Toronto Arrows trade rights to veteran Canadian Kyle Baillie, sign two sevens players

The Canadian Press
Toronto Arrows trade rights to veteran Canadian Kyle Baillie, sign two sevens players

TORONTO — The Toronto Arrows have traded the rights to veteran forward Kyle Baillie to Old Glory D.C. and signed Canadian sevens international wing D’Shawn Bowen and centre Dawson Fatoric for the remainder of the Major League Rugby season.

In exchange for Baillie, the Arrows received salary cap considerations next season.

The Arrows had acquired the Canadian international from the NOLA Gold in October 2021 in exchange for a second-round selection in the 2022 Major League Rugby collegiate draft. While Baillie saw action in 10 games for Toronto in 2022, he was not re-signed for the 2023 season.

Still, under Major League Rugby rules, the Arrows retained his rights for this season.

Bowen, 26, has been a regular for Canada’s sevens team for the past two seasons. He made his HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series debut at Dubai in 2021 and has since gone on to take part in 10 stops on the circuit, scoring six tries. 

The Toronto native also represented Canada at the 2022 Commonwealth Games and Rugby World Cup Sevens.

Fatoric earned his first two caps for Canada’s 15s team last summer before switching to sevens. The 24-year-old from Ottawa debuted on the Sevens Series in New Zealand in January.

Both players are graduates of the Pacific Pride, Rugby Canada’s national development academy program.

“We’re pleased to welcome in two young Canadians who have experience playing at the highest levels for their nation,”  Tim Matthews, Arrows vice-president and GM, said in a statement. “These transactions serve as an example of the strong, collaborative relationship we share with Rugby Canada.”

Baillie, a 31-year-old lock/back-rower from Summerside, P.E.I., spent three seasons with the New Orleans MLR team. He has won 35 caps for Canada and served as captain against Fiji during the 2019 Pacific Nations Cup.

A graduate of the Atlantic Rock senior men’s provincial program, he also played for Castaway Wanderers in B.C., St. Albert in Alberta and Halifax Tars in Nova Scotia.

Baillie also played in Australia with Shute Shield side Eastern Suburbs in 2015.

He spent time with the Ohio Aviators in PRO Rugby, a now-defunct U.S. league, and had a trial at England’s Saracens that was cut short when he dislocated his shoulder, requiring surgery. He eventually joined London Scottish in England’s second-tier Championship.

His participation in the 2019 World Cup in Japan was limited to just 13 minutes of the 66-7 loss to eventual champion South Africa in Kobe. Baillie tore the medial collateral ligament in his knee a month earlier in Canada’s final warmup match against the U.S. and reinjured the knee against the Springboks.

The Arrows (1-4-0) visit the Dallas Jackals (0-6-0) on Saturday, the last of six straight road games to open the season. Toronto hosts the defending champion New York Ironworkers on April 8 at York Lions Stadium.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 28, 2023

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