Ajax Wanderers Rugby Club
A Brief History: 70 Years of Rugby
The Ajax Wanderers Rugby Club can lay claim to being the founding club for rugby in post-war Ontario.
Started by a group of English immigrants who missed their favourite sport from back home in 1949, the club originally had no similar opposition to compete against. The early years saw games against the University of Toronto and McGill University. The Toronto Nomads, Aurora Barbarians, Irish Canadians and to a lesser extent the Brantford Harlequins all owe their existence to those early Wanderers.
Once a league was in place Wanderers became immediately successful winning several provincial championships in the late 1950s. The club also began a tradition of touring that continues to this day. Going on tour and hosting teams is one of the finest traditions in rugby and the sport provides an opportunity like no other for players to travel the world as a team or as individuals.
Over the years Wanderers have toured extensively within Canada, the United States, Great Britain and even an occasional trip to the continent. The club has also hosted teams from all over the world. Developing players to play on the provincial, national and international stage has always been a priority and the Wanderers have provided players to the Canadian national team almost from its beginnings with John Ackerly representing his country in 1971.
That tradition has continued through the years with the likes of Scott Mackinnon, David Moonlight, who was a long time captain of the Canadian National 7s team and most recently John Moonlight who also captained Canada in the National 7’d program and is currently playing for the Toronto Arrows in the MLR.
Wanderers have also welcomed players from around the globe to play with the club as they travel or on an exchange basis.
Ajax Wanderers is a dynamic and growing club and not all of the clubs success is buried in the past. The club last won the Ontario Senior Men’s championship in 1998, a decade which also saw the women’s team as the dominant force in the province with a large contingent moving up to play for the women’s national team. Although the club suffered two relegations after that provincial championship, the Wanderers won the TRU Men’s title in 2004, 2006, and 2009 as well as the TRU Men’s 2nd XV title in 2007.
Ajax Wanderers: Today
The Ajax Wanderers Rugby Club actively promotes the game of rugby and its values and traditions that stress team play, pride in oneself and the community and a healthy life style through the development of lifelong social, emotional and physical skills. The Ajax Wanderers Rugby Club provides opportunities and programs for youth, regardless of age, gender or economic hardship, to participate in safe, organized and competitive rugby at the community, provincial and national levels.
Any and all levels of players are welcome at the Wanderers club. The current program includes teams in the following age groups:
- Under 5 – Co-ed – Non Contact (flag rugby)
- Under 7 Co-ed – non Contact (flag rugby)
- Under 9 – Co-ed – Non Contact (flag rugby)
- Under 11 – Co-ed – Contact
- Under 13 Boys – Under 13 Girls
- Under 15 Boys – Under 15 Girls
- Under 17 Boys – Under 17 Girls
- Under 19 Boys – Under 19 Girls
- Senior Men
Visit our Teams page to register yourself or your child.
Belief in the Spirit of the Game: Fair play and the Wanderers Code of Ethics.
There are many different choices if a person is inclined to be of a sporting nature. One usually makes their choice based on what friend’s do, what is locally available or on family traditions. In Canada, rugby is not as mainstream as hockey or football, but it does provide a unique portal for the Canadian sportsman.
Whether a full International, a muddy schoolyard, or on a beach for a game of touch, rugby is played for the sheer love of the game by passionate people. At the Wanderers club, members are encouraged to adhere to a code of ethics that include the following guidelines:
- Play the game for the game’s sake
- Be obedient to the laws of the game
- Work for the good of the team and the club
- To win is always desirable, but to win at any cost defeats the purpose of the game
- The decision of the officials of the competition are respected and final
- Conduct yourself, at all times, with honour and dignity
- Be respectful of the facilities, club members and players of hosting clubs
- Visiting teams and officials are our welcomed guests
- Recognize and applaud honesty and whole-heartedly the efforts of your players and opponents
- Accept both victory and defeat with honour and control
- Remember that at all time your actions and words reflect on the name and members, past and present, of the Wanderers