Toronto Arrows Announce Signings of Ontario Pair, Kiwi Back
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
TORONTO, ON – The Toronto Arrows are pleased to announce a ninth group of significant signings ahead of the 2022 Major League Rugby season.
The club is excited to confirm the signings of Senior Arrows Academy graduate Brandan Ferguson, third-round MLR Collegiate Draft selection Sam Mace, and New Zealand back Dennon Robinson-Bartlett.
Wing | Peterborough, Ontario
Ferguson, 24, is in line to make his MLR debut in 2022 following his graduation from the Senior Arrows Academy.
As an Ontario club rugby standout with his hometown Peterborough Pagans, Ferguson parlayed his strong play in the province’s Marshall Premiership into a call-up to the Arrows ‘A’ side that travelled to New York to face USA Rugby’s Eastern Collegiate All-Americans in 2019.
The 6’1”, 210lb prospect was then selected to join the Senior Arrows Academy in 2020, becoming a member of the club’s inaugural class of senior development athletes.
Most recently, Ferguson started for the Arrows XV at the Rugby Rally this past October, scoring a highlight-reel team try as part of the home side’s 57-10 victory over the Atlantic Selects.
View this post on Instagram
Hooker | Odessa, Ontario
Mace, 23, is set to debut for the Arrows senior team in the upcoming MLR season following his third-round selection in the 2021 MLR Collegiate Draft.
The 5’11”, 235lb hooker suited up with the University of Ottawa over the last three years, earning RSEQ First Team All-Star honours in his latest post-secondary campaign. The crossover athlete spent two seasons with the Gee-Gees’ football program before departing the gridiron to turn his focus to rugby in 2019. Mace stands to become the first Gee-Gee to feature in a senior Arrows match.
Born in England and raised in Eastern Ontario, Mace played his junior grassroots rugby with the Kingston Panthers and later joined Ottawa’s Bytown Blues to play his senior club rugby.
View this post on Instagram
Wing / Centre | Hastings, New Zealand
Robinson-Bartlett, 21, joins the Arrows from New Zealand National Provincial Championship side Hawke’s Bay. Comfortable playing at both centre and wing, the versatile back is now the second member of the Magpies to arrive at the club ahead of the 2022 season, joining the reigning NPC regular season champions’ scrum coach Francisco Deformes in Toronto.
Prior to joining Hawke’s Bay, the 6’, 210lb prospect featured for Mount Maunganui-based club Bay of Plenty in the 2019 NPC. That same year, Robinson-Bartlett was a member of the New Zealand Māori Under-20 side that defeated Fiji Under-20.
Robinson-Bartlett has played his grassroots rugby with Hawke’s Bay club side Tamatea.
“Brandan and Sam are two of our prospects who have put in the work in recent months and years, and that dedication to improvement and growth has merited their first senior contracts,” said Mark Winokur, Toronto Arrows Chief Operating Officer and General Manager. “Both players got their first taste of playing in front of a raucous Toronto home crowd at the Rugby Rally this past fall, and demonstrated they belong in a senior team environment. We’re excited to see them continue to develop their game and play a role for us in 2022.”
“Dennon is an exciting young talent from one of the top provincial sides in New Zealand, and arrives highly rated by our new forwards and set piece coach Francisco Deformes, who spent time with Dennon at Hawke’s Bay this past year. The young back comes with scoring prowess and is keen to bring his dynamic southern hemisphere style of play to Major League Rugby.”
The Arrows have now signed 32 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