Rugby Canada and Provincial Member Union ‘Return to Play’ Update

June 19, 2020


Rugby Canada and Provincial Member Union ‘Return to Play’ Update

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Rugby Canada and Provincial Member Union ‘Return to Play’ Update

June 19, 2020 – As Rugby Canada and all Provincial Member Unions continue to move towards a return to play, the working group provided further updates on the process: 

‘Rugby Return to Play’ document

The national Rugby ‘Return to Play’ guidelines were approved by the Rugby Canada Board of Directors earlier today and will be distributed to all Provincial Rugby Unions. In conjunction, the national suspension of sanctioned rugby activities has been lifted. 

The lifting of the suspension does not signify an automatic return to play across the country. Each Provincial Union will now incorporate the guidelines into their planning and apply to their local health authorities for approval for rugby to return in an appropriate and safe way. In early stages, this will involve modifications to regular training and/or games. 

The regulations and guidelines at the Provincial level will ultimately drive the timelines for when a return to play is possible.


All individuals attending an in-person rugby activity or facility must be registered through the Rugby Canada national registration database. This facilitates the acknowledgement of an updated participation agreement and waiver of liability form that are part of the registration process. Registration also ensures participants are insured to take part in any rugby activities. All adult participants must complete registration for themselves, while a legal parent/guardian of a minor participant must complete the registration on their behalf.

Registration will be made available once your Provincial Union has a regionally approved ‘return to play’ plan. 

Mandatory steps that Rugby Clubs must take to be ready to return to play


As announced last week, Member Organizations (Clubs) will be required to identify and appoint one or more COVID-19 Safety Coordinators to be responsible for implementing their Provincial Union’s Return to Rugby plan (and all other relevant guidance, advice and instruction regarding COVID-19). 


There are two COVID-19 related courses provided by World Rugby which can be accessed at:

The identified safety coordinator and Club President will be required to complete the Administrator course as part of their application to return to play with their Provincial Union. In addition, it is strongly recommended that all coaches, officials, team managers and therapists complete a relevant course.  

As part of the application for sanctioning, Clubs must:


Leaders at all levels have a responsibility to identify the risks and plan how they will take all necessary precautions to mitigate the risk of an individual being exposed to or infected with the virus. 

Clubs must be able to evidence that they have undertaken a prudent and robust process to plan for the safety of their members and volunteers, and the wider community that they serve. 


Clubs must complete a COVID safety plan. A template for the plan will be provided by your Provincial Union. 

Clubs need to arrange for all individuals attending an in-person activity or facility to have their attendance recorded through the Sportlomo registration database and/or league management platform. This facilitates the ability to track and trace any possible community transmission to have taken place at any rugby activity.

Until all Government restrictions are lifted, Clubs must plan for all in-person rugby activities (excluding Education) to be delivered outdoors, and for any individual appointed to have first aid responsibilities to correctly wear a non-medical mask at all times to attend to any injured player safely and quickly.


Clubs will be asked to submit an updated emergency plan.


Clubs must clearly identify the intended rugby activities they want to operate. 


Rugby Canada National Teams update

Under a local health authority approved Facility Safety Plan, select national team athletes returned to modified training this week. The training is voluntary and involves strength and conditioning work in the Al Charron National Training Centre. Groups in the facility are limited to 12 or less, with men and women athletes training on alternating days. Rugby Canada will continue to work with local health authorities to return our national team athletes to increased training in a safe and approved manner. 

Although the majority of Rugby Canada staff continue to work remotely at this time due to the COVID situation, Rugby Canada has further consolidated its operations. Following the closure of the Toronto office in 2018, Rugby Canada has now shut the Center of Excellence in Langford in order to have all staff working together out of the Al Charron National Training Centre. The move was initiated by Rugby Canada to allow for greater efficiencies and connection for staff based in the main office, while also providing further cost savings during this time of continued pandemic impact. activities.

Quote from Rugby Ontario

Myles Spencer, CEO of Rugby Ontario said: “Rugby Ontario would like to acknowledge and thank the National ‘Return to Play’ working group and all its contributors across Canada for their efforts during this process.  We are pleased to receive the ‘Return to Play’ resources from Rugby Canada and the notice that the national suspension of rugby activities has been lifted.  Our work here in Ontario will continue with the necessary guidance from the national ‘Return to Play’ framework with strict adherence to the directives of our provincial government and public health authorities.  We recognize the urgency and desire throughout the Ontario rugby community to get back on the rugby pitch very soon.  Our team is working diligently to make this possible and we ask for your continued patience and support as we complete the required process.“


Be sure to follow Rugby Ontario for latest news and information about rugby in Ontario. 






For information about Rugby Ontario’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic, visit:


The Ontario Blues program is the high performance representative program for male and female rugby players in Ontario. Rugby Ontario is represented at the provincial level by the Ontario Blues. The program includes representative teams from Under-15 to Senior in both Women’s and Men’s Fifteens and Under-18 Men's and Women's Sevens. Specifically, the program is designed to develop and showcase rugby players for Canadian representative national teams.


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.

To learn more, visit


Dalton Finkbeiner

 Communications and Marketing Coordinator - Rugby Ontario

    647-560-4790 x 1006