Toronto Arrows add to their backline with signing of Australian Fabian Goodall

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TORONTO — The Toronto Arrows have signed Australian centre/wing Fabian Goodall for the 2023 Major League Rugby season.

The 27-year-old played most recently for Eastwood in Australia's Shute Shield competition. Over six seasons, the six-foot-two, 255-pounder scored 32 tries in 68 matches since debuting for the team in 2017.

“Fabian is a big, athletic back that really makes things happen with his imposing style of play, and will bring a new dimension to our backline this year,” Mark Winokur, the Arrows COO and GM, said in a statement. “We think he will thrive in our environment and are delighted to have him on board.”

Goodall started in rugby league in the youth programs of the National Rugby League's Manly Sea Eagles and Parramatta Eels. He won two caps for Fiji, where his father was born, before switching to rugby union in 2016.

The native of Seven Hills, a suburb of Sydney, played for the Western Sydney Rams and Melbourne Rising in the National Rugby Championship in 2016 and 2018, respectively.

“This type of opportunity has been one of the biggest dreams of my career, and my family and I can’t wait to call Toronto home next year," said Goodall. "This will be my first time my wife and I have travelled to North America, and with two kids who are fairly young, to show them a different side of the world will be very exciting.”

Also this week, the Arrows announced a development partnership with Scotland’s Melrose Rugby Club.

The partnership will see an exchange program between the two teams with Arrows players getting a chance to play in Scotland’s Tennent’s National League Division 1 and Melrose talent welcomed by the Arrows’ senior and academy teams.

Arrows flanker James O’Neill and centre/wing Mitch Richardson have already joined Melrose for the initial stages of the Scottish National League 1 season.

Both players have re-signed with the Arrows for the 2023 season, and will rejoin the team for the start of pre-season activities.

The partnership came after a touring Melrose side faced the Arrows academy in Burlington, Ont., earlier this summer.

The Arrows announced last week a similar partnership with the Hong Kong Rugby Union which will has already seen lock Adrian Wadden sign with HKU Sandy Bay for the upcoming Hong Kong Dettol Men's Premiership season.

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This report by The Canadian Press was first published Sept. 13, 2022

The Canadian Press