There has not been a lot to be excited about this year for the Toronto Arrows. They are not having a great season and will likely miss the MLR playoffs for the fourth-straight year. However. there is a silver lining, which is D’Shawn Bowen.
D’Shawn Bowen: The impactful Toronto Arrows winger
🗣️ "Playing at home, with your family and friends being able to come and watch… it gives you a warmness in your heart."
D'Shawn Bowen on returning home to Toronto to start his @usmlr journey pic.twitter.com/ikv0DY4tNL
— Toronto Arrows RFC (@TorontoArrows) March 29, 2023
D’Shawn Bowen: How His Career Started
According to DJ Coil Rugby, the 26-year-old 5’9”, and 200 Ibs winger grew up in Mississauga. He graduated from the Applewood Heights Secondary School in 2014.
He is a graduate of the Ontario Blues provincial program and has also played in grassroots rugby with the Kingston Panthers (Ontario) and the Westshore. Bowen also played for the Pacific Pride. He also has the ability to create tries for himself at an early age. For example, this is what was said in a BC Rugby article when he was playing for the Pacific Pride:
“D’Shawn Bowen scored perhaps the most impressive solo try against Canada.”
Bowen then made his first big jump by playing with the Rugby Canada Sevens National Team in 2021.
Rugby Canada Sevens National Team
Step. Spin. Score
All the skills from @RugbyCanada's D'Shawn Bowen #HSBC7s | #Singapore7s pic.twitter.com/C6I36nJu3q
— World Rugby 7s (@WorldRugby7s) April 10, 2022
Bowen made his debut in Dubai in 2021 and since then has played in the 2022 Commonwealth Games and the Rugby World Cup Sevens. As seen in the clip above, he used his speed to his advantage as his footwork and speed helps him score tries for the Arrows. This has been something Toronto Arrows fans have grown accustomed to in his first year for the Arrows.
READ MORE: Ross Braude: The promising Toronto Arrows scrum-half
He also had a lot of playing time with the sevens as the Toronto Arrows website notes that he “has been a regular for Canada’s sevens team for the past two international seasons.”
During his time with the national time, Bowen made his name on the team, as he also scored a try in the Commonwealth Games for his national team at the tournament.
D’Shawn Bowen made his transition to the 15’s game by signing with the Arrows. The game obviously changes when going from Sevens to the 15s game of rugby union. However, for Bowen, there was one plus of playing for Toronto. This was playing at home in front of family and friends according to Zulfiqar Sheikh of The Toronto Observer:
“Just playing in front of my family after being away for such a long time,” said the 26-year-old, afterwards. “And then being able to perform as I did, it’s just an amazing feeling.”
Bowen scored five tries this year for the Arrows. There are still things to learn like mishandling the ball against Rugby ATL. However, there is a lot to like about Bowen. His speed and agility are by far his greatest strength as he has scored impressive tries. He is also a player who plays hard on the defensive end as seen in the Atlanta game at York Lions Stadium.
READ MORE: Lucas Rumball: Co-Captain of the Toronto Arrows
Bowen’s most impressive game though might have been his three tries against Rugby New York in a narrow loss. It was something special to behold. He is also only 26 years old, so expect him to grow and become a better player with the Arrows.
Games Coming Up for the Toronto Arrows
The Arrows unfortunately are unlikely going to be in the MLR playoffs. However, they are still some exciting games coming up for the team. Their last road game will be played against the New England Free Jacks on May 27 at 4:00 p.m. ET. That game will be shown at Veterans Memorial Stadium in Quincy, New England. The Arrows then have three games at home at York Lions Stadium.
The first game is against the Houston SaberCats on June 3 at 7:00 p.m. ET, the San Diego Legion on June 11 at 4:00 p.m. ET, and the NOLA Gold on June 17 at 7:00 p.m. ET. All four games will be shown on The Rugby Network. The Free Jacks and the SaberCats game will be televised nationally on TSN2. The Legion game will also be televised nationally on TSN. As of right now, the Gold game will be streamed on TSN+.
Additionally, the Free Jacks game will be shown on NBCSB, the SaberCats on AT&T SportsNet, the Legion on CW (KFMB), and the game against the Gold at YURVIEW.
Photo Credit: Kyle Gilmor of the Toronto Arrows on May 12, 2023.