The Seattle Seawolves face the Toronto Arrows in their home opener at Starfire Sports Complex on Saturday, February 22. Kickoff is at 10 pm ET and for those who can’t attend, it is being broadcast on CBSSN and in Canada on TSN.
The Seattle Seawolves started the season with road losses against San Diego Legion and Old Glory DC. The Toronto Arrows lead the Eastern Conference with wins over the Austin Gilgronis and the Houston SaberCats.
Head Coach Kees Lensing has made five changes in the starters from last week’s match against Old Glory DC. Stephan Coetzee returns at hooker and Jeremy Lenaerts is at lock. Eric Duechle is at blindside flanker, Jeff Hassler makes his 2020 debut at the inside center and Siti Tamaiveena is at wing.
The Seattle Seawolves are a formidable team at home in front of sold-out crowds. The Arrows are on a roll to begin the season and present a difficult opponent. Whoever takes the early lead will likely emerge as the winner.
Director of Rugby Chris Silverthorn has made three changes in the starters and another two in the reserves. Kolby Francis, Andrew Ferguson, and Leandro Leivas are starting at lock, scrum-half, and at wing, respectively. Tom Van Horne and Riley Di Nardo are on the matchday roster as reserves and could make their 2020 season debut.
Last week at the end of the match, Mike Sheppard received a red card and Francis, who usually plays No.8, replaces him at lock. Jamie Mackenzie sustained an upper-body injury and is listed by the Arrows as day-to-day. Andrew Ferguson takes his place with Di Nardo as his backup. Leivas returns after a minor injury with John Sheridan moving to the reserves.
Chris Silverthorn said that “We’re looking forward to getting another hit-out at Starfire. We played two close games here last season, and with most of our team from last year returning for 2020, the guys are eager to make the most of this early-season opportunity to assert themselves against last year’s title-winners.”
The Arrows (2-0-0) are in first in the Eastern Conference standings with nine points with Rugby ATL also having nine points, but Toronto holds the tiebreaker with a superior points differential (+33 compared to Atlanta’s +21).
Thirteen full internationals have been named to Toronto’s matchday squad, carrying a combined cap total of 243 matches.
Squads with Player Article Links
Seattle Seawolves: 1 Djustice Sears-Duru 2 Stephan Coetzee 3 Jake Ilnicki 4 Jeremy Lenaerts 5 Brad Tucker 6 Eric Duechle 7 Nakai Penny 8 Riekert Hattingh (C) 9 JP Smith 10 Shalom Suniula (VC) 11 Brock Staller 12 George Barton 13 Jeff Hassler14 Sitiveni Tamaivena 15 Mat Turner 16 Mike Shepherd 17 Kellen Gordon 18 Tim Metcher 19 Taylor Krumrei 20 Vili Toluta’u 21 Scott Dean 22 Joey Iosefo 23 David Busby
Toronto Arrows: 1 Richie Asiata 2 Andrew Quattrin 3 Cole Keith 4 Kolby Francis 5 Paul Ciulini 6 Tomas de la Vega7 Lucas Rumball 8 Manuel Diana 9 Andrew Ferguson 10 Taylor Adams 11 Leandro Leivas 12 Guiseppe du Toit 13 Ben LaSage14 Dan Moor (C) 15 Sam Malcolm 16 Steven Ng 17 Pat Lynott 18 Tyler Rowland 19 Tom Van Horne 20 Peter Milazzo 21 Riley DiNardo 22 Will Kelly 23 Johnny Sheridan