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The Toronto Arrows have signed Australian-born centre Nic Benn for the 2023 Major League Rugby season.

The 21-year-old will be designated as a domestic player – and eligible to represent Canada – through his mother who was born and raised in northern British Columbia.

“I spent about five or six years of my childhood living in Smithers, B.C., and I loved my time there,” Benn said in an Arrows statement. “Like so many Canadian kids, I grew up playing hockey, but when I moved back to Australia ice rinks were a little hard to come by, so I ended up swapping my skates for rugby boots.”

Benn has been playing for Manly in Australia’s Shute Shield competition.

The six-foot-two 205-pounder helped Manly to a 10-8-0 record in 2022, scoring six tries after spending the last two years in the club’s under-20 program.

Normally an outside centre, Benn can also play wing.

Benn, a native of Newcastle, Australia, was part of the Australian under-18 team at the 2019 World School Sevens competition in New Zealand.

“Nic is an exciting Canada-eligible back who has been playing very well in the Shute Shield and we are very keen to see him over here next season,” said Arrows COO and GM Mark Winokur. “He has a bright future in pro and Canadian rugby, and we can’t wait to get him started on that path.”