Toronto Arrows Release.
(TORONTO, ON) – The Toronto Arrows have announced another group of signings ahead of their Major League Rugby season opener on Jan. 26, 2019 in New Orleans.
The club has continued to focus on Canadian players to serve as the primary components of its roster construction.
Committing to the Arrows are:
Dolezel, Tom (London, Ont.) | London St. George’s
Quattrin, Andrew (Holland Landing, Ont.) | Aurora Barbarians
Francis, Kolby (Brantford, Ont.) | Brantford Harlequins
Sheppard, Mike (Brampton, Ont.) | Stoney Creek Camels
Moonlight, John (Pickering, Ont.) | Ajax Wanderers
Nay, Jack (Hertfordshire, England) | Saracens
Wainwright, Marcello (Toronto, Ont.) | Toronto Scottish
Di Nardo, Riley (Toronto, Ont.) | Toronto Scottish
du Toit, Guiseppe (Maple Ridge, B.C.) | UVic Vikes
Leivas, Leandro (Montevideo, Uruguay) | Old Christians
Leveridge, Jamie (Oakville, Ont.) | Oakville Crusaders
Richardson, Mitch (Stoney Creek, Ont.) | Stoney Creek Camels
Sheridan, John (Bolton, Ont.) | Markham Irish
Ten of the latest Arrows signees are Ontario products who have come through the Ontario Blues provincial system, bringing the total number of Ontario players in club’s current 34-man squad to 23. Of the 34 players now under contract with the Arrows, all but five are eligible to play for Canada.
Toronto will open its formal pre-season training on Dec. 15, 2018 in Whitby, Ont.
“We are very pleased to have this first group of 34 players on board,” said Arrows Vice President and General Manager Mark Winokur. “We are talented and deep at all positions, which is critical for such a challenging schedule, and we’re even happier that our strategy of bringing Ontario and Canadian players along the pathway has got us here.”
Toronto will play 16 regular season games over a 19-week span in its inaugural MLR season, with the club’s first eight matches all being played on the road.
“Building depth and versatility are crucial for this first season,” added Winokur. “For a lot of our guys, this will be the most challenging schedule they have ever been involved in, so they all know they will play an important role at some point throughout the season.”
Five of the latest crop of signees have national team experience, with the group combining for 126 senior test caps.
Dolezel (Canada – 16 caps)
du Toit (Canada – 13 caps)
Leivas (Uruguay – 71 caps)
Moonlight (Canada – 23 caps; 318 World Rugby Sevens Series matches)
Sheppard (Canada – 3 caps)
In total, the Arrows’ initial 34-man squad features 290 total senior test caps.
The club will be making additional staff, merchandising and ticketing announcements in the coming days as season preparations continue to build.