Toronto Arrows Announce 2020 Academy Athletes, Additional Program Details

30 January 2020
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

TORONTO, ON – The Toronto Arrows are pleased to announce the 32 athletes named to the club’s inaugural Academy program list.

EAST

Name School Club Hometown
Augustin, Jared* Queen’s University Oshawa Vikings Newcastle, Ont.
Bradley, Darby Trent University Peterborough Pagans Bowmanville, Ont.
Butler, Glenn* Royal Military College Grimsby Gentlemen Grimsby, Ont.
Casey, Liam* Queen’s University Kingston Panthers Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Engelbrecht, Josh Queen’s University Crusaders Oakville, Ont.
Ferguson, Brandan Peterborough Pagans Peterborough, Ont.
Godden, Eric* Queen’s University Toronto Saracens Toronto, Ont.
Hand, Will Royal Military College Fredericton, N.B.
King, Noah Queen’s University Vancouver, B.C.
Laplaine-Pereira, Michael Concordia University Town of Mount Royal Montreal, Que.
Matthews, Will* Queen’s University Beaconsfield Montreal, Que.
Prior, Emerson* Trent University Peterborough Pagans Gananoque, Ont.
Russell, Ben* McGill University Chichester, England
Van Der Ploeg, Rienk* Queen’s University London St. George’s Walton, Ont.
Zuliani, Stefan* Queen’s University Thornhill, Ont.

WEST

Name School Club Hometown
Brown, Cole* McMaster University Ajax Wanderers Pickering, Ont.
Campbell, Dalton University of Guelph Guelph Rugby Calgary, Alta.
Commerford, Steve* Brock University Peterborough Pagans Peterborough, Ont.
Cooper, Harrison University of Waterloo Cobourg Saxons Cobourg, Ont.
Di Girolamo, Dylan Wilfrid Laurier University Aurora Barbarians Kettleby, Ont.
Fish, Matt Wilfrid Laurier University Waterloo County Waterloo, Ont.
Goodwin, Max University of Guelph Aurora Barbarians Newmarket, Ont.
Hurst, Cam* University of Guelph Mississauga Blues Puslinch, Ont.
McLean Lavado, Owen Wilfrid Laurier University Toronto Scottish Toronto, Ont.
McLean Lavado, Quenton University of Guelph Toronto Scottish Toronto, Ont.
Mukendi, Guerschom* University of Guelph Stoney Creek Camels Stoney Creek, Ont. 
Oh, Kevin* University of Waterloo Waterloo County Waterloo, Ont.
Pacha, Aaron University of Guelph Guelph Rugby Guelph, Ont.
Santilli, Mitch* Brock University Brantford Harlequins Brantford, Ont.
Shroeder, Paul University of Waterloo Waterloo County New Dundee, Ont.
Voralek, Mitch University of Waterloo Waterloo County Waterloo, Ont.
Williamson, Alex University of Guelph Guelph Rugby Uxbridge, Ont.

* = Canada U20 program athlete (current and former; travelling and/or longlisted)

The Academy athlete list features:

  • Ten different post-secondary institutions across two provinces
  • Eighteen different grassroots rugby clubs
  • Twenty graduates of the Ontario Blues provincial rugby program

The non-residential Academy will operate in two main training areas, with hubs located in Kingston (East) and Guelph (West).

As announced in September 2019, the Academy will be overseen by Arrows coach Cory Hector.

“Congratulations to the young men selected as the first group of Toronto Arrows Academy athletes,” said Hector. “The club’s primary goal is to develop elite-level Canadian rugby players, and our Academy will be a key tool in allowing our club to identify and train the next wave of talented athletes primed to crack the senior Arrows squad.”

“The reason we’ve targeted post-secondary-aged athletes is they tend to be clustered in areas that lend themselves well to our regional model. Our hubs in Guelph and Kingston also have access to fantastic facilities and support systems that our program can complement. This model also aligns with a common background shared by many of our current Arrows players who are Canadian post-secondary graduates.”

“The Academy is intended to be a fluid group with multiple entry points. Our coaching staff will continue to evaluate talent on an ongoing basis, and may look to add players at different points in time. Our goal is to have year-long programming and monitoring, but not to take Academy athletes away from their club or university commitments. Though there may be minor overlaps, we feel it’s valuable for our players to continue to compete with their clubs and refine their games.”

Spring fixtures for the Arrows Academy will be announced in the coming weeks.

About Toronto Arrows Rugby Football Club:

The Toronto Arrows Rugby Football Club is Canada’s first professional rugby union team.

Competing in Major League Rugby, the team is equipped to compete against top-tier North American club teams, providing emerging Canadian talent with enhanced and more frequent opportunities to hone their skills at an elite level.

For more information, visit https://torontoarrows.com/  

-30-

For more information, please contact: 

Brock Smith
Communications Manager
Toronto Arrows
bsmith@torontoarrows.com 

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