The all-new Americas Rugby Championship kicks off on Monday with two of the four Canadian provinces involved - The Rock and the Prairie Wolf Pack - coming face to face at Calgary Rugby Park.
Replacing the IRB North America 4 - which representative side Canada West had monopolised in its three-year existence - the Americas Rugby Championship is intended to provide a competitive platform between domestic and international rugby.
A key component of the IRB's Strategic Investment Programme, the new Championship will feature six teams, four Canadian provinces along with the Argentina Jaguars and USA Select side and unite Rugby in North and South America in a high performance sub-international structure for the first time.
"The Americas Rugby Championship is a huge step forward for elite Rugby in North and South America," said Mark Egan, IRB Head of Development and Performance.
"Canada, USA and Argentina are priority Unions for our High Performance investment programme and their domestic based players and coaches require a tournament format that exposes them to high level cross border competition on a more regular basis."
"The tournament is currently structured to primarily focus on our High Performance Unions in the Region, however, it is hoped that it will expand over time to include other countries such as Uruguay, Chile, Mexico and Brazil."
The four Canadian teams - Ontario and British Columbia will meet on Saturday at the Brockton Oval - will play in a round robin format with the top two meeting in the semi finals. The other semi final on 10 October will pit the Jaguars against the USA Select side in Denver.
7 September - Atlantic (The Rock) v Prairies (Wolf Pack)
12 September - Ontario (Blues) v BC (Bears)
19 September - BC (Bears) v Atlantic (The Rock)
19 September - Prairies (Wolf Pack) v Ontario (Blues)
26 September - Prairies (Wolf Pack) v BC (Bears)
26 September - Atlantic (The Rock) v Ontario (Blues)
10 October - Canada 2 v Canada 1
10 October - Argentina Jaguars v USA Selects
17 October - Loser SF1 v Loser SF2
17 October - Winner SF1 v Winner SF2
For more information visit www.americasrugbychampionship.com.
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