The Canadian University Men's Rugby Championship organizing committee announced the seeding and opening day matchups for the national tournament taking place Nov. 20-24 at Concordia University in Montreal.
The two-time defending champion UBC Thunderbirds come into the tournament as the No. 1-ranked team. UBC defeated the Victoria Vikes in league play to earn the top spot in the West and a berth at the nationals without having to participate in any further qualification matches.
The Queen’s Gaels (6-0) earned their spot as the second-seeded team when they finished first in the OUA East and won the league championship with a 27-18 victory over the Guelph Gryphons. This is Queen’s second appearance at the championship. The Gaels won the silver medal in 2018.
The Victoria Vikes are the third-ranked team in the competition. They earned the second berth from the West with a dominating 92-14 victory over the Calgary Dinos in the regional qualifying game. It is their third appearance. The Vikes won the bronze medal in 2018 and a silver in 2017.
The three-time RSEQ champion Concordia Stingers (6-0) land in the fourth spot. The Stingers defeated McGill University 38-19 to win the Quebec conference. Concordia is competing at the nationals for the third straight year. The team finished fourth in 2018 and was eliminated after two games in the inaugural six-team event in 2017.
The Guelph Gryphons (5-1) finished first in the OUA West and were conference finalists. They come into the championship as the fifth seed. It is the Gryphons’ third appearance at the nationals. They hosted the inaugural event in 2017 and finished fourth. Guelph took fifth place in last year’s competition.
The UNB Ironmen will represent the Maritime University League and start from the sixth spot. The Ironmen defeated the Dalhousie RFC 37-0 to earn a second consecutive trip to the nationals. In 2018, they finished sixth out of the six teams at the tournament.
In the seventh position, McGill University (5-1) makes its first appearance at the Canadian university championship. McGill finished second in the RSEQ standings and lost a hard-fought battle 38-19 with Concordia in last week’s Quebec final.
The Brock Badgers (3-3) earn the eighth and final spot in the tournament. They finished third in the OUA West conference, but had a strong playoff run. Brock defeated the Trent Excalibur 29-24 in the OUA bronze medal game to secure its first-ever berth at the nationals.
1. UBC Thunderbirds (West champion)
2. Queen’s Gaels (OUA champion)
3. Victoria Vikes (West qualifier)
4. Concordia Stingers (RSEQ champion)
5. Guelph Gryphons (OUA finalist)
6. UNB Ironmen (Maritime champion)
7. McGill University (RSEQ finalist/host)
8. Brock Badgers (OUA bronze)
Wednesday, Nov. 20 - Opening Round
UNB (6) vs. Victoria (3) – noon
McGill (7) vs. Queen’s – 2 p.m.
Brock (8) vs. UBC (1) – 4 p.m.
Guelph (5) vs. Concordia (4) – 6 p.m.
Thursday, Nov. 21
Consolation Semifinal 1 – noon
Consolation Semifinal 2 – 2:30 p.m.
Friday, Nov. 22
Championship Semifinal 1 – noon
Championship Semifinal 2 – 2:30 p.m.
Saturday, Nov. 23
7th-place Game – noon
Consolation Final – 2:30 p.m.
Sunday, Nov. 24
Bronze Medal Game – 10:30 a.m.
Gold Medal Game – 1 p.m.