2023 Inter-Branch U16 & U17 boys Competition

April 13, 2023


Rugby Ontario 2023 Inter-Branch U16 & U17 Boys Competition

April 13, 2023 

Dear Rugby Community, 


Rugby Ontario is pleased to announce an inter-branch tournament for U16 and U17 boys’ teams, to be held between August 27th, 30th and September 4th of this year. The basic information of the tournament is explained later in this message. 


As the province returns to rugby without restrictions as the pandemic wanes, the High Performance Committee, as promised, has worked hard to create opportunities for the U16 and U17 boys to play representative rugby this season. The committee believes it is critically important to provide players within these cohorts the opportunities to play more matches in a competitive environment within our narrow playing window, without too much interruption of their club seasons. 


Over the last month, the committee engaged with each Branch within Ontario (EORU, TRU, NRU and SWRU), and we are delighted to report we have achieved 100% buy-in for this concept. The rationale in taking this approach is as follows: 


- These inter-branch matches will provide players with opportunities to play representative rugby with and against their peers from other clubs and regions, once their club seasons have finished. In doing so, we hope to identify more players and keep them in the game, which we know is a late development sport. 

- Create opportunities to develop more coaches who aspire to coach rugby at a higher level. 

- Empower the four branches in Ontario to take greater ownership for player development, with the support of Rugby Ontario. 

- Provide multiple opportunities for provincial and national team selectors to identify players who are capable of playing for Ontario and Canada at the U18 level in the future, therefore broadening and enriching the overall ecosystem at later points in the cohort’s development. 

- Provide players with a more affordable and therefore more accessible opportunity to play representative rugby within their branches. The committee believes playing meaningful games with minimal expense simply makes good sense, and makes the game more inclusive and readily available to a wider scope of players within the rugby community. 


Training and Competition dates (To be confirmed and adapted by each branch) 

- Identification Camp and final selection date- TBD by each Branch based on their specific needs and variables. 

- 1 day camp (Date TBD) – On field skills session followed by lunch and an in classroom learning session. Afternoon session for downloading new structures, on field walk throughs, and gameplan walkthrough. The goal is to maximize rugby learning (on field and in a classroom setting) while minimizing player training load. 

- Training sessions to be held during the weeks between August 22 and September 4, as determined by the coaching teams in each Branch. 

Competition dates will be August 27, 30 and September 4. The schedule is: 

- August 27 - NRU Vs EORU at Twin Elm Rugby Park, Ottawa 

- August 27 - TRU Vs SWRU at either Fergus or London (TBD) 

- August 30 - EORU Vs TRU at Belleville 

- August 30 - SWRU at NRU 

- September 4 - SWRU vs EORU - Fletchers or Oakville (TBD) 

- September 4 - TRU vs NRU - Fletchers or Oakville (TBD) 



- The 1-day camp will be integral as it is such a good opportunity for the players to be in an environment that mirrors what many highly successful and professional programs use. 

- This is a balanced training load for the players. It allows time for the theoretical side of rugby while minimizing player training loads. A captain’s run, which provides players to practice their leadership skills before the midweek game provides players/coaches with an opportunity to change game plans while reactivating the players bodies to get ready for the game. This is a tactic often used with short turn-arounds to maximize learning from the previous game while downloading new structures/players on a quick turn around. 


We look forward to seeing this program delivered. It will provide players with a wonderful opportunity to play rugby in a competitive representative environment once their club seasons have been completed following Rugby Ontario’s Junior Cup Day on August 20th, and it will create a pathway for athletes to pursue their rugby goals from the U16 and U17 level onwards. 

I want to thank the Branch Unions for getting behind this exciting initiative, the guidance of the High Performance Committee in creating this plan and the support of the Rugby Ontario Board of Directors in providing emerging players with the opportunity to display their passion and determination to show their playing ability. 

All the best in rugby, 

Marius Felix 

Board Member, Rugby Ontario 

Chair, High Performance Committee  



Rugby Ontario is the provincial sports governing body responsible for the organization of rugby in Ontario. Our mission is to lead, support and promote Rugby for All from communities to clubs to province. This mission signals a movement toward creating a more cohesive, supportive and progressive sporting environment that is responsive to the needs of all members.

To learn more, visit https://www.rugbyontario.com/


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