Toronto Arrows Announce Return of Richardson, Vikilani, Signing of Norton
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
TORONTO, ON – The Toronto Arrows are pleased to announce an eighth group of significant signings ahead of the 2022 Major League Rugby season.
The club is excited to confirm that centre Mitch Richardson and No. 8 Siaki Vikilani are returning for the upcoming campaign, and that the Canadian duo will be joined by Spanish international back Andrew Norton.
Fly-half / Centre | Pietermaritzburg, South Africa
Norton, 31, joins the Arrows after six years of playing professionally in Spain’s Division de Honor.
The 5’11”, 185lb back spent four seasons with Complutense Cisneros between 2015 and 2019 before playing a further two years with Aparejadores. Norton made 113 appearances across his six campaigns in the Spanish top flight, scoring 35 tries in the process.
Born and raised in South Africa but eligible to represent Spain after meeting residency requirements, Norton enjoyed a winning debut for Los Leones in February 2019, with the fly-half guiding Spain to a 16-14 victory over Russia in the Rugby Europe Championship. He has since made two more appearances for his adopted nation.
Prior to arriving in Spain, Norton was developed through the Sharks Academy in his native South Africa, and would go on to represent the Super Rugby club’s junior teams at the under-19 and under-21 levels. He later played for the University of Cape Town, featuring for the Ikey Tigers in the Varsity Cup from 2012 to 2015.
Since moving to Toronto in 2021, Norton has played his grassroots rugby with Balmy Beach, which put the versatile back on the Arrows coaching staff’s radar ahead of earning a Rugby Rally roster spot in October 2021.
Centre | Stoney Creek, Ontario
Richardson, 25, is back for a fourth campaign with the Arrows after making 14 appearances (six starts) since starting with the club in its inaugural season.
The 6’2”, 205lb centre has accrued 232 carry metres on 36 carries, 42 tackles, three tackle breaks, two tries, two linebreaks, and one offload over his three years with the club.
Richardson represented Canada at the 2016 World Rugby Under-20 Trophy, and came through Rugby Canada’s Pacific Pride national development academy program.
He is a graduate of the Ontario Blues senior men’s provincial program and the McMaster Marauders post-secondary program, and played his grassroots rugby with the Stoney Creek Camels and Burlington Centaurs.
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No. 8 | Burnaby, British Columbia
Vikilani, 21, is back for a second campaign with the club after making two appearances (one start) in his injury-shortened, international duty-curtailed debut season in MLR.
The 6’3”, 245lb No. 8 produced 27 carry metres on six carries, 14 tackles (93.3% completion), 17 ruck arrivals, and one offload in limited action over his first season with the club.
Vikilani has earned seven caps for Canada since making his international debut against Wales in July 2021. He also represented Canada at the 2019 World Rugby Under-20 Trophy in Brazil.
The loose forward is a graduate of Rugby Canada’s Pacific Pride national development academy program and played his grassroots rugby with Burnaby Lake.
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“We’re excited to welcome Mitch and Siaki back to the club, and to bring Andrew into the fold,” said Mark Winokur, Toronto Arrows Chief Operating Officer and General Manager.
“Mitch took a big step this past season, which was his strongest yet as a professional. He has continued to grow over his three years as an Arrow, and was a standout at the Rugby Rally in October. We’re excited to see his evolution continue into 2022.”
“Siaki is young, hungry prospect who was poised to burst on the scene last year before being ruled out for most of the season with a knee injury he picked up in training camp. We know he has a big role to play for both club and country in the years ahead, and that he’s coming in to training camp extra-motivated to make up for lost time from last year.”
“Andrew has several years of experience playing in a top European league and brings a dynamic style of play that was showcased throughout his strong performance at the Rugby Rally this past fall. He’s a key addition to our depth at the fly-half and centre positions.”
The Arrows have now signed 29 players ahead of the club’s 2022 MLR campaign.
The club will be making additional signing announcements in the coming weeks as 2022 season preparations continue to build, and will begin its fourth campaign in North America’s top-flight professional rugby league with a road match against the Seattle Seawolves on Sunday, Feb. 6, 2022.
2022 season ticket memberships are now on sale. Packages for the club’s seven Toronto-based home matches at the 4,000+-seat York Lions Stadium start at just $70.
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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