Club Anniversary Spotlight: Aurora Barbarians

June 23, 2022


Club Anniversary Spotlight: Aurora Barbarians 

June 22nd, 2022

(WHITBY, ON) - The Club Anniversary Spotlight Series is a initiative which will recognize all Rugby Ontario Member Clubs that are celebrating a major anniversary during 2022. The Aurora Barbarians are celebrating their 70th anniversary! Read below to learn more about the merger between two major clubs that resulted in the creation of the Aurora Barbarians. 


The Aurora Barbarians RFC (Barbs) are celebrating their 70th anniversary. The Club began as two separate rugby clubs: The Toronto Barbarians and the Aurora Rugby Club. The club officially became the Aurora Barbarians in 2002 when the two clubs successful merged.

The Aurora Barbarians philosophy is “A Club for All” and have focused on developing and leading Junior, Minor and Women’s programs to consistently rank among the largest membership clubs in Canada.

The Aurora Rugby Club was constituted in 1998, developing from the original Aurora Yorks which were formed in 1961 by John .T. P. Brown, a member of the Ontario Rugby Hall of Fame and a past president of the Ontario Rugby Union.

In 1949 rugby was resurrected in post-war Ontario by a group of British expatriates who banded together to form the Wanderers RFC. The following year, the group launched an intensive recruiting drive for players and drawing together a total of 80 would-be participants, set up three additional teams based in Toronto including the Barbarians

The club lead the development of junior rugby in the 70s and purchased a share of Fletcher’s Fields during this time. The club were at the forefront of the re-development of Fletcher’s Fields in the early 90’s, which lead to the construction of a stadium which brought International rugby matches to the GTA.

On the pitch, the club fielded a number of strong championship Senior Men's and Youth teams in the 50’s 60’s,70’s and 80’s. After the merger in 2002, the Aurora Barbarians enjoyed a string of success at the Senior Men's level. The club captured five straight league championships, three McCormick Club Championships and made at total of seven McCormick Cup appearances from 2006-2013.

The Senior Women were a similar dominant group with three OWL championships from 2012 to 2016. The club has also seen success from their U-18 Boys and Girls program having won numerous Provincial Championships

The Barbs have strong old Boy's network of “Black Sheep” supporters. There were notable tours in the 60s and 70’s to USA and Caribbean destinations; in the 80’s to Vancouver, California and Chicago; in the 90s and 2000’s to Las Vegas and NY.

Current Club Outlook

The Aurora  Rugby Football Club (ABRFC) is the largest York region-based Rugby Club running programs for ages 6 to 66. We are proud members of Rugby Canada and Rugby Ontario.The ABRFC connects athletes from York Region, South Simcoe and North Toronto to run 15 different  teams. Our teams compete across Ontario from May to October and travel annually  to National and  International tournaments.  ABRFC were pioneers in developing  Youth and Women's  programs and are now launching a Mixed abilities program in conjunction with Rugby Ontario and the Town of Aurora.Our notable Alumni have captioned Canadian National, Provincial and Professional teams and held leadership positions throughout the National and Provincial rugby communities.

The ABRFC was established in 2002, after a very successful merger of two strong clubs, Aurora RFC and the Toronto Barbarians RFC. We are a community-based club centred in Aurora, Ontario. 

The club practices at St. Maximilian Kolbe CHS and play their home games at Fletcher’s Fields. The Club supports: Two Senior Men’s teams, Two Senior Women’s teams Girls’ Junior teams at the U18, U16, U14 age groups Boys’ Junior teams at the 2 xU18, 2 xU16 and U14 age groups Co-ed teams at the U12 (modified contact), U10/U8 (flag) age groups.The ABRFC program focuses on fun and teamwork, all while working on fundamental movement skills and rugby specific skills. We accept new players at all age groups and encourage all players to remain with the club as they get older.

In rugby, no matter the age, rarely can one player take over or control a game. Rugby is a true team sport, that needs everyone’s participation, dedication, and teamwork in order to succeed as a team.Each age group will work on age-appropriate skills, with the younger groups focused on fundamental movement skills, such as running and catching and passing. As you get older the focus becomes more on rugby specific skills, such as scrumming and rucking. No matter the team, teamwork will always be a big part of the program.

Club Achievements

Rugby Ontario Cups

Ontario Women’s League 15’s Cup Champions 2016

Ontario Women’s League 15’s Cup Champions 2015

Ontario Women’s League 7’s Cup Champions 2015

U-18 Girls Club Championship 2015

U-18 Boys Club Championship 2013

Ontario Women’s League 15’s Cup Champions 2012

McCormick Cup Champions 2010

McCormick Cup Champions 2009

McCormick Cup Champions 2007

Ontario Men’s Under-18 championship 2002

Rugby Ontario Leagues

Provincial Club Champions 2016 (Womens 1st XV)

Provincial Club Champions 2013 (Womens 1st XV)

Provincial Club Champions 2012 (Womens 1st XV)

Provincial Club Champions 2010 (Mens 1st XV)

Provincial Club Champions 2009 (Mens 1st XV)

Provincial Club Champions 2008 (Mens 1st XV)

Provincial Club Champions 2007 (Mens 1st XV)

Provincial Club Champions 2006 (Mens 1st XV)

Toronto Rugby Union

U-18 Boys 7’s Club Champions 2015

U-18 Girls Club Champions 2015

U-16 Girls Sevens Champions 2014

U-18 Boys Club Champions 2013

U-18 Girls Club Champions 2011

U-18 Boys Club Champions 2005

Notable Alumni

Chloe Daniels

Oliver Atkinson

Natalie Bendavid

Tyson Beukeboom

Paul Ciulini

Marco Di Girolamo

Mackenzie Higgs

Lori Josephson

Jack McRogers

Jacey Murphy

David Nielson

Steve Shortly

Nolan Ott

Nadia Popov

Andrew Quatrain

Ian MacMillan

John Hutchison


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.

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