Note

The Club is operating under its COVID-19 graduated Return to Play plan and 2020 programming will differ from the descriptions provided in this section.

Read our 2020 Season Information and FAQs for answers to your COVID-19 related questions, scheduling modifications, programming changes and more.

The Crusaders Junior Program

The Crusaders Junior program is for both Boys and Girls from U14 to U18 and is the largest rugby program in the club.

The Junior program has won the Rugby Ontario award for “The Best Junior Program” for two of the past three seasons.

U14 Boys Division

The U14 modified contact rugby program welcomes new players while also developing those players from our minis program. It introduces more of the aspects and skills of the full game in a controlled and graduated manner, including rucks and mauls. This is a perfect age to start and they will find that, within a very few weeks, they are able to fully participate in the training program, scrimmages, games and tournaments.

While the focus of the program is on fun, physical movement, and teamwork, with an overarching goal of developing an understanding of the game; we also want the players to have the opportunity to develop strong fundamentals for rugby through knowledgeable coaching. In order to ensure the players best chance for success, our volunteer coaches are provided with appropriate training and resources, and many of our coaches are former and current senior players.

In rugby at any level, rarely can one player take over or control a game. Rugby is a true team sport and needs everyone’s participation, dedication, and team work in order to succeed. These requirements mean that every player must move with and follow the play in order to be involved and support their teammates for the team to succeed.

Skills that will be focused on throughout the year will be running, passing, catching, tackling, creating space on attack, and alignment on defence. These skills will be developed in training, fun exercises, game simulations, and through the various tournaments that we will be involved in throughout the season. The Crusaders U14 program is an excellent place to increase the player’s overall skill development, knowledge of the game and level of fitness.

Head Coaches:

  • Boys – Matt Carter

Practices:

  • Tuesday and Thursday evenings 6:30-8:00pm
  • starting May 1st (field readiness dependent) through to end of August
  • Fall rugby to be offered

Games:

  • every Sunday morning as per tournament schedule (to be provided to registered players)
  • Fall rugby to be offered

Playing Equipment:

  • Mouthguard – mandatory for training and games
  • Cleats – rugby or soccer
  • Jersey – Club provided
  • Shorts – black
  • Socks – black

No glasses / eyewear or jewellery are allowed at training sessions or games as they can potentially cause injury.

 League information

The Under-14 age grade league is a developmental league run by Rugby Ontario.

  • Players will play Sundays, with the season running from May to August.
  • Each weekend, teams will compete in round robin style tournaments.
  • Teams will play games on nine weekends during the regular season.
  • A wrap-up championship event will take place in August (date TBD)
  • The schedule is set up to ensure teams play as many regional based games as possible to limit travel.
  • Certain weekends, teams will play “cross-over” tournaments in a central location against teams outside their region.

U14 Girls Division

The U14 modified contact rugby program welcomes new players while also developing those players from our minis program. It introduces more of the aspects and skills of the full game in a controlled and graduated manner, including rucks and mauls. This is a perfect age to start and they will find that, within a very few weeks, they are able to fully participate in the training program, scrimmages, games and tournaments.

While the focus of the program is on fun, physical movement, and teamwork, with an overarching goal of developing an understanding of the game; we also want the players to have the opportunity to develop strong fundamentals for rugby through knowledgeable coaching. In order to ensure the players best chance for success, our volunteer coaches are provided with appropriate training and resources, and many of our coaches are former and current senior players.

In rugby at any level, rarely can one player take over or control a game. Rugby is a true team sport and needs everyone’s participation, dedication, and team work in order to succeed. These requirements mean that every player must move with and follow the play in order to be involved and support their teammates for the team to succeed.

Skills that will be focused on throughout the year will be running, passing, catching, tackling, creating space on attack, and alignment on defence. These skills will be developed in training, fun exercises, game simulations, and through the various tournaments that we will be involved in throughout the season. The Crusaders U14 program is an excellent place to increase the player’s overall skill development, knowledge of the game and level of fitness.

Head Coaches:

  • Girls– Angela Jackson

Practices:

  • Monday and Thursday evenings 6:30-8:00pm
  • starting May 1st (field readiness dependent) through to end of August
  • Fall rugby to be offered

Games:

  • Every Sunday morning as per tournament schedule (to be provided to registered players)
  • Fall rugby to be offered

Playing Equipment:

  • Mouthguard – mandatory for training and games
  • Cleats – rugby or soccer
  • Jersey – Club provided
  • Shorts – black
  • Socks – black

No glasses / eyewear or jewellery are allowed at training sessions or games as they can potentially cause injury.

U16 Boys Division

The U16 Boys rugby program builds on the skills developed in U14s. The U16 Boys program introduces full fifteens laws with a few modified laws appropriate to this age grade (uncontested line-outs, reduce match duration and others). We welcome players new to rugby who will find that, within a few weeks, they are able to fully participate in the training program, scrimmages, games and tournaments.

While the focus of the program is on fun, physical movement, and teamwork, with an overarching goal of developing an understanding of the game; we also want the players to have the opportunity to develop strong fundamentals for rugby through knowledgeable coaching. In order to ensure the players best chance for success, our volunteer coaches are provided with appropriate training and resources, and many of our coaches are former and current senior players and senior grade coaches.

In rugby at any level, rarely can one player take over or control a game. Rugby is a true team sport and needs everyone’s participation, dedication, and team work in order to succeed. These requirements mean that every player must move with and follow the play in order to be involved and support their teammates for the team to succeed.

Skills that will be focused on throughout the year will be running, passing, catching, tackling, creating space on attack, alignment on defence, positional play/knowledge and rugby tactics and match strategy. These skills will be developed in training, fun exercises, game simulations, and through the various league matches that we will be involved in throughout the season. The Crusaders U16 Boys program is an excellent place to increase the player’s overall skill development, knowledge of the game and level of fitness.

The U16 Boys season is split into a summer 15s program (Apr 25-Sept 8) and an autumn 7s program (Sept 8-Nov 10). There is a nominal additional fee for those players wishing to participate in the autumn 7s program to cover tournament registration expenses.

15s Practices:

  • Monday and Wednesday evenings 6:30-8:00pm
  • April (field readiness dependent) through August
  • Intramural matches, practices and friendly extramural matches will be organized on Saturday mornings from May– Jun.

Playing Equipment:

  • Mouthguard – mandatory for training and games
  • Cleats – rugby or soccer
  • Jersey – Club-provided for matches; player-provided for practices
  • Shorts – black
  • Socks – black
  • Water bottle

No glasses/eyewear or jewelry are allowed at training sessions or games as they can potentially cause injury.

League Information

Under-15 Birth Years (2004, 2005)

The Under-15 age grade league is a developmental league run by Rugby Ontario.

  • Players will play primarily Saturdays, with the season running from June to August
  • During game weeks teams will play 1 fixture
  • Fixtures will be 60 minutes in length (30 minute halves)
  • Teams will play a round robin league format over the season
  • Qualifying teams will play in Jr. Cup Day, which will take place on Sunday, August 25th, 2019
  • Teams are regionalized to reduce travel where possible

U16 Girls Division

The U16 Girls rugby program builds on the skills developed in U16s and introduces full fifteens laws. Players new to rugby are always welcome.

The focus of the program is the development of strong fundamentals for rugby with an emphasis on teamwork and having fun. In order to ensure the players best chance for success, our volunteer coaches are provided with appropriate training and resources.

In rugby at any level, rarely can one player take over or control a game. Rugby is a true team sport and needs everyone’s participation, dedication, and team work in order to succeed. These requirements mean that every player must move with and follow the play in order to be involved and support their teammates for the team to succeed.

Skills that will be focused on throughout the year will be running, passing, catching, tackling, creating space on attack, alignment on defense, positional play/knowledge and rugby tactics and match strategy. These skills will be developed in training, fun exercises, game simulations, and through the various league matches that we will be involved in throughout the season.

The U16 Girls season is split into a Summer 15s program and a Fall 7s program (Sept – Nov). There is a nominal additional fee for those players wishing to participate in the autumn 7s program to cover tournament registration expenses.

Head Coach:

Julia Moynihan

Practices:

  • Monday and Wednesday evenings 6:30-8:30pm
  • Starting May 1st (field readiness dependent) through to end of August
  • Fall 7s rugby to be offered

Games:

  • Primarily Saturdays with some Wednesday evenings
  • 80 minute games (40 minute halves)

Playing Equipment:

  • Mouthguard – mandatory for training and games
  • Cleats – rugby or soccer
  • Shorts – black
  • Socks – black
  • Water bottle
  • Jersey – Club-provided for matches; player-provided for practices
  • No glasses / eyewear or jewelryare allowed at training sessions or games as they can potentially cause injury

U18  Boys Division

If you’ve previously been involved in this game at all, then you’ll know that this is easily the best sport there is.  Yes, it’s a physical contact sport, but it is the quintessential team-game with an important role for everyone, of all builds and sizes.

To the novice, the game may seem brutal, but learning the proper skills and techniques is key to making the game safe and fun for all.  That’s what we hope to achieve as the coaches – to develop the players and the game through participation and learning in a safe and fun environment.  Yes we want to win, but that is not our main goal – much more important is the feeling of achievement, improvement and knowing that you and your team have all played-well given their best-performance.

The U18 Boys rugby program builds on the skills developed in the earlier age-grades. Plus we welcome players new to rugby who will find that, within a few weeks, they are able to fully participate in the training program, scrimmages, games and tournaments.

At the Under 18’s, our group of experienced coaches build on the goals from all the preceding age groups, plus have our own prime-objectives:

–  Increase Player Knowledge and Ability – through skills advancement and set & open-play techniques

–  Improve Game Flow – through play-cycle continuity via teamwork and communications

–  Generate Strategy and Awareness – through game vision and ‘on-the-fly’ decision-making

–  Positive Attitude – by working hard to have fun

In addition to the structured training / practice sessions, the Under 17’s teams will compete in the Toronto Rugby Union and Niagara Rugby Union U17 divisions. Games are full contact, played for 60 minutes, mostly scheduled for Wednesday-evenings or Saturday-mornings.  To be eligible for the U17/18’s in 2020, date of birth must be in 2002 or 2003.

In addition to the League games, Crusaders also play games against several touring teams, as well as a number of play-off tournaments.

Training Schedule:

Training takes place at the club, and will concentrate on developing rugby skills and playing ability. We strongly encourage all players to come to as many early season training sessions as possible to improve their rugby playing abilities, as well as develop positional skills and build teamwork. The club training will only add to the skill, fitness and ability of the players already involved in high school programs.

Outdoor training starts Wednesday May 2 (depending upon field conditions)

Training Times:-

Mondays:-    6.30 to  8.15pm

Wednesdays:-   6.30 to 8.15pm

We will switch the Wednesday sessions to Fridays, once the playing season begins (late June)

League Information

Under 17 Birth Years (2002-2003)

The Under 18 age grade league is a competitive league run by Rugby Ontario.

  • Players will play primarily Wednesdays, with the season running from June to August
  • During game weeks teams will play 1 fixture
  • Fixtures will be 70 minutes in length (35 minute halves)
  • Teams will play a round robin league format over the season
  • Teams are regionalized to reduce travel where possible

U18 Girls Division

The U18 Girls rugby program is open to players of all ability and girls new to rugby are always welcome.  This division is for girls born in 2002 and 2003.

The focus of the program is the development of strong fundamentals for rugby with an emphasis on teamwork and having fun. In order to ensure the players best chance for success, our volunteer coaches are provided with appropriate training and resources.

In rugby at any level, rarely can one player take over or control a game. Rugby is a true team sport and needs everyone’s participation, dedication, and team work in order to succeed. These requirements mean that every player must move with and follow the play in order to be involved and support their teammates for the team to succeed.

Skills that will be focused on throughout the year will be running, passing, catching, tackling, creating space on attack, alignment on defense, positional play/knowledge and rugby tactics and match strategy. These skills will be developed in training, fun exercises, game simulations, and through the various league matches that we will be involved in throughout the season.

The U18 Girls season is split into a Summer 15s program and a Fall 7s program (Sept – Nov). There is a nominal additional fee for those players wishing to participate in the autumn 7s program to cover tournament registration expenses.

Head Coach:

Peter Black

Practices:

  • Monday and Wednesday evenings 6:30-8:30pm
  • Starting May 1st (field readiness dependent) through to end of August
  • Fall 7s rugby to be offered

Games:

  • Wednesday evenings

Playing Equipment:

  • Mouthguard – mandatory for training and games
  • Cleats – rugby or soccer
  • Shorts – black
  • Socks – black
  • Water bottle
  • Jersey – Club-provided for matches; player-provided for practices
  • No glasses / eyewear or jewelleryare allowed at training sessions or games as they can potentially cause injury

Coaching

The Cru have a long history of developing grass roots players and preparing them to play: senior club rugby, overseas amateur rugby, University rugby, Provincial rugby, National Team rugby and even professionally; we are proud of our past and our past players and coaches. That having been said, the rugby world has changed and so must we.
In the last four years we have evolved a number of aspects of our Junior Program and aspirationally we:
  • Focus on developing individual skills week in, week out (15 strong ‘I’s make a great team)
  • Reinforcing skills and decision-making through specific modified games
  • Game concepts based on continuity (evasion, offload, ruck)
  • Comfortable coaching in the “Ugly Learning Zone”
  • Two way communication between players and coaches
  • Equal opportunity for all players to develop
  • Dedicated skill camps (Kicking/Scrum)
  • Sevens program
  • Winter Skills Academy
  • Professional, Supervised and Accountable
  • Age-appropriate strength and conditioning
  • Success benchmarks based on player retention not wins
  • Player ownership of on-field decisions
We continue to look for ambitious coaches, with positive personalities, to join our coaching Junior Coaching group and support the program described above.
If this sounds like something you’d like to be involved with, please contact Kevin Brenders (Junior Director) Email: junior.rugby@crusadersrugby.ca