Family Rugby Profile: The Shaws

Eastern Ontario Rugby Union is the proud home to many rugby families. We will be highlighting a few over the coming weeks. This week, we are highlighting the Shaws.

Family members involved in rugby and roles (player, coach, administrator, ref):

Bob Shaw (dad)
– played at Ridgemont High School (1976-1977), Bytown Blues (1977 – 1987).
– coached at Ridgemont High School (1980-1982), Lester B. Pearson (1986-2015), Eastern Ontario U20 men (2008-?), Bytown Blues (1986-1987 U17/U19, 2008-2016 U14/U16 Boys), Algonquin College Men (2010-present).
– manager of Eastern Ontario (2015-2016), Ontario U15 Men (2015), Ontario U17 Men (2016), EORU VP Game (2015–2017).
– Wrote A History of Rugby Football in Ottawa as an undergrad thesis at University of Ottawa 1981.

Chris (son)
– played at St Peter Catholic High School (2007-2008), University of Windsor (2010-2012), Windsor Rogues (2012-15), Bytown Blues (2016-2019), EORU Men (2017)

Billy (son)
– played at St. Peter Catholic High School (2007-2010), Eastern Ontario U16/U18 (2008-2010), Ontario U17/U18 (2009-2010), Voyageurs U19 (2011), Bytown Blues U16/U18 (2016-2010), Bytown Blues Men (2010-present), Algonquin College (2011), EORU Men (2010-?)

John (son)
– played at St Peter Catholic High School (2010-2013), Bytown Blues U16/U18 (2009-2013), EORU U16/U18 (2010-2013), Ontario U15/U16/U17/U19 (2010-2014), Newfoundland U16 (2010), The Leys – Cambridge, England (2011), Canada U17/U18/U20 (2012, 2013, 2015), Algonquin College (2013-2015), Bytown Blues Men (2013–present), EORU Men (2013–2018)

James (son)
– played at St Peter Catholic High School (2012-2015), Bytown Blues U14/U16/U18 (2011-2016), EORU (Ontario East) U16/U18 (2012-2016), Voyageurs U19 (2017), University of Ottawa (2017-2020), Bytown Blues Men (2016-present)

Other family members:
– Brothers Dan and Matt played Ridgemont High School 1973, Matt played with the St. John Swilers in the 1980s
– Brother Jim played Ridgemont High School (1977-1981), University of Waterloo (1981-1985), Bytown Blues Men (1980’s-?), currently the President of Bytown Blues since 2015, and is also the President of TERP.
– Jim’s two sons Marc and Patrick have played with the blues’ Junior programs.

Cumulative # of years in the sport and breakdown of how many years per member:
Bob – 40 years
Chris – 12 years
Billy – 14 years
John – 12 years
James – 9 years

What first got you/your family into rugby?
My brothers Dan and Matt played high school rugby in 1973. There was a strike the next year and I started in 1975 in Grade 11. Jim followed two years later. My sons started in High School Chris is Grade 10, Billy and John in Grade 9, James in Grade 8.

Who is the biggest rugby fan in the house and why?
We all support rugby. We watch whatever rugby we can get on TV when we can.

Who is the best rugby player in the house (current or previous)?
Without a doubt John has been the most successful player in the family representing Canada at three different age levels.

What does a pre-match meal or ritual look like?
I could never eat within three hours of playing. It was always a light meal for me. Chris – mix of carbs and protein 2 – 3 hours before kickoff. Usually a sandwich and crackers and cheese. Billy – large breakfast at 7:00 or 8:00 am and nothing until after the match. James – two bananas and lots of water two hours before kickoff.

Does your family ever train together in the off-season and what opportunities do you and your family take off-pitch to learn more about the game?
As an old man, unfortunately, I do not train regularly anymore. The sons vary. Chris runs regularly four to five times a week from 10 – 20 kms per run. Billy and John’s work requires very physical effort and do not regularly train. James trains with the Ottawa U Men’s team weekly.

Any situations where you’ve found yourselves playing in the same game/tournament, whether on the same team or different teams?
John and Billy have played together regularly on the Blues’ First XV for several years. Chris and James have played together with Blues’ Second XV on many occasions while sometimes playing with the First XV with Billy and John. There have been a few occasions when all four have played together with the First XV.