Toronto Arrows sign five more players, including Argentine prop Gaston Cortes | Squamish Chief

Toronto Arrows sign five more players, including Argentine prop Gaston Cortes

TORONTO — The Toronto Arrows have signed Argentine international prop Gaston Cortes and four others.

The Major League Rugby team re-signed lock Paul Ciulini, prop Cole Keith and fullback/wing Gaston Mieres and brought in Canadian under-20 back-rower Siaki Vikilani.

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"This group is made up of three young, up-and-coming Canadian players hungry to advance their game at home, supplemented by two experienced internationals who have the bodies of work and mindsets to bolster our squad and fit within our team culture," Mark Winokur, the Arrows vice-president and GM, said in a statement.

The 34-year-old Cortes arrives from the Glasgow Warriors, whom he joined in February but did not feature with before the season was cut short. Before that, he spent six years with Bristol from 2012 to 2018 and made 10 appearances for the Leicester Tigers.

He has won five caps for the Pumas, most recently in a 2018 Rugby Championship match against New Zealand.

"Gaston Cortes brings years of experience from the English Premiership, Championship and Argentina, and will be a big help to our group of young props both on and off the field," said Winokur.

The 24-year-old Ciulini started all five matches in the pandemic-shortened 2020 season and has appeared in 21 of the franchise's 22 career matches.

The native of Maple, Ont., has earned eight caps for Canada,

Keith, a 23-year-old from Apohaqui, N.B., was ever-present in 2020 and has made 18 appearances over his two seasons with the club. He has won 16 caps for Canada.

Mieres, a 30-year-old speedster from Uruguay, has scored eight tries in his 13 appearances for the club. He has earned 70 caps for Uruguay (60 starts), scoring 13 tries. He was part of Uruguay's 2015 and 2019 Rugby World Cup teams.

Vikilani, a 19-year-old from Burnaby, B.C., joins the Arrows from Rugby Canada’s Pacific Pride development program. He is the fifth Pride player to sign with the Arrows.

The six-foot-three 235-pounder has represented Canada at the under-19 and under-20 levels.

Toronto has now signed 16 players ahead of the club's 2021 MLR campaign.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published July 15, 2020.

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