Toronto Arrows

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Toronto Arrows
Toronto Arrows logo.svg
Full nameToronto Arrows
Nickname(s)Arrows
FoundedOntario Arrows
2017–2018
Toronto Arrows
2018–present[1]
LocationToronto, Ontario, Canada
Ground(s)York Lions Stadium (Capacity: 4,000)
PresidentBill Webb
Coach(es)Peter Smith
Captain(s)Mike Sheppard
Top scorerSam Malcolm (212)
Most triesGaston Mieres (11)
League(s)Major League Rugby
20216th (Eastern Conference)
Official website
torontoarrows.com
Rugby football current event.svg Current season

Toronto Arrows R.F.C. is a rugby union club based in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, that plays in Major League Rugby.[2] The Arrows team is an independent off-shoot of the Ontario Blues provincial programme and is funded by a group of private investors and supporters.[3]

History[edit]

Historical Ontario Arrows logo 2017–2018.

The team was founded as the Ontario Arrows in 2017 with the intent of joining the Major League Rugby (MLR) competition for the 2019 season.[4][5][6][7] The Arrows debuted September 9, 2017, in a match against the Glendale Merlins losing 41–7.[8]

In spring 2018, the Arrows played a six-game exhibition schedule against the Houston SaberCats, Rugby United New York, Utah Warriors, and Boston's Mystic River Rugby Club. The schedule was extended to include games against the Canada Selects.[9] The Arrows' 2018 home opener was a decided victory over the Mystic River Rugby Club.

In July 2018, the Arrows announced that MLR had granted them exclusive rights to negotiate for a franchise in Ontario.[10] In November 2018, MLR announced that the Arrows had joined the league for the 2019 season. At the same time, the Ontario Arrows changed their name to the Toronto Arrows.[11] The ownership group is led by Bill Webb, partner and chief investment officer at Waypoint Investment Partners. The ownership group also includes the former general manager of the Toronto Maple Leafs Brian Burke, Boat Rocker Sports (a division of Boat Rocker Media), Duncan McNaughton, an assistant coach with the Canadian women's team and the Queen's University men, Kevin Reed of AR3 Capital, and John Ferraro of Mass Marketing Inc.[12] As MLR operates as a single entity league, the ownership group purchased an equity stake in the league, at the cost of a few million dollars, and received operating rights to a franchise in the Toronto market.[12][13] In the 2019 season the team split its home games between Alumni Field of York University and Lamport Stadium in its inaugural 2019 MLR season.[14]

After playing only five matches in 2020, the Arrows ceased play, along with the rest of the league, as the COVID-19 pandemic began.

Due to border crossing concerns related to the COVID-19 pandemic during the 2021 season, the Arrows temporarily relocated to Marietta, Georgia, to share Rugby ATL's facilities at Lupo Family Field.[15] For the 2022 season, the Arrows hosted their game against the LA Giltinis at Starlight Stadium, marking the first MLR regular season game to be held in British Columbia. The remainder of their home games will be played at the renovated York Lions Stadium, over 1,000 days since the team's last home game in Toronto.[16]

Broadcasts[edit]

For 2019, home games were shown on GameTV. Lincoln Rose and Kit McConnico were the on-air talent.

For 2020, TSN was announced as the Arrows broadcast partner.[17] Following the cancellation of the 2020 Major League Rugby season, TSN produced a 10-episode series, showing 60-minute highlights from chosen Arrows games, called "Arrows in an Hour."[18]

Sponsorship[edit]

Season Kit manufacturer Shirt sponsor Other Shirt sponsor(s)
2018 XBlades Waypoint Investment Partners Blackshire Capital
Dineen Coffee
360centre360
2019 Honda Canada Waypoint Investment Partners
2020–2021 Paladin Sports
2022 Coolbet

Players and personnel[edit]

Current squad[edit]

The Toronto Arrows squad for the 2022 Major League Rugby season is:[19]

Note: Flags indicate national union as has been defined under WR eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-WR nationality.

Player Position Union
Sam Mace Hooker Canada Canada
Jack McRogers Hooker Canada Canada
Andrew Quattrin Hooker Canada Canada
Rob Brouwer Prop Canada Canada
Lolani Faleiva Prop New Zealand New Zealand
Cole Keith Prop Canada Canada
Marc-Antoine Ouellet Prop Canada Canada
Tyler Rowland Prop Canada Canada
Isaac Salmon Prop New Zealand New Zealand
Bryce Worden Prop Canada Canada
Kyle Baillie Lock Canada Canada
Paul Ciulini Lock Canada Canada
Mike Sheppard (c) Lock Canada Canada
Hank Stevenson Lock Canada Canada
Adrian Wadden Lock Canada Canada
Tomás de la Vega Back row Argentina Argentina
Mason Flesch Back row Canada Canada
Ronan Foley* Back row Ireland Ireland
Ollie Nott Back row Canada Canada
James O'Neill Back row Canada Canada
Lucas Rumball Back row Canada Canada
Siaki Vikilani Back row Canada Canada
Taitusi Vikilani Back row Canada Canada
Marcello Wainwright Back row Canada Canada
Player Position Union
Chris Bell* Scrum-half England England
Ross Braude Scrum-half Canada Canada
Cole Brown Scrum-half Canada Canada
Riley DiNardo Scrum-half Canada Canada
Andrew Ferguson Scrum-half Canada Canada
Jamie Mackenzie Scrum-half Canada Canada
Gordon McRorie Scrum-half Canada Canada
Sam Reimer Scrum-half Canada Canada
Will Kelly Fly-half Canada Canada
Sam Malcolm Fly-half New Zealand New Zealand
Andrew Norton Fly-half Spain Spain
Giuseppe du Toit Centre Canada Canada
Kobe Faust Centre Canada Canada
Spencer Jones Centre Canada Canada
Mitch Richardson Centre Canada Canada
Ueta Tufuga Centre New Zealand New Zealand
Brandan Ferguson Wing Canada Canada
Matthew Hood Wing Australia Australia
Gastón Mieres Wing Uruguay Uruguay
Dennon Robinson-Bartlett Wing New Zealand New Zealand
Johnny Sheridan Wing Canada Canada
Brock Webster Wing Canada Canada
Conor McCann Fullback Canada Canada
Mitch Voralek Fullback Canada Canada
  • Senior 15s internationally capped players are listed in bold.
  • * denotes players qualified to play for Canada on dual nationality or residency grounds, and is designated as an MLR domestic player.
  • MLR teams are allowed to field up to ten overseas players per match.

Head coaches[edit]

  • Canada Chris Silverthorn (2019–2021)
  • Australia Peter Smith (2021–present)

Captains[edit]

Coaching Staff[edit]

  • Peter Smith — Head Coach
  • Cory Hector — Backs Coach/Arrows Academy Director
  • Francisco Deformes — Forwards and Set Piece Coach
  • Rob Howley — Coaching Consultant

Staff[edit]

  • Mark Winokur — Chief Operating Officer and General Manager
  • Chris Silverthorn - Director of Player Development
  • Neil MacDougall - Team Manager
  • Rodin Lozada — Performance Analyst
  • Sean Harrison — Strength and Conditioning Coach
  • Dr. John Gillis - Head Team Physician
  • Scott Shannon — Head Athletic Therapist

Records[edit]

Season standings[edit]

Year Pos Pld W D L F A +/− BP Pts   Playoff results
2019 3rd 16 11 0 5 472 362 +110 13 57 Lost Semifinal (Seattle Seawolves) 17–30
2020 1st 5 4 0 1 151 89 +62 3 19 Season cut short due to the COVID-19 pandemic
2021 6th 16 5 0 11 411 412 -1 10 30
2022 4th 16 8 0 8 414 390 24 9 41

Notes[edit]

Honors[edit]

2018 season (exhibition)[edit]

All games in the 2018 season were exhibition games and did not count in the league standings.

Date Opponent Home/Away Location Result
March 3 Houston SaberCats Away Constellation Field Draw, 28–28
March 17 Rugby United New York Away Mazzella Field Lost, 19–36
April 6 Utah Warriors Away Rio Tinto Stadium Won, 24–20
April 14 Rugby United New York Home York Alumni Stadium Cancelled due to weather
April 21 Mystic River Rugby Club Away Pine Banks Park Won, 29–19
May 5 Mystic River Rugby Club Home York Alumni Stadium Won, 77–8
May 18 Canada Selects Home York Lions Stadium Lost, 0–19
May 26 Canada Selects Away Westhills Stadium Lost, 28–58

2019 season[edit]

Exhibition[edit]

Date Opponent Home/Away Location Result
September 16, 2018 Glendale Raptors Home York Lions Stadium Won, 40–18
October 20, 2018 New England Free Jacks Home Wanderers Grounds Won, 40–14
January 12, 2019 Rugby United New York Neutral Buffalo Bills Fieldhouse Postponed
May 18, 2019 New England Free Jacks Away Brophy Field at Dartmouth's
Corey Ford Rugby Clubhouse
Postponed

Regular season[edit]

Date Opponent Home/Away Location Result
January 26 New Orleans Gold Away Eagle Athletic Facility Lost, 31-36
February 8 Austin Elite Away Dell Diamond Won, 23-19
February 17 Seattle Seawolves Away Starfire Stadium Lost, 30-35
February 22 Houston SaberCats Away Aveva Stadium Won, 44-27
March 2 Glendale Raptors Away Infinity Park Lost, 0-22
March 10 San Diego Legion Away Torero Stadium Won, 27-20
March 15 Rugby United New York Away MCU Park Lost, 21-24
March 30 Utah Warriors Away Zions Bank Stadium Won, 64–31
April 7 New Orleans Gold Home Alumni Field Lost, 31–35
April 21 Houston SaberCats Home Alumni Field Won, 35-21
April 28 Seattle Seawolves Home Alumni Field Won, 29-7
May 5 San Diego Legion Home Lamport Stadium Won, 23–19
May 9 Austin Elite Home Alumni Field Won, 24–13
May 12 Utah Warriors Home Lamport Stadium Won, 28–21
May 26 Glendale Raptors Home Lamport Stadium Won, 40–12
June 2 Rugby United New York Home Lamport Stadium Won, 22-20

Post season[edit]

Date Opponent Home/Away Location Result
June 9 Seattle Seawolves Away Starfire Sports Loss, 17-30

2020 season[edit]

On March 12, 2020, MLR announced the season would go on hiatus immediately for 30 days due to the COVID-19 pandemic.[20] On March 19, 2020, MLR announced that they had cancelled the season and all remaining games for 2020.[21]

Regular season[edit]

Date Opponent Home/Away Location Result
February 9 Austin Gilgronis Away Circuit of the Americas Won, 38-10
February 16 Houston SaberCats Neutral Sam Boyd Stadium Won, 27-22
February 22 Seattle Seawolves Away Starfire Sports Complex Won, 39-17
March 1 Rugby ATL Away Life University Running Eagles Stadium Won, 28-18
March 6 Colorado Raptors Away Infinity Park Lost, 19-22
March 22 Rugby United New York Away MCU Park Cancelled
March 28 New Orleans Gold Away Gold Mine
April 4 Utah Warriors Home York Alumni Stadium
April 11 New England Free Jacks Home York Alumni Stadium
April 19 Rugby ATL Home Lamport Stadium
April 26 Old Glory DC Away Cardinal Stadium
May 1 New Orleans Gold Home Lamport Stadium
May 10 San Diego Legion Home Lamport Stadium
May 18 New England Free Jacks Away Union Point Sports Complex
May 22 Rugby United New York Home Lamport Stadium
May 30 Old Glory DC Home Lamport Stadium

2021 season[edit]

Due to the Canadian federal government closing the border between the USA and Canada in response to the Covid-19 pandemic, Toronto relocated to Marietta, Georgia for the 2021 season.[22] Although intended to be for the start of the season, the ongoing pandemic meant that all of the Arrow’s “home” games were played at Lupo Family Field, sharing the ground with Rugby ATL for the season.

Regular season[edit]

Date Opponent Home/Away Result
March 20 Rugby ATL Away Lost, 14-21
March 27 Utah Warriors Away Lost, 24-39
April 3 Old Glory DC Away Won, 40-19
April 10 LA Giltinis Home Lost, 16-43
April 17 Seattle Seawolves Home Won, 52-7
April 25 Rugby United New York Away Won, 53-12
May 2 New Orleans Gold Away Lost, 14-22
May 9 Rugby ATL Home Lost, 29-33
May 15 Houston SaberCats Away Won, 19-10
May 29 New England Free Jacks Away Lost, 12-14
June 6 San Diego Legion Home Lost, 30-40
June 12 Austin Gilgronis Away Lost, 47-21
June 20 New Orleans Gold Home Lost, 12-18
June 27 Rugby United New York Home Lost, 24-31
July 4 Old Glory DC Home Won, 34-28
July 11 New England Free Jacks Home Lost, 17-28

2022 season[edit]

Regular season[edit]

Date Opponent Home/Away Result
February 6 Seattle Seawolves Away Lost, 8-21
February 11 LA Giltinis Home Lost, 16-31
February 19 New Orleans Gold Away Won, 24-23
February 26 Old Glory DC Away Won, 29-5
March 12 New England Free Jacks Away Lost, 15-21
March 19 Utah Warriors Away Won, 27-24
March 27 Rugby United NY Away Won, 14-10
April 2 Rugby ATL Home Lost, 14-20
April 9 Old Glory DC Home Won, 32-27
April 16 New Orleans Gold Home Won, 53-36
April 23 Houston SaberCats Away Lost, 17-29
May 8 Rugby United NY Home Lost, 17-41
May 14 Dallas Jackals Home Won, 57-0
May 19 New England Free Jacks Home Won, 33-18
May 28 Rugby ATL Away Lost, 23-34
June 5 Old Glory DC Home Lost, 35-50

References[edit]

  1. ^ "MLR Announces Additions of Toronto and Washington, D.C." usmlr.com. Major League Rugby. Retrieved November 2, 2018.
  2. ^ "Major League Rugby adds Ontario Arrows for 2019". Americas Rugby News. September 25, 2018. Archived from the original on September 25, 2019. Retrieved September 25, 2018.
  3. ^ "Ontario Arrows: The Rise of Canada's Next-Gen High Performance Team". Aedelhard. Retrieved May 8, 2018.
  4. ^ "New York and Ontario in Major League Rugby talks". November 13, 2017. Retrieved May 8, 2018.
  5. ^ "Ontario Arrows to launch Elite Rugby Team in September". August 25, 2017. Retrieved May 8, 2018.
  6. ^ Davidson, Neil (September 8, 2017). "Ontario Arrows take first step toward becoming pro rugby outfit". Toronto Star. Retrieved May 8, 2018.
  7. ^ "MLR reveals Finals Locations and Expansion Plans". March 7, 2018. Retrieved May 8, 2018.
  8. ^ "Glendale gets even with Ontario - Americas Rugby News". www.americasrugbynews.com. Retrieved May 8, 2018.
  9. ^ "Ontario Arrows score 12 tries in 77-8 win over Boston Mystics". djcoilrugby. May 5, 2018. Retrieved May 8, 2018.
  10. ^ "Release: Ontario Arrows Planning Major League Rugby Entry for 2019". Ontario Arrows. July 16, 2018. Retrieved July 16, 2018.
  11. ^ "Major League Rugby Announces Additions of Toronto and DC". Ontario Arrows. November 2, 2018. Archived from the original on November 3, 2018.
  12. ^ a b "Toronto Arrows will join Major League Rugby". Toronto Star. November 2, 2018. Retrieved November 8, 2018.
  13. ^ Campbell, Morgan (December 11, 2018). "Expansion Toronto Arrows join Major League Rugby with optimism and business savvy". Toronto Star. Retrieved December 15, 2018.
  14. ^ "Toronto Arrows Announce Ticketing Details, Home Venues for 2019 Major League Rugby Season". Toronto Arrows. January 17, 2019. Retrieved January 20, 2019.
  15. ^ "Toronto Arrows Club to Establish Temporary Home in Atlanta". OurSports Central. February 3, 2021.
  16. ^ "ARROWS ANNOUNCE 2022 REGULAR SEASON SCHEDULE". Toronto Arrows. November 9, 2021. Retrieved November 10, 2021.
  17. ^ "Toronto Arrows Announce TSN as 2020 Media Partner". Toronto Arrows. February 20, 2020. Retrieved February 20, 2020.
  18. ^ "Toronto Arrows Media Partner TSN to Deliver New 'Arrows in an Hour' Series". Toronto Arrows. May 28, 2020. Retrieved May 28, 2020.
  19. ^ "Toronto Arrows". Americas Rugby News. Retrieved December 11, 2021.
  20. ^ "Major League Rugby Suspends 2020 Season for 30 Days". Major League Rugby. March 12, 2020. Retrieved March 12, 2020.
  21. ^ "Major League Rugby has Decided to Cancel the Remainder of the 2020 Season and Turn Attention to 2021". Major League Rugby. March 19, 2020. Retrieved March 19, 2020.
  22. ^ "Toronto Arrows to establish temporary home in Atlanta for start of 2021 season". Toronto Arrows. Retrieved July 27, 2021.

External links[edit]