News and Announcements


Congratulations to Rachel McCallan, who has been selected to represent Canada at the Youth Commonwealth Games in Samoa!! She leaves this September with the U18 Rugby 7’s team. Awesome work Rachel, the OIRC will be cheering for you all the way.
The trip is expensive, so if you can help out, visit her Rugby Canada page at

Ottawa Citizen-June 5, 2015 by Al Charron (Ottawa Irish alumni with 76 international test appearances for Canada in rugby and currently works for Rugby Canada) and Tim Powers (a member of the Rugby Canada Board of Directors and current player and Board member of the OIRC)

Rowan Stringer’s death two years ago was tragic. Her life ended at 17 playing a game that by all reports she loved: rugby.

A recent inquest into the circumstances surrounding her death made a number of recommendations that Rugby Canada is reviewing. The health and safety of the many thousands of Canadians who play rugby is vital to us. It is important to take the time to examine the inquest’s findings as well as all the numerous substantive protocols that already exist to make sure we are doing the utmost to keep our athletes safe.

We work with World Rugby, our international governing body, on developing and maintaining the best practices when it comes to player welfare. World Rugby’s approach is based on research and evidence rather than individual opinion. Protocols are guided by a medical commission, which is comprised of both rugby and subject medical experts.

Good health and safety practices for athletes do not come through rash haphazard policy development.
It is concerning to us that some public school board trustees in Ottawa may be considering banning high school rugby. As Rowan Stringer’s parents themselves have said, banning rugby is not something their daughter would have wanted. It was not recommended by anyone during the inquest.

Banning high school rugby would be the wrong thing to do. It would be an emotional reaction to a very sad story about a wonderful young woman who was taken from her family, friends and community far too early.

Rugby, like numerous other contact sports, can be a tough physical game. Athletes do get injured. Concussions do happen. But injuries, and specifically concussions, are not unique to rugby alone. They happen in hockey, basketball and soccer as well as numerous other sports. Yet apparently there is no push to have them banned from high schools in our region.

Facts should be driving decision making.

World Rugby is constantly collecting and sharing data on player welfare. In March 2015, they reported that information assembled via organizational audits confirm that injury rates have remained stable since 2002. There has been no general increase in injury rates per 1,000 hours of playing and the sport continues to prioritize preventative measures.

The latest research suggests the risk of sustaining a catastrophic injury in rugby (.08/100,000 hours per year) was generally lower than or comparable with the levels reported for a wide range of other contact sports, such as hockey (4/100,000 hours per year) or American football (2/100,000 hours per year).

Rugby is now an Olympic sport. This fall, the world’s third largest sporting event, the men’s World Cup of Rugby, will take place in the United Kingdom. Canada’s national women’s seven a side rugby team just won a major international tournament in Amsterdam. Last year, our women won the silver medal at the women’s World Cup of Rugby.

Our high school athletes across the country and right here in Ottawa can now dream and work towards someday being members of Canadian Olympic or World Cup teams. From all that we have read about Rowan Stringer, that might have been a path she would have taken.

As school administrators in this region deliberate on the future of high school rugby, we hope they focus on the facts and the future. We welcome anything which helps protect athletes of all sports, not just the players of the game we love. Our organization, Rugby Canada, is ready to work with anyone who wants to make player welfare a priority.

Banning high school rugby is the wrong approach and would be a disservice to the memory of Rowan Stringer.

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2016 Rugby Registration

Posted by Ottawa Irish Rugby Club at Jun 3, 2015 9:29PM PDT

The Ottawa Irish Rugby Club is now accepting registrations for the 2015 rugby season.
We are now using an online registration system. This is part of a Canada wide directive from Rugby Canada. You/your child need to be registered to play in games and to do contact drills at practice.
Registration cost for 2016 rugby season
Senior players: 480$
Students: 430$
Juniors: 342$
Flag (5-11): 165$
Create Account at this link:

1. Create an Account first!
2. Under Select the Province Below to Access the Registration by Club, choose “ON”
3. Look for “O.N. Ottawa Irish Rugby Club Registration” under the red “Eastern Ontario Rugby Union” heading.
4. Follow the prompts and fill out your personal and emergency contact information.
5. You can pay in many ways: visa, mastercard, debit

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Twin Elm Needs Your Help

Posted by Ottawa Irish Rugby Club at Jun 3, 2015 6:27PM PDT

Twin Elm Rugby Park has been the home of rugby in Eastern Ontario for decades. The park now needs our help to pay off some old debts and revitalize the facility. The four owner clubs as well as clubs from all over EORU are helping raise funds, so please let’s make sure the Ottawa Irish do our part. If you can please donate, if you can’t but can offer some much needed services please let me know. You will receive a tax deductable receipt from Rugby Canada -

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Rugby Canada is pleased to announce the inaugural seven inductees into the 2017 Hall of Fame class.

Al Charron, Gareth Rees, Rod Snow, Robert ‘Ro’ Hindson and Gillian Florence will be inducted into the player’s wing while Robert Spray and Mike Luke will be the first inductees into the builder’s category.

“We are very pleased that Rugby Canada has approved the seven nominees who had been recommended to be inducted into the Rugby Canada Hall of Fame,” said Barry Giffen, Past President and chair of the Ways and Means Committee. “This inaugural group of inductees are examples of the commitment and success of individuals who have contributed significantly to Rugby Canada’s foundation of world class standards and success.

“It is hoped that this initial group of individuals will set the standard for all future Hall of Famers.”

Last October, the Ways and Means Committee was established to develop a plan to honour and preserve rugby’s culture and heritage in Canada by recognizing the extraordinary achievements of rugby’s participants throughout the country.

The Committee, which features nine members, is headed by Barry Giffen, a two-time past President of Rugby Canada. The other Committee members are John Billingsley, Rick Bourne, Liz Ferguson, Keith Gillam, Rick Graham, Alan Sharp, Doug Sturrock and Keith Wilkinson. The committee features past Rugby Canada board members, presidents and players.

The Rugby Canada Hall of Fame will be located in the recently announced Al Charron Rugby Canada National Training Centre in Langford, BC, and will feature a museum that highlights and celebrates the historic moments in Canadian rugby history, creating a unique focal point at the state-of-the-art rugby facility.

The seven inductees will be celebrated at the annual Rugby Canada Awards Dinner on March 9 in Vancouver, BC, ahead of the HSBC Canada Sevens at BC Place March 11-12. The winners will also be recognized on the second day of the tournament. Tickets for the dinner are available online at

Al Charron

Charron, one of the most dominant rugby players of his time, is Canada’s all-time caps leader after suiting up as a starter in all 76 appearances for his country, including 25 times as captain, a Canadian record he shares with Gareth Rees. Charron made his test debut against Argentina in 1990 and made his final appearance at the 2003 Rugby World Cup against Tonga.

Charron played in four Rugby World Cups and went to a fifth as part of management team. He was a member of the inaugural Rugby World Cup Sevens squad in 1993 and also played in the famous Hong Kong Sevens on three occasions.

Over his distinguished career, Charron also made five appearances for the famed British Barbarians and also suited up as part of the World 15’s squad that faced Argentina to celebrate their centenary anniversary in 1999. Charron played for Bristol, Moseley, Pau and US Dax overseas and domestically suited up for the Ottawa Irish Rugby Club where he helped them win multiple provincial championships, across the McCormick Cup and sevens leagues. He also won National Championships with Ontario and the English Division 2 championship with Bristol.

Charron has been inducted into the Eastern Rugby Ontario Hall of Fame, Ontario Rugby Hall of Fame, Ottawa Sports Hall of Fame and is recognized as being one of the top 100 athletes to come from Ottawa. Rugby Canada’s newly announced training facility, located in Langford, BC, will be named the ‘Al Charron Rugby Canada National Training Centre’.