Arrows Announce Lineup for 2023 Season Opener
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
ATLANTA, GA – Toronto Arrows Head Coach Peter Smith has named his starting lineup for Friday’s season-opening match against Rugby ATL.
Eleven players are in contention to make their Arrows debut in Week 1; newcomers Nic Benn, Ciaran Breen, Cole Davis, Travis Larsen, Conan O’Donnell, Gene Syminton, Tautalatasi Tasi, Corey Thomas, and Micaiah Torrance-Read have been tabbed to start, while Fabian Goodall and Shane O’Leary could earn appearances off the bench.
The Arrows will run out a heavily Canadian side for their season kickoff match at Atlanta’s Silverbacks Park, with Smith selecting 15 Canadians — including nine full Canadian internationals (114 combined caps) — to his matchday squad to face Atlanta.
- Nine new signings will make their Arrows debuts as starters: Benn, Breen, Davis, Larsen, O’Donnell, Syminton, Tasi, Thomas, Torrance-Read
- Two new signings stand to make their Arrows debuts off the bench: Goodall, O’Leary
- Nine squad members are full Canadian internationals: Braude (12 caps), Davis (7 caps), Flesch (2 caps), McRogers (1 cap), O’Leary (14 caps), Rowland (9 caps), Rumball (47 caps), Sheppard (11 caps), Thomas (11 caps)
The Week 1 clash will also serve as the 2023 edition of the Fire and Ice Cup; serving as a commemoration of sportsmanship and unity through rugby, the Cup salutes the Arrows’ full season spent living away from home throughout the 2021 campaign during the height of the pandemic, as well as Rugby ATL’s camaraderie in opening their doors to host their nomadic Canadian brothers.
Rugby ATL successfully retained the Fire and Ice Cup with a 34-23 victory at Atlanta Silverbacks Park last season. The opening-week fixture represents the lone regular-season opportunity for Toronto to vie for the hardware, as the Cup can only be claimed if won in the home stadium of the previous year’s winner.
Rugby ATL has won the previous four meetings between the two sides, earning doubles over the Arrows in both 2021 and 2022. Toronto claimed a victory in Atlanta in the pandemic-shortened 2020 season.
Toronto possesses a 1-3 record in historical Week 1 matches, with the lone win coming at Austin (38-10) in 2020.
Friday’s game will kick off at 7 p.m. ET. The Eastern Conference tilt will stream on TSN+, TSN.ca, the TSN app, and The Rugby Network for Canadian audiences, and will be available on The Rugby Network for international audiences.
Toronto Arrows Lineup vs. Rugby ATL:
- Conan O’Donnell
- Gene Syminton
- Isaac Salmon
- Mason Flesch
- Micaiah Torrance-Read
- Travis Larsen
- Lucas Rumball (C)
- Corey Thomas
- Ross Braude
- Sam Malcolm (VC)
- Nic Benn
- Tautalatasi Tasi
- Mitch Richardson
- Cole Davis
- Ciaran Breen
- Jack McRogers
- Lolani Faleiva
- Tyler Rowland
- Adrian Wadden
- Mike Sheppard (VC)
- Cole Brown
- Shane O’Leary
- Fabian Goodall
About Toronto Arrows Rugby Football Club:
Established in 2018, the Toronto Arrows Rugby Football Club is Canada’s first and only professional rugby union team.
Competing in Major League Rugby, the team is equipped to compete against top-tier North American professional 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/
For more information, please contact:
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