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Team Canada's Lucas Rumball during a test match against Team Russia, in Ottawa, on June 16, 2018.Justin Tang/The Canadian Press

Canada captain Lucas Rumball will lead the Toronto Arrows this season with Sam Malcolm and Mike Sheppard as vice-captains for the Major League Rugby team.

Rumball is starting his fifth season with the Arrows, having featured in 39 matches (37) for the club since its inaugural season in 2019. The 27-year-old from Toronto led the side out in its debut match.

He leads the franchise in tackles (520) and breakdown steals (44).

Rumball has won 47 caps for Canada since making his international debut against Uruguay in February 2016.

“It’s an honour for me to captain my hometown team,” said Rumball.

“We have a great leadership group here in Toronto, a strong group of men who lead by example and demonstrate what it means to be an Arrow,” the flanker added. “We’re really looking forward to the year and excited to get going.”

Rumball’s deputies are also original Arrows.

Malcolm, 27, has featured in 37 matches (36 starts) and holds club records for points (320), conversions (78), penalty goals (52) and goal kicking accuracy (81.8 per cent).

The New Zealand fly-half/fullback also served as vice-captain in 2022 and is the only non-Canadian to captain the Arrows in a MLR game (against the Utah Warriors in May 2019).

Sheppard, 34, has made 46 appearances for the Arrows to lead all current players.

The second-row forward from Brampton, Ont., who captained the team last season, leads the franchise in all-time carries (381) and dominant tackles (29).

“I think the selections go to show that Lucas, Sam, and Shep are really well respected amongst the group, that the players see them as the leaders and drivers within the team, and the staff do as well,” head coach Peter Smith said in a statement. “These three guys are the core of the Arrows, and represent what we’re trying to do and achieve. They’ve been here from the start, through the ups and downs and have stuck with us, and they’re the best people to lead us through the season.”

The team’s wider leadership group also includes scrum half Ross Braude, forward Mason Flesch, flanker James O’Neill, centre/wing Mitch Richardson and prop Isaac Salmon.

“These are relentless, hard workers who are willing to do whatever it takes for our squad to win, and that’s why those guys have been selected within the group,” said Smith. “Some of them have been with us for so long – including Mitch Richardson, who has also been with us since Day 1 – that they’re the heart and soul of the team.”

The Arrows open the regular season Friday at Rugby ATL.

Toronto (8-8-0) finished fourth in the East last season, just missing the playoffs. Rugby ATL (11-5-0) was second, losing to eventual champion Rugby United New York, now known as the Rugby New York Ironworkers, in the Eastern Conference semifinal.

The Arrows play their first six games on the road before returning home to host New York at York Lions Stadium on April 8.

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