TV/Internet Rugby Game Listings in Canada

How to watch Rugby this weekend

Breaking news just in. DAZN now has the South African Rainbow Cup matches!!!!

Super Rugby wraps up its domestic competitions (Super Rugby Australia and Super Rugby Aotearoa) this weekend before it becomes a Trans Tasman affair with two tasty finals. Both are on TSN with both the New Zealand and Australian competitions on their Bonus Streaming Schedule live and on demand.

After last weekend’s European Champions Cup semi-finals we are left with an all French final between Toulouse and La Rochelle which will take place at Twickenham on May 22nd. Watching it in Canada in years gone by has been fairly straightforward on Sportsnet World or in the last few years DAZN. However, it would appear that neither have bid for the rights this year. However, all is not lost for us here in the frozen North. You can watch the all the games on a weekend pass directly through EPCR’s website here in Canada, the only catch is that you have to watch them live, as at the moment they are not slated to be on demand, (though apparently there is a rumor they will be once the tournament gets underway). Also the UK’s Channel 4 will have the final, and France 2 tv has the French games on their website for those bilingual types among us. In the meantime see below how to access games that we can get.

Also this weekend Major League Rugby and the Toronto Arrows continue their 2021 season on Saturday as the Arrows play their second match against Rugby Atlanta. The Arrows faltered in the second half last weekend against NOLA Gold but still find themselves third in the East and in the middle of the standings table overall. Clearly some consistency is needed in their performances for the remainder of the season. TSN and the Rugby Network have you covered for the entire MLR season.

The PRO14 is also now over with Leinster as Champions. However, the controversial Rainbow Cup resumes this weekend for the PRO 14 sides and South African sides. This was meant to be a competition between the PRO14 sides and South Africa’s top four provincial franchises. It was supposed to showcase these South African teams joining the PRO14 for next year and more importantly give South African players a bit of international exposure in preparation for the British and Irish Lions tour to South Africa this summer. Considering the Springboks have not played since the World Cup final in 2019 this latter aspect was critical, especially given the fact that the Lions squad is likely to have a distinctly Celtic flavor to it this year. Due to COVID 19 restrictions the Rainbow Cup has now become a rather pointless affair featuring a rehash of the PRO14 tournament over three rounds and the South African sides remaining in South Africa and playing themselves in domestic derbies. As a result its appeal in our eyes has diminished dramatically. If you do want to catch it though DAZN has the Northern Hemisphere PRO14 games and now has got the South African games which got underway last weekend.

The British and Irish Lions tour to South Africa is now definitely going ahead and will be played in South Africa. Broadcasting rights are a huge grey area for us here in Canada but with the Southern Hemisphere’s Super Rugby tournaments now available on TSN we’re hoping they’ll get the Lions tour as well. If TSN don’t get it we are fairly confident that ESPN+ in the US will have it, which you can access here in Canada with a VPN provider and a small monthly subscription. With DAZN now having the South African Rainbow Cup games there is another possibility there that they may have it. We’ll keep you posted and a piece on today’s Lions squad selection will be going out on the home page.

European Champions Cup (Heineken Cup)

Here in Canada EPCR TV has you covered as will one of the UK networks most likely Channel 4 for some matches as well as France 2 for French team fixtures using the access methods described below (although for France 2 we are still trying to determine how to access games they are supposed to be showing but so far are not showing up in their grid schedule). As mentioned above the competition is all a bit of a farce this year, and it’s hard to derive much meaning out of it.

One method to catch the action is to take out a weekend pass which gives you access to all the games that weekend. It costs €8.99 for the whole weekend (about $14 CDN) The games are not geoblocked for Canada, but can only be watched live and not on demand. The feed is good quality and without advertisements. Check out the link here:

Your second and free option is to register an account with Channel 4 who will have the final , live and on demand. To do this first you must login to a UK server through a VPN service (we use Nord VPN). Here is the link to set up an account:

Once you’ve done that as long as you are on a UK server through a VPN and logged into the Channel 4 site, remember to be on a VPN connected to a UK server before you do anything, then you will have access. If you miss it they will also have the game on demand several hours later.

PRO 14

The PRO14 is now over till next year with Leinster as Champions but if you want it all over again there is the Rainbow Cup.

Rainbow Cup

This tournament was supposed to between South African and PRO 14 sides but now due to COVID 19 restrictions, has now been split into two separate competitions. The PRO14 sides play each other, while the four South African franchises (Bulls, Stormers, Sharks and Lions) play each other in a separate tournament. Our reservations on the whole value of the tournament have already been stated above, but suffice to say it has now been greatly diminished. Here in Canada the Northern Hemisphere matches are under the umbrella of the PRO 14 we will get to watch them in this country on DAZN who continue to have the broadcast rights in Canada for all things PRO14. The South African fixtures get underway this weekend but sadly are not available in Canada.

As mentioned above DAZN now has the South African Super Rugby matches and this will be our first glimpse at South African players in action leading up to the Lions tour, so although the Northern Hemisphere Rainbow Cup matches are of little interest or relevance these games will be. This weekend we have the Sharks taking on the Lions and the Bulls travelling to Cape Town to take on the Stormers.

Sharks vs Lions – Saturday, May 8th – 10 AM (Eastern) – DAZN (live and on demand)

Stormers vs Bulls – Saturday, May 8th – 2:35 PM (Eastern) – DAZN (live and on demand)

To subscribe to DAZN follow the link below:

Super Rugby

The 2021 competition will be a strictly Trans Tasman and domestic affair in Australia and New Zealand this year. The Super Rugby Aotearoa and Super Rugby formats used last year continued starting in March, and then once those competitions are concluded, then it becomes Super Rugby Trans Tasman starting in May where the five teams from each of the domestic conferences play each other across the Tasman lending an air of international competition to the proceedings. TSN have finally got their broadcast rights sorted out and the games are available live on their Bonus streaming schedule on the app and on demand. See link below:

If you miss the games on TSN the highlights are on the official SANZAAR site see link below:

Our picks of this weekend see the Australian conference final between the Reds and the Brumbies on Saturday. While in New Zealand the Crusaders and the Chiefs will duke it out for top honors on Saturday in the Land of the Long White Cloud. There will definitely be some entertaining rugby on hand of that we can be sure.

Crusaders vs Chiefs – Saturday, May 8th – 3:00 AM (Eastern) – TSN App (live and on demand)

Reds vs Brumbies – Saturday, May 8th – 5:30 AM (Eastern) – TSN App (live and on demand)

The South African Super Rugby franchises instead will play in the Rainbow Cup, which was supposed to be a competition between them and the top PRO 14 sides, but as a result of COVID 19 is now split into two competitions. We’ll keep you updated once we have more details but since DAZN has PRO14 rights they have it and with it we’re hoping the possibility of the Lions tour to South Africa?

Major League Rugby

After an exceptionally promising start to the season, our local heroes the Toronto Arrows had to put everything on hold, as last year’s tournament was officially cancelled. This year’s tournament kicked off on March 20th with the Arrows facing Rugby Atlanta. As a result of COVID 19 the Arrows unfortunately will be using Marietta Field in Georgia as their home field, and the date of their first home game in Toronto has yet to be decided. The good news is that TSN will be covering all of their games on both the web and regular television.

Last weekend’s 22-14 loss to NOLA Gold was very much a game of two halves. In the first NOLA struggled with discipline and couldn’t hang on to a ball if their lives depended on it. In the second Toronto lost their discipline and their attacking shape which had proved so devastating in the first half started to splinter. However, there were still plenty of positives and the forwards are still one of the best units in the League and the new signing of Pumas fullback Joaquin Tuculet is proving to be worth its weight in gold. The Arrows just need to get some consistency going again and they could once again entertain thoughts of winning the Championship. This weekend sees them travel back to their temporary home of Georgia to take on neighbours Rugby Atlanta. After some initial promise Atlanta seem to have run out of steam, and if the Arrows bring the same intensity they did to the New York match we should be in for another treat. A good win on Saturday could see them work their way back up to the top of the table with an easy game against struggling Houston a week later to help consolidate their position.

As difficult as Toronto are finding this season so far at times, you have to give them the benefit of the doubt. That they are even able to play in the tournament at all, is nothing short of a miracle given the pandemic restrictions of cross border travel. It’s meant them having to set up shop in Georgia isolated from family and friends for at least the next two months. It must be tough mentally to keep a positive attitude week in week out, especially if things are exactly going your way on the pitch. Without this sacrifice as Canadians we would be poorly represented, so we take our hats off to them and will continue cheering hard every weekend until hopefully some point in the summer when we can actually cheer them on in person here in Toronto. We’ll be doing our reviews of the Arrows games very shortly once we get past today’s Lions squad write up. In the meantime here is the schedule on TSN:

In addition to TSN’s coverage of the Arrows you can also catch all the games on the Rugby Network which is free (live and on demand) as well as the MLR YouTube Channel which has all the highlights. Here are the links to both.

Toronto Arrows vs Rugby Atlanta – Saturday, May 8th – 7:00 PM (Eastern) TSN app as well as the Rugby network (where it will also be on demand on both networks).

If you missed the Arrows wobble against NOLA last weekend – here are the highlights:

The Arrows Facebook page as well as their regular webpage has highlights and some of their games available as well as news about next year’s season:

General Internet Listings for following International Rugby

Our new YouTube favorite is Squidge Rugby. His highly entertaining and insightful videos on our glorious sport have become the The Lineout’s number one weekly YouTube go to location at the moment. The videos are well put together, have some fascinating insights into the topic being discussed and have a production value that is both highly amusing and ingenious. Well worth ten minutes of your time and more than likely to put a smile on your face over a cup of coffee and provide some talking points with your rugby mates. Here is his take on the Lions selection which gave us plenty to think about. Get behind his work and help this excellent content to continue.

Here’s the link to his channel:

One of the most comprehensive site for International Rugby news is without doubt Planet Rugby see link below:

For following the games if you can’t watch them either on the Internet or Television then they always have a very useful live tracking feature for all the big games, both for the Six Nations and Super Rugby as well as the World Cup. This allows you to get minute by minute updates on the games as they progress on either your computer or smart phone. If you’re on the road, this is a fabulous tool and best of all it’s free, along with their excellent coverage of the world game, and discussion forums (but be prepared to be shot down in flames by some of the more die hard fans if they feel your opinions aren’t well founded). If you’re a rugby fanatic then it’s pretty easy to lose time on this website and well worth a weekly or daily visit.

Another source of excellent international rugby coverage especially for video is Ultimate Rugby. Its video coverage features highlights, interviews and other interesting tidbits of rugby trivia. Nicely produced and well worth spending some time at. It also has a live match tracker like Planet Rugby and one which you can actually post comments on as the action unfolds which is a nice feature.

Also for those of you interested in a Canadian rugby digest, the rugby blog in BC’s Province newspaper is a good source for news on all things Canadian rugby wise (although of late it’s hard to find much) along with Patrick Johnston’s Try and Tackle podcasts and their Facebook Page which sadly also seems to have died a natural death:

For a contrasting opinion from New Zealand and our other fan favorite we also really like Two Cents Rugby on YouTube. An enthusiastic Kiwi fan who knows his players and probably has the most extensive rugby jersey collection on the net. Here’s his take on some of the controversy surrounding the Wales/England thriller in Cardiff.

And here’s the link to his channel:

Lastly, if you want to pick up on some genuine enthusiasm for our great game, we’re a fan of Gareth Mason on YouTube. A South African passionate about the game, his prodigious output on YouTube is always good fun and raises some good points. So check out the G-Man and give him your support.

We’ll be back next week with our review of the Six Nations, as this week work and COVID restrictions have seriously got in the way of rugby. Till then stay safe everyone!