Dr. Pat Parfey started playing rugby at the age of 13 at the CBC in his native Cork, Ireland and played club rugby while studying for his medical degree at the University College Cork (UCC) winning the Munster Cup with the team in 1976. He eventually moved to England to further his academic career, and continued to play in Montreal and England. Assuming responsibility of player coach from 1977-1982 with the London Irish, he led the team to its first ever RFU Cup Final in 1980.
As a player, coach, and volunteer, Pat has made enormous contributions to the sport of rugby for over 30 years. His name is widely known within the rugby community here in the province, across Canada, and around the world for pushing the development of the game, to guiding many national championship teams from the province and becoming one of the sport’s most prolific fundraisers and builders.
Away from the field, he led the campaign to build the Swilers Rugby Complex, a world class sports facility in St. John’s which has played host to attracting high quality competitive teams from all corners of the globe. Pat has mentored and coached athletes of all ages. His accomplishments as a coach to improve Canadian Rugby are numerous, including training an Under 19 team that won 5 out of 6 games while touring London, and led the Canadian National side to the 1999 Rugby World Cup, also leading Canada to victory in the Pacific Rim Championship in 1997 and 1998.
Pat is the only person to have served as the Coach of Canada’s National Senior Men’s Team and President of Rugby Canada, and currently is Canada’s representative on the World Rugby Board as part of the Community Rugby Committee. Many attest that the opportunities that Pat’s leadership and mentorship behind the scenes with planning, goal setting, lobbying, fundraising, orchestrating, and ultimately getting this done on the grandest of scale has created results for the betterment of the rugby community and in particular youth playing the sport. Presently he is giving back to the sport in a unique way as the Team Manager for the National U20 Men’s Team and is a board member of the Swilers Rugby Club.