Toronto Arrows Announce Signing of First-Round Draft Pick Ruttan
TORONTO, ON - The Toronto Arrows are pleased to announce the signing of first-round draft pick Owain Ruttan for the 2023 Major League Rugby season.
Ruttan, 24, was selected fifth overall by the Arrows in the 2022 Major League Rugby Collegiate Draft, and heads home to Ontario after several years as a core player and established leader within the University of British Columbia rugby program.
"To be drafted by the Arrows was an incredible experience, and I'm very excited to have signed my first contract," said Ruttan. "I'm ready to come in, work hard, and put everything I have into this opportunity."
Ruttan joins an Arrows loose forward corps that includes the likes of established veterans Lucas Rumball, Mitch Eadie and Travis Larsen, as well as fellow young standouts James O'Neill and Mason Flesch.
"I'm eager to learn from the more experienced players across the back row, and I'm sure they'll teach me a few things out there."
The six-foot-three, 230-pound flanker has enjoyed a very successful spell with the Thunderbirds over the past year, notably captaining his UBC side to titles at both the 2021 Canadian University Men's Rugby Championship and the 2021-2022 British Columbia Men's Premier League competition.
The Academic All-Canadian represented Canada at the 2018 World Rugby Under-20 Trophy in Romania, and is also a graduate of the Ontario Blues junior men's provincial program.
Having grown up a couple of hours outside of Toronto, the native of Cobourg, Ont. played his grassroots rugby with his hometown Cobourg Saxons and the Peterborough Pagans before departing for the west coast.
"There's something pretty special about being selected by Toronto," added Ruttan, who pointed out a pre-existing family connection with the club. "Both my mom and my grandfather are Arrows season ticket holders, and really enjoyed going to the games at York Lions Stadium last season."
"I'm really looking forward to having the opportunity to play in front of family and friends."
Ruttan stands to become the third player out of UBC to play for the Arrows in MLR, joining fellow Thunderbirds alumni Ben LeSage and Tyler Rowland.
"Another local signing, Owain was massive for UBC in his career there, both as a player and a leader," said Mark Winokur, Toronto Arrows Chief Operating Officer and General Manager. "He brings size and toughness to the back row, with a work ethic to match."
Off the pitch, Ruttan possesses a degree in education, and currently serves as a teacher and rugby coach in Vancouver.
The club will be making additional signing announcements in the coming weeks as 2023 season preparations continue to build.
The window to place a deposit to secure 2023 season memberships for the lowest possible price is now open. Earlybird pricing packages for the club's home matches at York Lions Stadium start at just $70 for a limited time only.
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