MLR Implications, as Rugby United New York Hosts Ontario Arrows

Rugby United New York vs. Ontario Arrows

Rugby United New York hosts the Ontario Arrows in their first Major League Rugby exhibition season match at Iona College’s Mazzella Field at 2 pm ET. The Ontario Arrows are playing their second match of the season after traveling to Houston on March 3 to play the SaberCats and drawing 28 all.

The Rugby United New York and the Ontario Arrows will play an exhibition season during 2018. Rugby United New York is an Associate member of Major League Rugby for 2018 and will become a full-member for in 2019. Major league Rugby is considering expansion into Canada in 2019 with the Ontario Arrows, along with a team in Vancouver, being reviewed.

Rugby United New York is owned by James Kennedy, who is originally from Limerick, Ireland and has been in New York for about 20 years. The team’s co-owner is John Layfield, better known for his time on the WWE circuit.

The team has reached out to all Empire GU member clubs, area colleges, high schools, as well as to Play Rugby USA, to assist in the development of rugby talent in the area. The team has sought out advisors in former Ireland and USA Rugby head coach Eddie O’Sullivan and former Irish international wing Shane Horgan. O’Sullivan was in New York last weekend on a RUNY sponsored event, Q&A, How to Build Successful and Sustainable Rugby Clubs.

Upcoming Rugby United New York Event

Rugby United New York hopes to make Gaelic park their home. On March 24, the team will host a double-header with a charity game at 4 pm between FDNY and NYPD (New York City Fire Department vs. New York Bravest RFC). At 7 pm, Rugby United New York will play Boston Mystic River.

A partnership was also announced with the Four Leaf Fifteens Rugby Tournament and Rugby United New York (RUNY). The Four Leaf Fifteens Rugby Tournament 2018 tournament will take place on Randall’s Island on Saturday, March 24, 2018.

“As part of the partnership, Rugby United New York will have a presence at the all-day tournament and post-tournament social hosted at Bronx Brewery. In addition, Rugby United New York is offering discounted tickets to teams registered for the tournament for the club’s inaugural home match against Boston, which will take place at Gaelic Park in the Bronx at 7 P.M on March 24. Shuttle service to the inaugural home match will be offered by Rugby United New York from the post-tournament social at Bronx Brewery to the team’s match at Gaelic Park. General sale tickets for match day are available at rugbyunitedny.com/tickets.”

Rugby United New York vs, Ontario Arrows

Rugby United New York Squad

The match against the Ontario Arrows should be one played at a high pace with both teams capable of scoring a number of tries. Mistakes will need to be minimized and that could be the deciding factor in the match,

Ten of the Rugby United New York players played for New York Athletic Club in a match against the Houston SaberCats, losing by one point. The SaberCats also drew against the Ontario Arrows on February 24.

The starting forwards include Anthony Parry, at loosehead prop, is 27, 6’1″, 245, and played professionally for the Ohio Aviators. At tighthead prop is Kirkland Hamilton. He is 28,  6’1″, 250, and played for Rutgers. At Hooker, is Dylan Fawsitt, who is the captain. He is 27, 6’0″, 225, and has three caps for the Eagles. He also has played with the Ohio Aviators, Life University, and Blackrock in Ireland.

The locks include David Gannon, who is 25 years old, 6’5″, 240, and played with Connacht and for Ireland A. Nate Brakeley is 28, 6’5″, 260 and has 15 caps for the Eagles.

The back row consists of flankers Alex Schwartz and James Denise. Schwartz plays for Old Blue and has two Eagles 7s caps. He is 29 years old, 6’3″ and is 225 pounds. Denise in the NYAC captain. He is 30, 6’2″, and 240 pounds. At No. 8 is Ross Deacon, who is 24, 6’2″, and 240. He has played for the USA U20s, Leinster U20s, Landsdowne (Dublin, Ireland), and for NYAC.

The backs include former Connacht scrumhalf, Marcus Walsh. He is 26, 5’7″, and 170 pounds. He is paired with Harry Bennett, who is 27,  5’11” and has played for the Sacramento Express, NSW Waratahs, and NYAC.

Jack Fitzpatrick and Seamus Kelly are the centers. Fitzpatrick is 24, 5’11” and 198 pounds. He has played for Canada A, Ireland U18s, and for Trinity College. Kelly is 28, 5’11”, and 220 pounds. He achieved local fame winning a National title with Xavier High School, others at University of California – Berkeley, and has 23 caps for the Eagles.

The back three include Connor Wallace-Sims, a Northeast Academy and Eagles 7s player at wing. He is joined by Mike St. Claire, another Old Blue, and Northeast Academy player. At fullback is Luke Hume, who has 20 Eagles caps and also is a capped Eagles 7s player. Hume is 30, 5’9″, and 190 pounds and plays a prominent role for Old Blue.

The reserve forwards include hooker Mike Brown (26, 5’11”, 220), props Brian McKellar (Penn State, NYAC, Collegiate All-American, 23, 6’2″, 250) and Chris Sullivan (the USA Selects, 6’0″, 255), lock Dave Shotton (Manly, 30, 6’10”, 245), flankers Nick Wooley and Gavan D’Amore-Morrison (6’2″, 215)

The reserve backs include scrumhalf Mike Petri (Eagles 57 caps, NYAC, 33, 5’10”, 190), and centers Chris Vakasisikakala (25, 5’11”, 215) and Greg Voight.

Ontario Arrows Squad

The Ontario Arrows Rugby Club is Canada’s first privately-funded high-performance rugby team. The Club is looking to compete against the top North American club teams, providing Canadian players with opportunities to compete at the elite level. With this in mind, the team is also looking at potential Major League Rugby membership and is competing against several MLR clubs and prospective members.

Ontario Arrows Head Coach Chris Silverthorn has made 7 changes and 2 positional changes from his starters against the Houston SaberCats.

Changes in the forwards include loosehead prop Pat Lynott, hooker Jack McRogers, lock Josh Van Horne and No. 8 Kolby Francis. Mike Sheppard moves from lock to flanker.

Backs changes include Will Kelly at flyhalf, Kyle Lagasca at wing, Josh Campbell at outside center and Shaun Windsor moving from flyhalf to inside center.

Kyle Lagasca and reserve lock Tom Van Horn will debut for the team in 2018.

The front row includes Jack Rogers at hooker, who is 19, 5’11”, 215, and is a Canada U20s player. Pat Lynott, at loosehead prop is 24, 5’10”, 240, and played with the Ontario Blues. At tighthead prop is Tom Dolezel, 33 years old, 6’4″, 275 pounds and has 16 caps for Canada.

The locks are Josh van Horne, who is 26, 6’2″, 250 and played with both Brantford Harlequins and the Guelph Gryphons. He is paired with Paul Ciulini, age 22, 6’5″, 255, and has 6 caps for Canada.

Captain Mike Sheppard, at flanker this week, is 29 years old, 6’4″, 245 and played for Canada A. He is paired with Peter Milazzo, who is 21, 6’4″, 230 and played for Canada A, as well as for the Ontario Blues. At No. 8 is Kolby Francis, who is 21, 6’5″, 245 and played for the National Uni All-stars, and the Ontario Blues.

At scrumhalf is Saracens Academy (UK) player Alex Gliksten, who is 20, 5’7″, and 175 pounds. He is paired with flyhalf Will Kelly, 20, 6”4″, 205 and played for Canada U20s and the Ontario Blues.

The centers include Shawn Windsor from the Ontario Blues. He is 31, 6’1″ and 190 pounds. Josh Campbell is 23, 5’8″, and 190 pounds.

The back three include Kyle Lagasca, who replaces Jon West, a wing. He is 21, 5’11”, 215 and played for the Maple Leafs 7s. He is joined by Johnny Sheridan, 22, 6’0″, another Ontario Blues player. At fullback, is Aaron McClelland from New Zealand. He is 25, 5’11”, and 180 pounds and has played with the Maple Leafs 7s and the BC Bears.

The reserves include Rob Brouwer, 35 years old, 6’3′, 255 pounds loosehead prop with 9 caps for Canada. AJ Quattrin, a hooker, is 21, 5’11” tall and weighs 230 pounds and played for the Canada U20s. In the back row, Marcello Wainwright, a flanker, is 21, 5’11”, 220 and has played for the Maple Leafs 7s.

Other reserves include Mike Smith, 22, 6’2″ 240 was a National University All-Star. Andrew Wilson, 32, 5’11”, 225, has one cap for Canada and has also played with the Ontario Blues. Jamie Leveridge, 23, 6’2″ and 220 pounds. Mitch Richardson, 21, 6’2″, 205 and who has played for Canada A and the Ontario Blues. Mario van der Westhuizen, 21, 5’9″, 195, (Ontario Blues).

Rugby United New York and Ontario Arrows Squads & Staff

Rugby United New York: 1 Anthony Parry, 2 Dylan Fawsitt (capt.), 3 Kirk Hamilton, 4 David Gannon, 5 Nate Brakeley, 6 Alex Schwarz, 7 James Denise, 8 Ross Deacon, 9 Marcus Walsh, 10 Harry Bennett, 11 Connor Wallace-Sims, 12 Jack Fitzpatrick, 13 Seamus Kelly, 14 Mike St. Claire, 15 Luke Hume 16 Mike Brown, 17 Brian McKellar, 18 Chris Sullivan, 19 Dave Shotton, 20 Nick Wolley, 21 Mike Petri, 22 Chris Vakasisikakala, 23 Greg Voigt, 24 Gavan D’Amore-Morrison

Ontario Arrows: 1 Pat Lynott, 2 Jack McRogers, 3 Tom Dolezel, 4 Josh van Horne, 5 Paul Ciulini, 6 Mike Sheppard (capt.), 7 Peter Milazzo, 8 Kolby Francis, 9 Alex Gliksten, 10 Will Kelly, 11 Kyle Lagasca, 12 Shawn Windsor, 13 Josh Campbell, 14 Johnny Sheridan, 15 Aaron McLelland 16 AJ Quattrin, 17 Rob Brouwer, 18 Mike Smith, 19 Tom van Horne, 20 Marcello Wainwright, 21 Mario van der Westhuizen, 22 Jamie Leveridge, 23 Mitch Richardson, 24 Andrew Wilson

Rugby United NY Staff

  • Head Coach: Mike Tolkin
  • Assistant Coaches: Bruce McLane, Andrew Britt, Vili Vakasisikakala
  • Manager: Kevin McCorry
  • Head Physio: Ethan Burger
  • Lead Physician: Dr. Marc Kowalsky

Ontario Arrows Staff

  • Head Coach: Chris Silverthorn
  • Assistant Coaches: David Butcher, Aaron Carpenter, Cory Hector
  • General Manager: Mark Winokur
  • Performance Analyst: Rodin Lozada
  • Athletic Therapist: Chris Kelly
  • Team Doctor: Dr. John Gillis

Rugby United New York Schedule

  • March 17 vs. Ontario Arrows at Iona College 2 pm Preview
  • March 24 vs. Boston Mystic River at Gaelic Park
  • March 31 at Boston Mystic River
  • April 14 at Ontario Arrows

Ontario Arrows Schedule

  • March 3 at Houston SaberCats (D 28-28) Preview
  • March 17 at Rugby United New York Preview
  • April 7 at Utah Warriors
  • April 14 Home vs. Rugby United New York
  • April 21 at Boston Mystics
  • May 5 Home vs. Boston Mystics

About Rugby United New York

Rugby United New York is incredibly excited to bring New York its first professional rugby team as a member of Major League Rugby. The team will begin competing in the league in 2019 but will play a few exhibition games in 2018 to give fans a taste of what to expect. The team was founded by James Kennedy of the Murphy Kennedy Group, who is an avid rugby fan and supporter of grassroots rugby. The team is also co-owned by WWE legend John Layfield, who now helps to run a charity in Bermuda working with at-risk kids, Beyond Rugby Bermuda.”

“Our vision is to bring the excitement of professional Rugby to the New York sports landscape and use Rugby’s core values of teamwork, respect, and discipline, to educate, inspire and connect with our community. Rugby United New York strives to unite the entire rugby community and enrich it at every level throughout the region.”

About Ontario Arrows

“The Ontario Arrows Rugby Club is Canada’s first privately-funded high-performance rugby team.

We’re equipped to compete against top-tier North American club teams, providing emerging Canadian talent with enhanced and more frequent opportunities to hone their skills at an elite level.”

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