ontario. We are all driven by the belief the world is a better place with more rugby balls in kids’ hands and look forward to continuing these partnerships and moving forwards.”

2019 Rugby in the Square event dates will be announced in the coming months. There has already been confirmed interest from all teams who participated in the event this year. Start looking into reserving your spot for next year by contacting Mike Brown at

Rugby in the Square presented by the Toronto Wolfpack was made possible by some of our great partners:

  • Toronto Wolfpack, Presenting Sponsor
  • Abilities Centre, Mixed Abilities Showcase Partner
  • Aedelhard, Pitch, On-Site and Prizing Partner
  • Gilbert Rugby Canada, On-site and Game Ball Partner
  • Medallion Print Solutions, Printing Partner
  • Sportside Medical Services, Medical Partner
  • Under Armour Canada, Merchandise Partner
  • The Park Sports Facility Inc., Combine Partner
  • Branded Cities, Digital Media Partner
  • City of Toronto, Venue Partner
  • Honda Canada, On-site Partner
  • Quinn's Steakhouse and Irish Bar, Post-Event Partner


Rugby Ontario is the provincial sports governing body responsible for the organization of rugby in Ontario. Our mission is to establish a stronger identity for rugby in Ontario by promoting the sport’s core values and by fostering a culture of inclusiveness and excellence on and off the field of play. For more information, visit


Toronto Inner-City Rugby Foundation (TIRF) is a rugby-centre community development organization that uses rugby as a tool for social good. TIRF, a registered non-profit founded in 2011, builds community through rugby in 31 of Toronto’s underserved neighbourhood improvement areas (NIA) and emerging neighbourhoods. TIRF, sanctioned by Rugby Canada and Rugby Ontario, works in partnership with more than 200 community partners. Through programming and services, TIRF reduces the financial, geographical, and cultural barriers that prevent children and youth from participating in sport. For more information, visit


Toronto Wolfpack are a professional Rugby League team dedicated to progressing through the RFL’s ranks, from League 1 to the Super League. They are the world’s first transatlantic major professional sports team. The Wolfpack began their journey in 2017 winning the Kingstone Press League 1 title and promotion in their inaugural season. In 2018 the Wolfpack are competing in the Betfred Championship for the first time. The majority of their home games are held at Lamport Stadium, Toronto, aka “The Den”. For more information, visit


Kevin Baxter

Communications Coordinator

Rugby Ontario

(647) 560-4790 x 1006