From the Editor's Desk - September 2017

September 07 2017

Football and Rugby Partnership Thrives at High School; Rugby Problems and Solutions from Australia; What's Happening with MLR

Football and Rugby Partnership Thrives at High School

Howard Tsumura writes some excellent articles featuring high school sports including rugby. This one features Robert Bateman high school where rugby and football co-exist and even thrive in partnership. Next time you come across a football coach who is reluctant to allow his players try rugby, show them this article.
Last season, while both junior and senior football teams made provincials, its same two rugby teams contended for B.C. titles.

The senior boys team, led by the likes of McCartney, finished sixth at Double A, while the JV’s, led by the play of ace kicker Davenport, advanced all the way to the finals before losing to perennial power Shawnigan Lake.

Mills, who coaches both sports at the school, estimates that 80 per cent of the players between the JV and senior divisions, play both sports at the school.

“It makes sense,” says Mills, 34, who played university football at Mt. Allison and York and retired from the game in 2009 after being cut as a long-snapper by the B.C. Lions. “The skills are transferable. You run, tackle, kick. Scrummaging is like getting low and blocking.”
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Rugby Problems and Solutions from Australia

A reader sent this in and it applies a bit to Canada. The gap between the national union and grassroots is getting wider causing problems. Take a look at this video, the question is raised in the video "do we need a rugby revolution", the answer "the fighter in me says yes, absolutely". Do you see some parallels to Canada? Leave your comments below.

What's Happening with MLR

Had an interesting conversation today on the MLR picture in BC and Seattle, more to come next week but let's look at what Ontario are doing. The Ontario Blues management created a spin off entity called the Arrows, which seems well positioned to make a run at the MLR in future years. They're playing one of the MLR future teams, the Glendale Raptors, renamed for the fall as the Merlins. Not sure what that's all about but it's basically the Glendale team who will be one of the core teams in the 2018 MLR season.

Here is the press release from Rugby Ontario. The team includes Guiseppe du Toit from BC.
Ontario Arrows Rugby Club have named their first ever squad for this Saturday's game in Denver against the Glendale Merlins. This is a highly anticipated match up of top shelf North American rugby sides.

The match between the newly formed team and the Glendale side was announced on August 25, 2017. Kick off is scheduled for 5:00pm ET.

The Arrows and Merlins players will be quite familiar with each other. The Ontario Blues and Glendale Raptors played in May of this year in Burlington, Ontario eventually won the match 43-25 (7 tries to 4) and although there will be some changes to both rosters, this promises to be another cracking match.

Ontario will have 17 of the 23 players from the May encounter named in the team, with notable additions in prop Alex Forrest (PEI Mudmen), and mid fielders Pat Parfrey (Swilers NL) and Guiseppe du Toit (University of Victoria). Also added are flanker Pete Milazzo, center Kyle Lagasca and midfielder Mitch Richardson. Among those missing in this one are prop DJ Sears-Duru (Ealing Trailfinders), and wing Dan Moor (Oxford University).

“This is a bit of a new situation for us but we are going to prepare for a very tough game against a good team, on the road,” said Arrows coach Chris Silverthorn. “What comes after this is possibly very exciting but job one is to play well this Saturday - that’s something we can control.”

The Arrows will announce the starting XV and unveil their new team kit on Friday morning.

The match will be streamed LIVE at

For more information, please contact:

Mark Winokur
Bill Webb
Mike Brown


Rob Brouwer, Lindsay (CAPTAIN)
Pat Lynott, Bytown Blues
Eric Howard, Brantford
Andrew Quattrin, Aurora
Alex Forrest, Mudmen, (PEI)
Ryan Surgenor, Bytown Blues
Henry Mcqueen, Balmy Beach
Mike Sheppard, Stoney Creek
Paul Ciulini, Aurora
Lucas Rumball, Balmy Beach
Peter Milazzo, Toronto Saracens
Marcello Wainwright, Toronto Saracens
Andrew Wilson, Crusaders
Andrew Ferguson, Crusaders
Guiseppe du Toit, UVic (BC)
Patrick Parfrey, Swilers RFC (NL)
Mitch Richardson, Stoney Creek
Kyle Lagasca, Toronto Saracens
John Sheridan, Markham Irish
Josh Campbell, London
Kainoa Lloyd, Mississauga
Mario Vanderwesthuizen, Guelph
Jon West, Balmy Beach

Chris Silverthorn - Head Coach
Cory Hector - Assistant Coach
Mark Winokur - Team Manager
Chris Kelly - Athletic Therapist

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