The Toronto Arrows have announced their first group of signings for the 2020 season on Thursday afternoon. The group included 10 players from the inaugural season squad and two new additions. Returning from last year’s squad are:
Hooker: Steve Ng, Andrew Quattrin
Back Row: Peter Milazzo, Lucas Rumball, Marcello Wainwright
Scrumhalf: Andrew Ferguson
Centre: Guiseppe du Toit, Mitch Richardson
Winger: Leandro Leivas
Fullback: Gaston Mieres
Joining the Arrows for the first time in the 2020 campaign will be:
Back Row: Tomas de la Vega, Manuel Diana
The first impression on this group of singings is that the Arrows have an amazing back row locked up already. Peter Milazzo had an incredible year last season and was a force to be reckoned with in the lineout. Lucas Rumball looked to be one of the premier back row players in MLR last season. Unfortunately, a knee injury ended his year early. However, Rumball is playing in Canada’s Pacific Nations Cup match with Fiji this weekend which is great to see. Many Arrows’ players believe Marcello Wainwright is the most underrated player in MLR. He was often among the reserves, but made a huge impact whenever he was on the pitch. It is not surprising that these 3 players are among the first announced heading into 2020. The Arrows were one of the deepest teams in MLR last season and the back row position appears to be a lot deeper now. Joining Milazzo, Rumball, and Wainwright are Tomas de la Vega and Manuel Diana. De la Vega has earned 12 caps for Argentina, including a number of games in the Rugby Championship. Diana has already racked up 22 caps for Uruguay at just 23 years of age. Both de la Vega and Diana add plenty of depth to the Arrows back row and adding depth was something that GM Mark Winokur was looking for as he explained in the Arrow’s official release.
Diana will become the 3rd Los Teros to wear the blue and white. He will join fellow Uruguayans Gaston Mieres and Leandro Leivas who both return for the 2020 season. Since, joining the team following the ARC, both Leivas and Mieres became key cogs in the Arrows dominant 7-0-0 run to make the playoffs. In an interview with Layman's Sports earlier this season they expressed how much they enjoyed playing in Toronto and that they had a desire to come back.
They are joined by two other members of the Arrows starting back line in Andrew Ferguson and Guiseppe du Toit. Ferguson was the starting scrumhalf for the majority of the Arrows season and had a knack for picking up some sneaky tries at key moments of the game. Du Toit was a crucial part of the Arrows back line and the clear choice to start in the 12 jersey each game. In addition to playing centre, du Toit also demonstrated that he is more than capable of handling the goal kicking duties in Sam Malcolm’s absence.
Mitch Richardson also put pen to paper. Richardson did not see a whole lot of playing time with the Arrows in 2019. Richardson did put in a great performance at the Canadian University All Stars vs Collegiate All Americans game last weekend. Richardson had a try and added 2 conversions in their narrow 23-22 defeat to the USA. Richardson is a promising prospect for the Arrows.
Andrew Quattrin and Steve Ng provided a solid 1-2 punch at hooker last season. Quattrin had an excellent season and was rewarded with his first cap for Canada in last week’s PNC game against the USA. Quattrin was a big part of the success of the Arrows set pieces last year. Ng came off the reserve bench throughout the season but would always pick up where Quattrin left off and ensure the set piece was solid at the critical junctures of the game.
The Arrows will continue to announce more player signings throughout the MLR offseason.