Toronto Arrows Announce Return of Ciulini, de la Vega, Signing of Worden
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
TORONTO, ON – The Toronto Arrows are pleased to announce a fifth group of significant signings ahead of the 2022 Major League Rugby season.
The club is excited to confirm that Paul Ciulini and Tomas de la Vega are returning for the upcoming campaign, and that the forward pair will be joined by second-round MLR Collegiate Draft selection Bryce Worden.
Lock | Maple, Ontario
Ciulini, 26, returns to the Arrows for a fourth season after featuring in franchise-leading 34 matches (31 starts) for the club since 2019.
The 6’5”, 245lb lock has amassed 474 carry metres on 122 carries, 313 tackles (90.7% completion), 52 lineout takes, 15 dominant tackles, a club-record eight lineout steals (jointly held with Tomas de la Vega), three tackle breaks, two breakdown steals, one offload and one try over his three years with the club.
Ciulini has earned eight caps for Canada, making five starts and scoring one try, and has the notable distinction of being the youngest player to ever start at lock for Canada (20y, 101d against Uruguay on Feb. 6, 2016). He also represented Canada at the 2015 World Rugby Under-20 Trophy.
The forward is a graduate of the Ontario Blues senior men’s provincial program and the University of Toronto Varsity Blues post-secondary program, and played his grassroots rugby with the Aurora Barbarians.
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Tomas de la Vega
Flanker | Buenos Aires, Argentina
De la Vega, 31, is back for a third campaign with the club after making 19 appearances (19 starts) since debuting in the pandemic-shortened 2020 season.
The 6’3”, 235lb flanker’s career totals include 823 carry metres on 210 carries, 247 tackles (94.3% completion), a franchise-leading 99 lineout takes, 12 tackle breaks, 16 offloads, 11 breakdown steals, a club-record eight lineout steals (jointly held with Paul Ciulini), five tries, and four linebreaks.
The Argentine’s impressive performances throughout last season also landed him a spot on the All-MLR 2nd XV. In his 14 matches played, de la Vega finished second across the league in defensive ruck arrivals (113), third in breakdown steals (10), fourth in carries (151), fifth in tackles (177), sixth in lineout takes (65), and ninth in lineout steals (6).
De la Vega is a full Argentinian international, having made 12 appearances for the senior Pumas. He also represented the Argentina under-20s in 2009 (as an under-ager) and 2010.
The forward recently spent time as a medical joker with Provence Rugby in France’s Pro D2 following the conclusion of the 2021 MLR season. Prior to joining the Arrows in 2020, de la Vega played his grassroots rugby with URBA Top 12 side Club Universitario de Buenos Aires.
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Prop | Sussex, New Brunswick
Worden, 26, is set to debut for the Arrows senior team in 2022 following his second-round selection in the 2021 MLR Collegiate Draft.
The 6’3″, 265lb prop has been plying his trade with the University of British Columbia for the last three years, recently helping to guide the Thunderbirds to a third-place finish (4-1-1 record) in the inaugural Coastal Cup competition held this past summer and autumn.
Worden is a graduate of the British Columbia Bears senior men’s provincial program, represented Canada at the 2015 World Rugby Under-20 Trophy in 2015, and played his grassroots rugby with Burnaby Lake. He also gained experience in the southern hemisphere while playing for College Rifles and the University of Auckland in New Zealand.
The front row stalwart’s inclusion in the senior roster doubles the New Brunswick tally on the Arrows, with Worden linking up with fellow prop and Sussex native Cole Keith.