April 27, 2023


Rugby Ontario Welcomes John Hyland and Sandro Fiorino

April 27, 2023

WHITBY, ON – After an inspiring year for the sport in 2022, with participation returning to levels not seen since prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, Rugby Ontario is pleased to announce the addition of two new staff positions that will be focused on leading the delivery of key strategies and objectives within the Rugby Department.

John Hyland joins Rugby Ontario as Director, Rugby Operations becoming a member of the Rugby Ontario Senior Leadership Team and the department head for Rugby Operations.  This new role will have responsibility and accountability for new strategy development, implementation and management of all staff and programs within the Rugby Operations mandate of the organization. This includes direct leadership and accountability of specific objectives outlined in the five interconnected Strategic Priorities of Rugby Ontario.  With a broad mandate, John’s role in leading Rugby Ontario’s vision of “Rugby for All” will be paramount. Arriving at Rugby Ontario with a diverse background in sport in Canada and abroad, John’s knowledge and personal attributes will be necessary to inspire growth in the game, build sustainable programming and drive alignment from community to club to province and beyond.

“I am delighted to be joining Rugby Ontario.  I started playing rugby at the age of 7, so to come back to the rugby community and be in a position to help grow the sport I love is a very exciting opportunity,” said John Hyland.  “Last year I was fortunate to get to know the great staff at Rugby Ontario, and now I am looking forward to getting to know the many wonderful volunteers that make rugby in Ontario possible.”

John has been immersed in the amateur sport system for 22 years spanning Ireland, England and Canada. John’s passion lies in community sport and the power of sport to change the world.  He has worked with Badminton England and The FA overseeing coach education and school sport. He has held the position of Technical Director at the North Toronto Soccer Club overseeing recreational, competitive, and the high performance stream – Ontario Player Development League (OPDL) and League1 Ontario. John also acted as a Coach Developer with Ontario Soccer in the community stream. He has also worked at Table Tennis Canada as their Chief Development Officer then CEO, and has consulted with Pickleball Canada, Tennis Canada and Rugby Ontario.  John is currently a Board member of Ontario Soccer and an Adjunct Professor of Sport Management at Humber College. He has coached soccer at the varsity, semi-professional and local levels of the game. John also volunteers on his daughter’s school council and MLSE Foundation grants selection committee.

With a diverse background and working knowledge of the sport and not-for-profit sectors, he is recognized as a builder, connector and community person. John earned his Bachelor of Arts degree at the National University of Ireland Galway in Economics and Psychology. He then moved to the University of Brighton where he earned his Masters Degree in Sport and Exercise specializing in Sport Psychology. More recently he attended the Schulich School of Business studying the essentials of management in the MBA Program.

“We are delighted to have John Hyland join our team at Rugby Ontario. It is an exciting time for rugby in Ontario as we continue to rebuild and refocus our sport in many important areas, and John’s experiences in sport will support us in achieving our strategic goals,” said Myles Spencer, CEO of Rugby Ontario. “John will join our senior leadership team and provide much needed support and leadership to our staff, members and the rugby community at large.”

Rugby Ontario has also taken steps to structure high performance programs that will support the club community in Ontario and provide meaningful development for aspiring athletes and coaches through provincial and regional programming. To provide leadership of the high performance unit within the Rugby Operations department, Rugby Ontario welcomes Sandro Fiorino as High Performance Technical Manager. 

As an experienced technical leader within the sport of rugby, Sandro will have responsibility of the technical leadership, planning and implementation of programming within the high performance mandate of the organization. Sandro’s role will be largely focused on strategies that identify, develop and maximize the performance potential of rugby participants in Ontario and drive alignment of high performance programming into a clearly defined pathway. 

With over three decades of rugby engagement, Sandro Fiorino has experienced success as a coach and technical leader in both rugby sevens and fifteens at the highest levels. Whether leading the Canadian Women's Sevens team to a historic bronze medal at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Brazil, leading the National Senior Women’s Fifteens program, or creating and launching the Rugby Canada Next-Gen Program in 2016 here in Ontario, one of Sandro’s strengths has been his ability to discover and foster outstanding potential and talent. 

"I look forward to taking on the role of High Performance Technical Rugby Manager at Rugby Ontario. High performance programming is pivotal in the continued growth and development of the game of rugby here in Ontario and Canada,” said Sandro Fiorino. “I'm privileged to be in a position to lead, manage and inspire a team of players, coaches, and support staff to consistently achieve optimal growth, development and performance on and off the field."

As the Head Coach of Canada's Development Women's Sevens Program, Sandro led the team to three medal performances at the 2018 Youth Olympic Games and the 2015 and 2017 Youth Commonwealth Games. In 2013-2014, Sandro led Canada's U20 Women’s Team to back-to-back Nations Cup Championships with victories over England, the USA and South Africa.  Sandro is a fixture in rugby in Ontario. As an NCCP Level 3 coach, he has been involved in all levels of coaching, from high school and club to university and provincial rugby programs. 

“Sandro brings an extensive background in rugby and a passion for leading athletes and coaches in their individual and collective pursuit of excellence,” said Myles Spencer. “We are very excited to be adding the level of experience that Sandro has from his many years coaching and leading high performance programs in Canada.  Sandro has a deep understanding of the rugby landscape and is positioned to make an immediate impact within our community.”

John Hyland and Sandro Fiorino started in their roles on April 26th, 2023.


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


    Rugby Ontario Communications 

    647-560-4790 x 1006


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