Ontario Arrows Face Rugby United New York in Home Opener

Ontario Arrows Host Against Rugby United New York

This Saturday, April 14, the Ontario Arrows will host their inaugural home match at York University’s Alumni Stadium in Toronto at 4:30 pm ET. The Arrows have played three matches against Major League Rugby competition and have a 1-1-1 record entering the match against RUNY. The team also will play Boston Mystic Rugby away on April 21 and home at 4:30 pm on May 5, to conclude their 2018 season.

Rugby United New York enters the match with a 3-0 record and a chance to go undefeated on the season. They are a MLR Associate team for 2018 and will be a full member during 2019.

The Ontario Arrows could join Major League Rugby for 2019. With this in mind, it is hoped that the Ontario rugby community will support the Ontario Arrows players and staff in packing York’s Stadium. Many of players represent local clubs, schools and the Ontario Blues Senior Men’s team.

The Ontario Arrows, like all Major League Rugby Clubs, attempt to build rugby from the youth on up and provide the potential to play professional rugby in North America.

Major League Rugby has enjoyed a successful 2018 pre-season with the Houston SaberCats having over 5,000 fans attend a match against the Seattle Saracens. The Utah Warriors opened their home pre-season against the Glendale Raptors to over 9,000 fans and then having over 5,000 their second match against the Ontario Arrows.

Major league Rugby already has a broadcast contract for a game of the week with CBSSN, as well as for the Semi-finals and for the Championship. Other matches will be shown on ESPN + and on local cable networks.

This week the Arrows announced a partnership with Super Rugby’s Hurricanes. This creates a partnership that should be beneficial to the growth of rugby in North America.

Tickets are still available for the match and can be purchased online at www.ontarioarrowsrugby.com ($15 online), as well as at the gate on the day of the match ($20 at the gate). Tickets for youth aged 16 and under, as well as United States citizens (with a valid ID) are free.

The match against Rugby United New York is on Saturday April 14, 2018 at York University’s Alumni Stadium with the kickoff at 4:30 pm ET.

Ontario Arrows

Head Coach Chris Silverthorn has made two changes to the starters who beat the Utah Warriors 24-20 last week in Sandy, Utah. Marcelo Wainwright will start at flanker with Kolby Francis moving to No. 8. Jon West returns to start at wing.

The Arrows chose to start some of their younger players for the first half against RUNY in the 36-19 loss on March 17. RUNY jumped out to a 33-0 lead before the Ontario Arrows socred three tries and RUNY ended the scoring with a penalty kick to secure the win.

The match between the teams is the fourth season match for both teams. The match should be an exciting one with both teams contesting the scrums and with ball movement in the attack leading to a number of scores. The Arrows dominated the scrums against the Utah Warriors, held their own against the Houston SaberCats and at times had RUNY on their back foot.

Canada Head Coach Kingsley Jones has been in camp all week getting to know the players and the staff as the team prepared for their first home game against Rugby United New York. That should provide some additional incentive to perform with national team implications in mind.

The Ontario Arrows will want to come away with a win in front of the home crowd, as well as to set the tone for next year in potentially joining Major League Rugby.

Rugby United New York

Head Coach Mike Tolkin has made seven changes from his team that beat Boston Mystic River on March 31. Chris Sullivan and Dave Shotton will get their first start of the season at tighthead prop and lock, respectively. Alex Schwarz will be at flanker. In the backs, Marcus Walsh and Luke Hume return as starters at scrumhalf and fullback, respectively. James Bird will start for the first time this season at flyhalf, while Chris Vakasiskakala will add another powerful runner in the centers.

RUNY will be without several players that played the first match against the Arrows in tighthead prop Kirkland Hamilton, David Gannon at lock, Harry Bennett at flyhalf, through a season ending injury which occurred that match, and with Jack Fitzpatrick missing at inside center. Still the team is an experienced one.

Rugby United New York has the chance to complete their four-game 2018 season going undefeated and to establish themselves as a Major League Rugby contender for the championship in 2019.

Ontario Arrows & Rugby United New York Squads

Ontario Arrows: 1 Rob Brouwer 2 Andrew Quattrin 3 Tom Dolezel, 4 Mike Sheppard (c) 5 Paul Ciulini 6 Marcello Wainwright  7 Peter Milazzo 8 Kolby Francis 9 Andrew Ferguson 10 Will Kelly 11 Jon West 12 Jamie Leveridge 13 Mitch Richardson 14 Johnny Sheridan 15 Aaron McLelland 16 Jack McRogers 17 Pat Lynott 18 Mike Smith 19 Josh Van Horne 20 Tom Van Horne 21 Alex Gliksten 22 Shawn Windsor 23 Cooper Coats 24 Kyle Lagasca + Head Coach Chris Silverthorn

Rugby United New York: 1 Anthony Parry 2 Dylan Fawsitt (capt.) 3 Chris Sullivan 4 Dave Shotton 5 Nate Brakeley, 6  Alex Schwartz 7 James Denise 8 Ross Deacon 9 Marcus Walsh10 James Bird 11 Michael St. Claire 12 Chris Vakasiskakala 13 Seamus Kelly 14 Connor Wallace-Sims 15 Luke Hume 16 Mike Brown 17 Brian McKellar 18 Callum Mackintosh 19 David Morgan 20 Nicholas Wooley  21 Gavan D’Amore-Morrison 22 Mike Petri 23 Greg Voigt 24 Kyle Granby + RUNY Staff: Head Coach – Mike Tolkin, Ass’t Coaches Bruce McLane & Andrew Britt, Manager Kevin james McCorry II

Ontario Arrows Schedule

Rugby United New York Schedule

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North American Rugby News With A USA Slant