The Ontario Arrows have named their match day squad ahead of their historic match against the Glendale Merlins this coming Saturday, September 9. It’s a rematch of sorts with the majority of the two sides competing against each other on May 20 in Burlington albeit under the Blues and Raptors banners respectively. Part of the 10-year anniversary celebrations of Infinity Park, the match is also possibly a glimpse of the future with the Glendale Raptors set to join Major League Rugby next season and the newly-formed, privately-funded Arrows eyeing possible participation in seasons beyond, with friendlies against MLR sides possibly beginning in early 2018.
As expected the majority of the inaugural Arrows side comes from the Canadian Rugby Championship roster of the Blues though there are three notable inclusions from elsewhere set to partake. Atlantic Rock duo Alex Forrest and Patrick Parfrey have joined up along with BC Bears standout Guiseppe du Toit. The addition of Parfrey and du Toit makes it nine full internationals included in the group, with several others capped at u20 or senior ‘A’ level.
Leading the team will be Ontario Blues captain Rob Brouwer, while the coaching staff is also that of the CRC side. Chris Silverthorn and Cory Hector comprise the coaching staff with Mark Winokur as team manager and athletic therapist Chris Kelly charged with keeping everyone in one piece.
Silverthorn says the the team is looking forward to the new venture.
“This is a bit of a new situation for us but we are going to prepare for a very tough game against a good team, on the road. What comes after this is possibly very exciting but job one is to play well this Saturday. That’s something we can control.”
Kickoff on Saturday is set for 3pm local time, 5pm Eastern. A live stream will be provided by Infinity Park. The Arrows will unveil their new team kit and confirm their starting lineup on Friday.
Rob Brouwer (capt.), Alex Forrest, Pat Lynott, Ryan Surgenor, Eric Howard, AJ Quattrin, Paul Ciulini, Hank McQueen, Mike Sheppard, Peter Milazzo, Lucas Rumball, Marcello Wainwright, Andrew Wilson
Andrew Ferguson, Mario van der Westhuizen, Guiseppe du Toit, Patrick Parfrey, Mitch Richardson, Josh Campbell, Kyle Lagasca, Kainoa Lloyd, Johnny Sheridan, Jon West
Head Coach – Chris Silverthorn
Assistant Coach – Cory Hector
Manager – Mark Winokur
Athletic Therapist – Chris Kelly