Toronto Arrows Release
The Toronto Arrows are pleased to announce that the club has retained the services of Francois Ratier in a coaching consultancy role effective Jan. 2, 2022.
Ratier notably led Canada’s national senior women’s team to a runners-up finish at the 2014 Rugby World Cup, representing the lone occasion any Canadian team has earned a Rugby World Cup final berth. He also stepped in as interim head coach for Canada’s national senior men’s team in 2016, guiding the program to a joint-second-place finish at the Americas Rugby Championship – Canada’s highest-ever finish in the competition.
Originally from France, Ratier first arrived in Canada in 2003 after a 10-year playing spell for his home club in Charente. The former winger first took up a coaching role with Rugby Club de Montreal, later moving to bench positions at both McGill and Concordia Universities and Ste-Anne-de-Bellevue before being appointed head coach of Quebec’s provincial program. He served as an assistant with both Canada ‘A’ and the Atlantic Rock in 2009 and then spent three seasons with Canada’s age-grade program before taking the reins at the national senior women’s team in 2013.
Following his time leading Canada’s senior national sides, Ratier served as the head coach of Canada’s national fifteens academy before returning to Rugby Quebec in 2018 to lead operations at the provincial sports organization.
“As a highly-successful coach who has led both of our nation’s senior men’s and women’s teams, Francois is uniquely qualified to work with Canada’s only professional team,” said Mark Winokur, Toronto Arrows Chief Operating Officer and General Manager. “Francois has worked with a number of us on the current Arrows staff since he started his coaching career in Canada close to 20 years ago, and has a unique and refreshing way of looking at the game.”
“He was a member of our coaching staff for the week of Rugby Rally this past October and the players enjoyed his approach. We’re looking forward to having Francois around more regularly to get us off on the right foot for 2022.”
“I am very excited to join a great organization like the Toronto Arrows,” said Ratier. “I’m looking forward to working with the team and meeting the challenges ahead.”
The Arrows will begin their fourth campaign in North America’s top-flight professional rugby league with a road match against the Seattle Seawolves on Sunday, Feb. 6, 2022.