TORONTO — The Toronto Arrows have re-signed Tomas de la Vega and Paul Ciulini and added second-round draft pick Bryce Worden.
De la Vega, a 31-year-old Argentine international, spent the last two seasons with the Major League Rugby team, making 19 starts. The six-foot-three 235-pound flanker, who has a career 823 carry metres on 210 carries and 247 tackles, was named to the MLR second all-star team last season.
In 2021, he finished second in the league in defensive ruck arrivals (113), third in breakdown steals (10), fourth in carries (151), fifth in tackles (177), sixth in lineout takes (65), and ninth in lineout steals (6).
De la Vega, who has 12 caps for Argentina, spent time with Provence Rugby in France’s second-tier league after the 2021 MLR season.
Ciulini, a six-foot-five 245-pound lock from Maple, Ont., returns to the Arrows for a fourth season after featuring in a franchise-leading 34 matches (31 starts) for the club since 2019.
Ciulini, 26, has won eight caps for Canada and, at 20 years 101 days, became the youngest player to start at lock for Canada when he played against Uruguay in February 2016.
Worden, a 26-year-old prop from Sussex, N.B., spent the last three years playing for the University of British Columbia.
The six-foot-three 265-pounder represented Canada at the World Rugby Under-20 Trophy in 2015. Worden becomes the second New Brunswick native on the Arrows roster, with fellow prop Cole Keith also from Sussex.
“Paul and Tomy have been integral members of our forward pack the last few years, and we’re very excited they’ll be back in blue and white next season,” Arrows GM and COO Mark Winokur said in a statement. “Both players are durable, hard-working, and play a physical style that complements our organization’s brand of rugby.”
“Bryce is a big presence with national junior program experience and has developed a strong body of work in British Columbia over the past few years. We feel he’s ready to make the jump to the professional game and will add a lot to our front row.”
The Arrows have now signed 20 players ahead of the club’s 2022 MLR campaign.
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This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 19, 2021
The Canadian Press