Player Profile: Sam Malcolm, the ever relied-on Toronto Arrows pivot

Toronto Arrows dependable player Sam Malcolm at Silverbacks Park

Sam Malcolm has been a mainstay for the Toronto Arrows. This includes being part of the inaugural 2019 MLR team for the Arrows.

He has played professionally in Canada, as well as with Japan for the Kamaishi Seawaves, after graduating through the New Zealand rugby system before taking his talents offshore.

Toronto-based site manager Raheem Bashir studies the 27-years old career to date.

Sam Malcolm: Toronto Arrows’ reliable kicker

Childhood love for game developed in Whanganui

Sam Malcolm went to Wanganui High School and was part of the New Zealand Under 20s training (source: Zaryd Wilson of the NZ Herald). He was able to play in the first XV of his high school and one of his greatest accomplishments was making the New Zealand Under 20s training squad. Director of rugby, Chris Friedal, was not surprised by Malcolm’s accomplishments:

“He’s a little magician. He’s small but he can tackle,” he said. “He’s unassuming, but he’s talented.”  “He absolutely deserves everything that comes his way, he’s got such a great work ethic.”

For Malcolm, it was an accomplishment he will always remember making the national squad:

“It’s pretty awesome news to hear, coming from Wanganui.”

He also made the Hurricanes U20 team back in 2015 (source: Rugby Heartland).

Sam Malcolm: his Impact with the Toronto Arrows

Malcolm was one of the leading scorers for Toronto when he played in MLR in the 2019-20 seasons for the club. When he was with the team in 2019-20, he was their kicker as he converted a lot of points in the Arrows’ first two years of its existence. This is what Chris Silverthorn said about Malcolm from Mark Janzen’s article; “He’s fearless,” says Chris Silverthorn, Toronto’s director of rugby. “He never backs away and never gives up an inch.”

“I pride myself in my defence,” Malcolm admits. “I’m not the biggest guy, so I have to be smart in how I get the players down.”

What most fans might know him for is his kicking game. The most notable game was probably against the Seattle Seawolves back in 2020.

READ MORE: Toronto Arrows 2019 Top 5 home games; Franchise lessons learned

The Arrows have relied on him time and time again to score points from his kicks. Examples of this can be seen last year against Rugby New York and it also played a big role in the win against the New England Free Jacks last year. Malcolm’s kicking game also helped Toronto win over the San Diego Legion in 2019 and got them to the 2019 MLR playoffs.

He is also a player that will play hard for his teammates and play good defence. On June 13, 2022, he prevented Old Glory DC from scoring a try with his big tackle. That one play defines what type of player he is for Toronto in MLR.

Loyalty to the Toronto Arrows and his time in Japan

Between his stints with the Arrows, Malcolm played for the Kamaishi Seawaves in 2021. Malcolm enjoyed his experience there as this is what he said in Joe Harvey’s The Rugby Network article:

“It is a lot more physically demanding, but I think it is an attractive style of play. One thing I love about this competition is how much it has grown, and I expect great things to come from it.” Malcolm said. “In Japan, the style of rugby is very fast-paced. They pride themselves on their fitness and beating teams by letting the ball do the work, whereas in MLR there is a bit more of a balance.

Malcolm also talked about why he returned to the Arrows organization in Harvey’s article; “The main reason why I came back was; it is not all about where you are based, it is who you are surrounded by,” Malcolm said about his return to Toronto. Then, of course, this past weekend, Malcolm had the game of his life.

Malcolm had all 27 points for Toronto in a one-point win over the expansion side, the Chicago Hounds at SeatGeek Stadium. This is what Malcolm said about the win from the Toronto Arrows Twitter Account from The Rugby Network’s Rob Hammerschmidt’s interview with Malcolm:

“I’m just happy to be out here and happy to be in this Arrows jersey.”

He also praised his teammates on the win as Toronto got their first win in the 2023 MLR season. The Arrows have two games left in March. As revealed on the Toronto Arrows schedule, the team travels to face Old Glory DC on March 18 at 7:00 p.m. ET on FS2 and on March 25 against the Utah Warriors at 4:30 p.m. ET at Zions Bank Stadium. The second game will be shown on KMYU, ATTSN, TSN+, and The Rugby Network.


Photo Credit: Toronto Arrows RFC on February 17, 2023.