The Toronto Arrows have added two more names to their squad for the 2020 Major League Rugby season. This past week Arrows GM Mark Winokur announced that utility back, Pat Parfrey, and No.8 Kolby Francis will be returning to the squad.
Pat Parfrey joined the Arrows midway through last season and ultimately made 6 appearances for the club. Parfrey played a key role in the Arrow’s impressive winning streak to end the year propelling them to a playoff birth. Parfrey’s biggest asset to the club is his versatility. Parfrey is capable of playing nearly everywhere on the backline and had stints at flyhalf, centre, and fullback for the Arrows.
The versatility makes Parfrey an ideal player to have in the lineup as he can easily adjust to whatever situation the game throws at you. Throughout the season Parfrey primarily found himself coming off the bench behind a very talented Arrows backline. However, he always made a huge impact off the bench and could help turn the tide of a game in the Arrows favour.
Parfrey followed up his Arrows season with a number of great performances for the national team throughout Canada’s Rugby World Cup campaign. Parfrey had a pair of monstrous performances against Tonga and Leinster propelled him the starting 15 jersey for the Rugby World Cup. Throughout the RWC, Parfrey was consistently one of Canada’s best backline players.
As the roster sits right now, it looks like we are in for quite the battle between Parfrey, Sam Malcolm, and Gaston Mieres for the starting fullback job. This team is insanely deep.
Kolby Francis’ 5 tries trailed only Dan Moor and Avery Oitomen for the Arrows team lead. Francis appeared in 14 games for the Arrows at the No.8 position. Francis had a few starts at the beginning of the year but found himself in the role of an impact sub as the season went on. Francis’s contributions to the Arrows were not just limited to scoring tries.
Francis played a key role in Aaron Carpenter’s defensive system and Francis finished the year with an 81% tackle completion rate. Francis’ biggest play of the year came in the Arrows comeback victory over the San Diego Legion at Lamport Stadium. Francis' lineout steal ultimately set up Steven Ng’s game-winning try.
Francis has kept busy during the offseason as well. He helped the Brantford Harlequins capture the McCormick Cup alongside Arrows teammates Will Kelly, Josh Van Horne, and Tom Van Horne. Francis will join an already deep Arrows back row. Lucas Rumball, Peter Milazzo, and Marcello Wainwright have already re-signed. The two new additions are Los Pumas’ Tomas del a Vega and Los Teros’ Manuel Diana.
Ultimately, the six signed back row players should foster plenty of competition for starting jobs and looks to be an area of strength for the Arrows.
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