The Toronto Arrows MLR schedule was revealed on November 9. They will have regular-season games from the start of February to June. This will also be the first time the Arrows will play home games in Canada for the first time since their inaugural season in 2019.
Toronto Arrows MLR schedule was revealed
🗣️ "Oh my God it’s happening! Everybody stay calm. 𝐒𝐭𝐚𝐲 ******* 𝐜𝐚𝐥𝐦!"
Our 2022 schedule is here. And we brought in some friends from Scranton to help share the news. 🏢
— Toronto Arrows RFC (@TorontoArrows) November 9, 2021
The Toronto Arrows schedule will be like their 2019 schedule. The only difference is that the Arrows will have one home game early in the season before finishing off the season with seven of their last eight games in Toronto according to the Toronto Arrows.
The Arrows and the Seawolves have a rivalry that dates back to 2019. The Arrows lost to the eventual MLR champions in the playoffs that year in 2019. Toronto will play their very first game of the 2022 MLR season at Starfire Sports Stadium. The game will kick off at 10:00 p.m. ET on Sunday, February. 6, 2022. This will also be the only meeting between the two teams.
LA Giltinis: Defending MLR champions
RELEASE // Arrows to Host Los Angeles in Langford, British Columbia
— Toronto Arrows RFC (@TorontoArrows) November 9, 2021
LA Giltinis played the Arrows one time before. This was on April 10, when Toronto lost 16-43 to the eventual champs. Manuel Montero was the only try scorer for the Arrows at The Gold Mine.
This game will be unique as it will take place in Langford, British Columbia. This will be the first MLR game on Canadian soil outside of the province of Ontario. The stadium will be at Starlight Stadium in Greater Victoria. It will kick off at 10:00 P.M. ET on February 11. Starlight Stadium is home to Vancouver Island’s professional soccer team, Pacific FC. The field is also the home of Rugby Canada, and the Westshore Rebels (Canadian Junior Football League) according to the Toronto Arrows. Also from the same Toronto Arrows website, this is what the Arrows Chief Operating Officer and General Manager said:
“The Arrows are very excited to participate in the first professional rugby game ever played in British Columbia,” said Mark Winokur, Toronto Arrows Chief Operating Officer and General Manager. “British Columbia has a long and storied tradition of rugby across the province, and we know our match with Los Angeles will have an incredible atmosphere in a stadium of passionate fans.”
The Fire and Ice Cup rivals: Rugby ATL
— Major League Rugby (@usmlr) May 9, 2021
One of the biggest headlines with the Arrows last year was with their new rivalry with Atlanta. Last year, Atlanta won by the slightest of margins in Marietta, Georgia. As with the rule of all Fire and Ice Shield winners, the rivalry trophy will be won on Saturday, May. 28. The game will kick off at 3:00 p.m. ET. They will play at Lupo Family Field.
The Arrows will also have a game at home against their rivals Rugby ATL. They will face each other on April 2 at 12:00 p.m. ET. However, as said before, unlike the game mentioned above the Fire and Ice Cup will not include the result in Toronto this year.
Other rival teams: Seattle Seawolves and Rugby United New York and expansion team Dallas Jackals
The Seawolves will actually play in the Arrows’ first game in the 2021 MLR season. It will take place at 10:00 p.m. ET in Seattle, Washington. The Seawolves eliminated the Arrows from the 2019 MLR playoffs. However, since then the Arrows have won all their matchups against the Seawolves.
The Seawolves will need to improve this year. After winning back-to-back MLR championships in 2018 and 2019, Seattle was second-last in the league last year. This included losing 52-7 at Starfire Sports Complex to the Arrows. This is something the Seawolves will want to rectify in their season home-opener.
Full Game Summary: #ArrowsUp offence was spectacular today.
The Toronto Arrows' defence made it hard for Rugby United New York to score.
— Raheem (@bashirra) April 25, 2021
As for Rugby United New York, the team that joined with the Arrows as expansion teams in 2019, the games are also interesting. They both got a win each last year and they are always competitive with each other. This was most notably seen in the Arrows nail-biter win over Rugby United in their last 2019 MLR season game. The first game will be in New York City at 3:00 p.m. ET on Sunday, March. 29. New York City will then travel to Canada to face the Arrows at York Lions Stadium. That game will be on Sunday, May. 8.
Last, but not least, the Arrows will face expansion side the Dallas Jackals. This game will kick off at 6:00 p.m. ET on Saturday, May. 14.
The Toronto Arrows schedule overview
As expected, the schedule looks very much like the one in 2019. In 2019, the Arrows played all the road games first, before playing their first-ever home game. This schedule though is slightly different. This is because of the cold weather that exists in the winter months of Toronto.
This time, however, it is slightly different. The Arrows’ second 2021 MLR season game against Giltinis will take place at Vancouver Island. The reason why it is being played earlier in the year is that Vancouver Island and British Columbia in general tend to have milder temperatures than most of Canada. As a result, the Arrows’ second last game will be on the road against rivals Atlanta for the Fire and Ice Cup.
— Toronto Arrows RFC (@TorontoArrows) October 20, 2021
Notable additions and subtractions from the 2021 MLR season
There have been some additions to the squad. This included the 2021 MLR Draft. The Arrows drafted three Canadians in that draft from Canadian universities. There have also been some other acquisitions. For example, Toronto traded a 2022 MLR draft pick to get Prince Edward Island and Canadian player Kyle Baillie from the Gold. Another new player is Fa’alelei Sione.
According to the Toronto Arrows, Sione played for Super Rugby, where he was a player for hometown Brumbies in 2017 and 2018. Sione also has experience playing with current Arrows player Sam Malcolm in Manawatu, New Zealand. This was with the National Provincial Championship’s Turbos in 2018 and 2019. He also played for Australia at the 2016 World Rugby Under 20 Championship.
Also, in that same Toronto Arrows article, Gastón Mieres (pictured above in the main picture) and Adrian Wadden will be returning to the squad. Mieres is an Uruguayan player for the Arrows. He has played with the team since 2018. He will continue to have an important presence as he scored a try in the Arrows’ first-ever MLR game and also in the 2021 Fire and Ice Cup. With the Arrows, he scored 35 points in 12 games played. This is while Canadian Wadden will return after making 14 appearances this year in his debut season. He is also a graduate of the Ontario Blues provincial program, according to the Toronto Arrows. Unfortunately, the Arrows also lost one player.
LA Giltinis make arguably the biggest inter-league signing of the 2022 off-season, signing Ben LeSage. The Canadian international stared at center for the Toronto Arrows in previous years. #LAGiltinis | #MLR2022 | #CanadaRugby pic.twitter.com/b2Ub80AVFG
— Rugby Index (@RugbyIndex) November 18, 2021
This was 2021 co-captain Ben LeSage. He was traded to Los Angeles in exchange for a third-round 2022 MLR collegiate draft pick according to The Canadian Press. This is what LeSage said in the article.
“I’m definitely appreciative of Toronto and the Arrows giving me my first professional contract. Now, I’m up for a new adventure and learning from some of the best who’ve ever played the game,” LeSage said in a statement. “Playing against the Giltinis last season, you pretty quickly realized they were the real deal.”
As mentioned before, the Arrows’ first game will be against the Seawolves on February 6, 2021. There will be two special home games for Toronto. One is the February 11 game against LA Giltinis at 10:00 p.m. ET. It will mark the first time an MLR game was played outside of the province of Ontario in Vancouver Island. Also, the home game on April 2 against Rugby ATL will also be special. They play at 12:00 p.m. ET at York Lions Stadium in Toronto, Ontario. It will mark the first time the Arrows played an MLR game in Toronto since defeating Rugby United New York to close out the 2019 MLR season.
“Main photo credit”
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