MLR reveals ‘unfortunate’ league update before 2024 season
Major League Rugby has confirmed the unfortunate news that the Toronto Arrows will cease operations immediately and not compete in the 2024 MLR season.
Both the Arrows organisation and MLR “explored all avenues in an effort to maintain the club’s presence” in the competition, but the Canadian club had to voluntarily withdraw.
“It is with heavy hearts we formally announce that the Arrows will not participate in the 2024 MLR season,” Toronto Arrows General Manager Tim Matthews said.
“Despite extensive efforts, carrying on following the passing of Bill Webb was simply too great a challenge for the club to overcome. We are working with the League office and contracted players regarding next steps – and in the spirit of the club’s co-founder, we are also working with partners regarding the Arrows Academy and the continued development of Canadian rugby talent.
“To our fans, friends, partners and the broader rugby community, thank you for your support over the years.”
Toronto, which was the only club in MLR based outside of the United States of America, made the semi-finals in their inaugural season in 2019.
While the Arrows have failed to qualify for the playoffs in the years since, Toronto has shown signs of growth and promise.
MLR CEO Nic Benson has suggested that the competition will explore all options “to bring a team back to Canada in the future.”
“We’re deeply grateful to the leadership of the Toronto Arrows who have cared so deeply about supporting and growing the game of rugby in Canada. Our immediate focus is on doing right by the Club and its players, as operations wind down,” Benson said in a statement.
“While this news is unfortunate, and we feel for all individuals associated with the Arrows organization, the health of MLR remains strong and we look forward to exploring options to bring a team back to Canada in the future.”