Source: Norma Salinas / Austin Elite Rugby
Arrows fans rejoiced earlier this week as GM Mark Winokur announced that Sam Malcolm has officially re-signed with the Arrows for the 2020 season. Winokur additionally announced that Shawn Windsor and Jack McRogers will be returning to the Arrows as well.
Flyhalf Sam Malcolm was a vital part of the Arrows inaugural season. Malcolm played in 16 games last season, including the May 12th game vs the Utah Warriors where he became the first non-Canadian to captain the side.
The man described as having “the heart of a lion” finished the year with 44 conversions and 18 penalties for 145 total points. That total lead the Arrows and Malcolm finished 3rd overall in MLR scoring. Malcolm created many memorable moments for Arrows fans throughout the season.
However, the biggest moment came in the final regular-season game with Rugby United New York. With just three minutes remaining and the Arrows trailing 20-19, Malcolm kicked a drop goal that gave them a 22-20 and punched the Arrows ticket to the Championship Series.
Malcolm was one of the top flyhalves in MLR last season. To go along with his excellent boot, Malcolm is incredible at creating holes in opposing defenses and giving his teammates plenty of opportunities for big linebreaks. Malcolm is also fantastic on defense and earned an 89.2% tackle completion rate. Malcolm is an incredibly well-rounded player and will play a massive role for this team in 2020.
Shawn Windsor played in 8 games for the Arrows last season. At the beginning of the season, Windsor found himself in battle with Jack Evans for the starting fullback position. Windsor and Evans would rotate the 15 jersey in the first 4 games of the season before Windsor was able to stake his claim.
Additionally, with the exception of Sam Malcolm, Windsor was really the only other player on the Arrows squad with experience at flyhalf in the early parts of last season. When Malcolm suffered an ankle injury against Houston, it was Windsor who took over at flyhalf.
Unfortunately for Windsor, the Americas Rugby Championship ended. With that, Gaston Mieres and Theo Sauder arrived at the Arrows squad and the 15 jersey became more highly contested. The late-season arrival of Patrick Parfrey (another flyhalf/fullback) also drastically cut into Windsor’s playing time.
Windsor was a solid player in the first half of the season however, he became a victim of the Arrows depth.
The Arrows depth at flyhalf has greatly improved this offseason. In addition to Malcolm and Windsor, the Arrows have added Tayler Adams and Will Kelly to the squad. Ultimately, this means that Windsor will probably see more time at fullback.
As it currently stands, Gaston Mieres is the only other fullback signed to the Arrows. However, although he was a flyhalf all year for the Arrows, Malcolm has been playing fullback for the Manawatu Turbos in the Mitre 10 Cup. Ultimately, Malcolm developing himself as a fullback is going to give Mark Winokur and Chris Silverthorn plenty of options to work with.
Jack McRogers was the third player announced by Winokur. McRogers only appeared in two games last season: March 30th vs Utah and May 9th vs Austin. McRogers is a product of the Aurora Barbarians and is currently attending McMaster University. He will serve as the 3rd hooker behind Andrew Quattrin and Steven Ng.
As the 2020 Major League Rugby season approaches, be sure to follow @Bressette4 on twitter for all your Toronto Arrows updates.