Toronto Arrows Temporarily Relocate to Atlanta to Start 2021 Season

Toronto Arrows Release

The Toronto Arrows Rugby Football Club announced plans today to begin its 2021 Major League Rugby season in Marietta, Georgia.

Following the completion of the club’s pre-season training camp in Toronto, which will begin on Feb. 8, 2021, Arrows personnel will travel to Georgia to establish a home base ahead of the team’s season opener on Mar. 20, 2021.

Statement from Mark Winokur, Chief Operating Officer & General Manager, Toronto Arrows

“Our organization has worked closely with public health officials at various levels over the past several months to consider plans that would allow us to begin our 2021 season on home soil. However, the ongoing public health situation facing Canadians, along with the pressing need to determine where we will play our home matches, has dictated that we will start our 2021 season in the United States.

Our top priority has always been to play our home games in front of our fantastic and dedicated fans in Toronto, but in order to compete for the MLR Shield this season, we must start south of the border. Our hunt for the championship will begin with us playing in Marietta, Georgia.

The staff at Rugby ATL have been incredibly supportive and have gone the extra mile to make sure we can provide a safe, professional environment for our players and staff. Rugby ATL has great facilities for both training and games, and we’re looking forward to playing there.

We won’t sugar-coat it – the situation won’t be easy for us, as we don’t know if we will be based in Georgia for a week, a month, or longer – but we’ll keep our chins up and cross the hurdles as they come. We will do everything we can to provide an entertaining, competitive team for everyone to support, whether in-person or through broadcasts.

We’d like to thank our fans for their understanding and continued support as we navigate the challenges of the ongoing pandemic. We know you’ll be cheering for us from afar, and that support will provide us with plenty of extra motivation in a season unlike any other we’ve experienced. Our ticketing staff will be in touch with our Founders Club members and season ticket holders in the coming days to outline fan-first options for the upcoming campaign.

We know we’re not the first team to experience the challenges of creating a home away from home, and a number of our players were in a similar situation in British Columbia in November for Rugby Canada’s national team camp, so we know it can be done and we are totally confident that we’ll adapt and thrive no matter what comes at us. We can’t wait to play, and more importantly, to play back home, and we know that day will come, hopefully, sooner rather than later.”

Statement from Scott Lawrence, General Manager, Rugby ATL

“We’re all in this together, to grow the sport and to grow the league. It’s our pleasure to host the Toronto Arrows at our facility and at our field. We’re grateful to be able to do our part in making sure the MLR has a successful 2021 season.”

Statement from George Killebrew, Commissioner, Major League Rugby

“I want to thank everyone from the Toronto Arrows organization for persevering and moving forward with the 2021 MLR season. These are unprecedented times and the passion and resiliency of the Toronto Arrows players and coaches to make the sacrifice to temporarily relocate to Atlanta is appreciated. Thank you also to Rugby ATL for welcoming the Arrows to Georgia. Everyone has the same goal this season, which is to play as many games as possible, as safely as possible, and hopefully hoist the MLR Shield in August.”

Revised 2021 Schedule

Week 1 | Saturday, March 20 | Rugby ATL (A)
Week 2 | Saturday, March 27 | Utah Warriors (A)
Week 3 | Saturday, April 3 | Old Glory DC (A)
Week 4 | Saturday, April 10 | Los Angeles Rugby Team (H)
Week 5 | Saturday, April 17 | Seattle Seawolves (H)
Week 6 | Sunday, April 25 | Rugby United New York (A)
Week 7 | Sunday, May 2 | NOLA Gold (A)
Week 8 | Sunday, May 9 | Rugby ATL (H)
Week 9 | Saturday, May 15 | Houston Sabercats (A)
Week 10 | BYE
Week 11 | Saturday, May 29 | New England Free Jacks (A)
Week 12 | Sunday, June 6 | San Diego Legion (H)
Week 13 | Saturday, June 12 | Austin Gilgronis (A)
Week 14 | Sunday, June 20 | NOLA Gold (H)
Week 15 | Sunday, June 27 | Rugby United New York (H)
Week 16 | Sunday, July 4 | Old Glory DC (H)
Week 17 | Sunday, July 11 | New England Free Jacks (H)
Week 18 | BYE

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North American Rugby News With A USA Slant