Toronto Arrows Announce Signing of Original Arrow Mackenzie
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
TORONTO, ON – The Toronto Arrows are pleased to announce that scrum-half Jamie Mackenzie is returning to the pitch.
Mackenzie, 33, is putting a pause on his retirement plans to come back to his hometown club as the Arrows push for an Eastern Conference playoff berth.
Arrow #36 initially announced his retirement from professional rugby last November, leaving the playing field and transitioning to a broadcasting role with the organization. However, after recovering from a long-term hip injury that kept him out of the entire 2021 Major League Rugby season, Mackenzie has agreed to temporarily step out of the broadcaster’s booth and return to the senior team to assist the club following a spate of injuries at the #9 position.
With four senior team scrum-halves currently listed on the Arrows’ injured reserve and potentially unavailable for selection this coming weekend – Andrew Ferguson is out for the season (hamstring), Chris Bell is month-to-month (lower-body injury), Ross Braude (lower-body injury) is nearing a return but has yet to be declared fully fit, and the full extent of Cole Brown’s lower-body injury sustained last week is still being evaluated – and Riley Di Nardo and Gord McRorie having completed their short-term spells with the team, Mackenzie could be called upon to make his season debut this weekend.
“Jamie is a consummate professional, and we’re thrilled he’s coming back to help bolster our squad as we prepare for the final month of the season,” said Mark Winokur, Toronto Arrows Chief Operating Officer and General Manager. “He knows this team well, both from his three years as a player and from his work calling our games from the broadcast booth so far this season, and I’m confident he won’t miss a beat as he gets into lockstep with his teammates.”
“To lose so many players at one position is an anomaly – I doubt we’ll ever see anything like this again – but we can’t dwell on these sorts of hardships and feel sorry for ourselves. We have to be creative in how we fill the gaps, and Jamie is the perfect fit; a player with the right experience and right attitude. When I spoke with him after last week’s match about the possibility of putting the boots back on to assist us in finishing this season strongly, he didn’t hesitate in answering the call.”
“He’s an Arrow, through and through.”
Mackenzie made 10 appearances (six starts) over his three years with the Arrows. He opened his MLR career by helping Toronto secure a postseason berth, featuring in eight matches throughout the Arrows’ inaugural season in 2019. After appearing in two games during the pandemic-shortened 2020 season, he was unable to feature in 2021 due to injury.
The scrum-half’s MLR totals include 104 carry metres on 26 carries, 47 tackles (87% completion), 38 kicks in play (900 kicking metres), eight offloads, one breakdown steal, and one try.
Mackenzie has earned 21 caps for Canada, including representing the red and white at three Rugby World Cups (2011, 2015, 2019). He also suited up for Canada at the 2008 IRB Junior World Championship in Wales.
The half-back is a graduate the University of Victoria Vikes post-secondary program, and has been playing his post-professional rugby with Balmy Beach.
The Arrows (6-6; 30 points) enter Week 15 of the season with a home clash against expansion side Dallas Jackals (0-13; 4 points) on Saturday, May 14. The cross-conference meeting will be played at York Lions Stadium, and will kick off at 7 p.m. ET.
Tickets are available for purchase via AXS, the official ticketing partner of the Toronto Arrows, on a first-come, first-served basis, while supplies last. Single game tickets start as low as $15 and are available for all home games in 2022.
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/
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Header Photo Credit: Jose Romelo Lagman
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