The Toronto Arrows re-signed Mike Sheppard for the 2021 Major League Rugby season. The 31-year-old (32 in Dec.) lock/back row is 6’4″ and 245 lbs.
Mike started two matches in the shortened 2020 season and has made 17 appearances over his two seasons with the club. The hard-nosed forward has made 201 carries, 899 carry meters, 223 tackles (86% completion), seven offloads, five linebreaks, and four tackle-breaks throughout the 2019 and 2020 seasons, along with scoring five tries.
Mike was selected for the All-MLR 1st XV in 2019. He played 1140 minutes in 15 matches, made a team-high 203 tackles, carried for 789 meters, and had 5 tries. Following the season he played for Canada in the 2019 Rugby World Cup.
Mike is from Brampton, Ontario, and lives in Mississauga. He attended Bramalea Secondary School and then went to McMaster University from 2007-2012. He played rugby with the Marauders, helping the team win two OUA Championships and was selected to the OUA All-Stars. Mike graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Physical and Biological Anthropology and minored in history and geography.
Mike then attended Nipissing University from 2012-2013 earning a Bachelor’s Degree in Education.
Mike has played club rugby with the Stoney Creek Camels and with the Brampton Beavers. He has played representative rugby with the Ontario Blues since 2013.
Mike Sheppard and Canada National Team
Mike played with Canada A in the 2018 Americas Pacific Challenge and then was selected to the Canada National Team for the World Rugby Repechage against Kenya, Germany, and Hong Kong. The team went undefeated and earned the final spot in the 2019 Rugby World Cup in Japan. Mike played in the three matches, starting two of them.
Mike was selected for the 2019 Rugby World Cup and played in all three of the matches. His last of his 11 caps was against South Africa on October 8th.
Mike began his professional career with the Ontario Arrows in 2017 and became the team’s captain during their 2018 exhibition season. The team changed its name for the 2019 Major League Rugby season. Mike was a team leader in 2019 and 2020 and will be looked on for his continued leadership in 2021.
Toronto Arrows Comments
“We’re delighted to have two Ontario stalwarts in John (Sheridan) and Mike returning to the club,” said Arrows Vice President and General Manager Mark Winokur. “Both have played major roles in the building stages of the Ontario Blues and then the Arrows. It’s crucial to keep our core and culture together while adding pieces where needed, and both will play a critical role in our pursuit of the Shield.”