Raptors Travel To Canada, Take On Ontario Arrows In Exhibition Match

By John Arthur

As a preview to the upcoming second season of Major League Rugby, the Glendale Raptors professional team is traveling to Toronto this weekend, challenging MLR newcomers the Ontario Arrows in an exhibition match. Raptors Head Coach David Williams is looking forward to the competition: “It’s hugely exciting to play against a previous opponent again, and especially one that will be entering Major League Rugby next season. It’s always good to get on the road with the team and play a really competitive side,” he said. “Traveling to play is never ideal, but we’ll cope with that and control what we can.” The action will kick off at 11am Mountain Time on Sunday, September 16 and will stream live from the Ontario Arrows Facebook.

The team’s first international road match will give players a chance to stretch their legs after a few weeks off. Following a tough defeat in the inaugural Major League Rugby Championship, Williams’ resolve to win has only hardened. With a focus on what he puts simply as “building bigger, better, more powerful bodies,” the squad has been hitting the gym five days a week in preparation for the exhibition season. That preparation will show its merit this weekend against the Arrows.

Following the trip north of the border, the Raptors will have two weeks off, hosting the Denver Barbarians at Infinity Park on October 6. The second exhibition match will see the Raptors on their home pitch for the first time since the end of last season. The following weekend will see the Raptors back at home, though hosting the Utah Warriors on a newly installed, World Rugby approved turf pitch in Infinity Park’s Open Space. The match will be free and open to the public.

Traveling Roster

  1. Blake Rogers
  2. James Delbozque
  3. Kelepi Fifita
  4. Luke White
  5. Dakota (Kody) O’Neil
  6. Jason Damm
  7. Matt (Sione) Masoe
  8. Connor Cook
  9. Shaun Davies
  10. Will Magie
  11. Harley Davidson
  12. Ata Malifa
  13. Mika Kruse
  14. John Ryberg
  15. Colin Gregory
  16. Max Lumm
  17. Monte Gaddis
  18. Ray Henley
  19. Thomas Kacor
  20. Johnny Layne
  21. Carlo DeNysschen
  22. Campbell Johnstone
  23. Siale Maka