The Cardinals Collegiate Rugby Conference (CCRC) was formed and recognized by USA Rugby in the fall 2012. The inaugural CCRC consisted of nine schools that had previously been part of the Virginia Rugby Union: James Madison University (JMU), Radford University (RU), the University of Richmond (UofR), Longwood University (LU), Old Dominion University (ODU), Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU), The College of William and Mary (W&M), Virginia Military Institute (VMI), and the University of Mary Washington (UMW)
Duke University joined the CCRC D2 league in the fall of 2013. A year later, Heat Elite joined the conference—a team comprised of college-aged players who live in the Hampton Roads area but are not attending a four year college.
The CCRC also added a small college (D3) league in fall 2013.