The Ontario Arrows Rugby Club have announced that they have secured the exclusive negotiating rights for an Ontario-based Major League Rugby team and intend to enter and compete in MLR in 2019, subject to agreement on key terms and conditions of entry.
The Arrows would join the teams that have battled through the league’s 2018 inaugural season, which culminated in the Seattle Seawolves’ thrilling victory over the Glendale Raptors in the MLR Championship on Saturday, July 7 in San Diego.
“The Arrows investor group, players and staff are all thrilled with the positive response and support that we have received from Canadian rugby fans and newcomers to the game, our commercial sponsors, our venue operators and from our national and provincial sports organizations, Rugby Canada and Rugby Ontario," commented Arrows co-founder and investor, Bill Webb.
"The Arrows are now an established competitive rugby team and we are champing at the bit to ramp up our commercial operations, including the sale of season tickets and further engagement with corporate sponsors. In fact, fans and corporate sponsors have even been approaching us prior to our formal MLR entry, which is very encouraging.”
Ontario would join Rugby United New York and a potential Washington, DC franchise as the eastern-based franchises in MLR to form a 10-team competition for the new season slated to begin in late January 2019.
The team played seven matches during a spring schedule that saw them compete against two current MLR teams – the Houston SaberCats and Utah Warriors – as well as 2019 expansion side Rugby United New York, the Boston Mystics, and the Canada Selects. An eighth match against New York in Toronto was postponed due to inclement weather.