Toronto Arrows Release
Ahead of what stands to be the club’s first stable, traditional season in three years, the Toronto Arrows have announced their team staff for the upcoming Major League Rugby campaign.
Peter Smith has been promoted to Head Coach after three seasons honing his craft as an assistant coach on the Arrows staff. The Australian played professionally from between 2011 and 2018, plying his trade in Wales, Japan, and Seattle before retiring from playing and turning his attention to coaching.
Cory Hector is returning as Backs Coach while retaining his position as Arrows Academy Director.
Francisco Deformes joins the Arrows as the senior team’s Forwards and Set Piece Coach after spending three seasons at Hawke’s Bay in New Zealand’s National Provincial Championship, where he served as the 2021 regular season champions’ scrum coach. The former professional prop played at clubs in England, Spain, Italy from 2004 to 2016 before joining the coaching staff at NPC’s Northland in 2017. The Chilean international won 27 caps for Los Condores between 2002 and 2013.
Former Welsh international and British and Irish Lion Rob Howley returns to the club in a Consultant role.
Chris Silverthorn has transitioned to the role of Director of Player Development.
Returning team staff also include Dr. John Gillis (Head Team Physician), Sean Harrison (Strength and Conditioning Coach), Rodin “Koko” Lozada (Performance Analyst), and Neil MacDougall (Team Manager), and Scott Shannon (Head Athletic Therapist).
“We spent a long time in the off-season evaluating where we were, where we are and where we want to be as a franchise,” said Mark Winokur, Toronto Arrows Chief Operating Officer and General Manager. “We think that aligning our staff to various critical roles will give us the improvement we are after without changing the mission we originally embarked on.”
“Pete has built a great relationship with the players and is hyper organized, diligent, and ready to take on this new challenge, while Chris can now focus on an absolutely crucial file in identifying Canadian players for our roster for the next cycle of MLR and national team duty.”
“We are excited to bring Francisco on board after his Magpies came from promotion to finish atop the NPC Premiership regular season standings, and also to have Cory back on regular duty after our exile season of 2021.”
“We’ve assembled a great staff who get along well and are fully aligned with what we are trying to accomplish as an organization. We can’t wait to get our season started.”