Chris Atkinson. (

Chris Atkinson. (

Cloverdale kid played for Toronto Arrows

Tweedy grad Chris Atkinson laced up boots for Toronto’s professional rugby team

Cloverdale’s Chris Atkinson played with the Toronto Arrows earlier this year for about six weeks before being sent home to rehab after an injury.

The professional club is the only Canadian team in North America’s Major League Rugby competition.

“Chris is a tough young prop who gives us depth and potential to develop in the front row, and is ramping up fast in camp,” Arrows’ CEO Mark Winokur said in a press release earlier this year.

Atkinson played both football and rugby for the Lord Tweedsmuir Panthers while he attended high school in Cloverdale. He then went on to play for the Surrey Beavers before moving over to Burnaby Lake so he could compete in the B.C. premier league.

OPINION: Should BC Rugby change the structure of their season?

SEE ALSO: Rugby lights up the night at Surrey’s Sullivan Heights Park for the first time

“Atkinson, 23, recently entered his first year as part of the Pacific Pride program,” the release noted. “At 5’10” and 265 lbs, the Surrey, British Columbia native will shore up the squad’s depth across the front row.”

Brock Smith, communications manager for the Toronto Arrows, said the Arrows are still very high on Atkinson, despite the fact he only spent about a month-and-a-half with the club.

“Chris made the substitutes bench for one game, but he didn’t feature in the match,” Smith said. “He did enough to really impress the coaches. It’s safe to say Chris, just like being on the Canada development team radar, is very much on our radar going forward.”

Smith said a bunch of the Arrows’ coaching staff participated in a high-performance Rugby Canada camp in November, 2020, in Langford.

“The coaches were impressed with a number of players at that three-week camp and Chris was one of those guys,” noted Smith. “We knew it was going to be a long season and we knew we’d need a deep roster of players.”

Smith explained that the Arrow’s have a strong mandate to sign and development Canadian players.

“We want to help Canadians get a chance to play in a professional environment and in an elite competition.”

He said they strive to have a roster that is filled with 80 per cent Canadian players.

“Chris is an exciting young prospect,” added Smith. “He grew leaps and bounds over the six-to-seven weeks he was with us. He’s a very versatile player and can play both prop and hooker.”

The Arrows are 4-6 after 10 games, losing five of those matches by nine points or less. The squad has six games left in the season and all games can be viewed on, or through the TSN app on a tablet, TV, or phone.

The Arrows’ next game is Sunday, June 6 at 9 a.m. versus the San Diego Legion, also 4-6. The Arrows are only two-points adrift of the final playoff spot in the eastern conference, so the match with San Diego has playoff implications.

The Arrows remaining games are: June 6 vs. San Diego (4-6); June 12 @ 5 p.m. vs. the league-leading Austin Gilgronis (8-2); June 19 @ 1:30 p.m. vs. the New Orleans Gold (5-3-1); June 27 @ 9 a.m. vs. Rugby United New York (7-3); July 4 @ 3 p.m. vs. Old Glory DC (4-5-1); and July 11 @ 9 a.m. vs. the New England Free Jacks (5-5).

For more info visit

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

CloverdaleHighSchoolRugbyLord Tweedsmuir SecondaryrugbyRugby CanadaSurrey

Just Posted

Surrey RCMP are investigating after shots were fired at a white Jeep Saturday evening in Newton. (Shane MacKichan photo)
UPDATE: Surrey RCMP asking for video after shots fired in Newton

Surrey RCMP said a silver SUV shot at a white Jeep

A Grade 8 class at L.A. Matheson Secondary. March 2021. (Photo: Lauren Collins)
B.C.’s return-to-school plan good, but Surrey teachers hope there is room for adjustments

Surrey school district to receive $1.76M of the $25.6M provincial pandemic-related funding

Surrey Fire Service battled a dock fire along the Fraser River late Friday night (June 18). It was on Musqueam Drive, near Industrial Road, around 10:45 p.m. (Photo: Shane MacKichan)
Fire engulfs pier on Surrey side of the Fraser River

Pier has reportedly been unused for a long time

Marco Mendicino, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship during a press conference in Ottawa on Thursday, May 13, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Canada to welcome 45,000 refugees this year, says immigration minister

Canada plans to increase persons admitted from 23,500 to 45,000 and expedite permanent residency applications

A police pursuit involving Abbotsford Police ended in Langley Saturday night, June 20. (Black Press Media file)
Abbotsford Police pursuit ends in Langley with guns drawn

One person arrested, witnesses say an officer may have been hurt in collision with suspect vehicle

Pedestrian hit by police vehicle in Langley

Injuries described as serious, requiring surgery

Barbara Violo, pharmacist and owner of The Junction Chemist Pharmacy, draws up a dose behind vials of both Pfizer-BioNTech and Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines on the counter, in Toronto, Friday, June 18, 2021. An independent vaccine tracker website founded by a University of Saskatchewan student says just over 20 per cent of eligible Canadians — those 12 years old and above — are now fully vaccinated. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
At least 20% of eligible Canadians fully vaccinated, 75% with one dose: data

Earlier projections for reopening at this milestone didn’t include Delta variant

This undated file photo provided by Ernie Carswell & Partners shows the home featured in the opening and closing scenes of The Brady Bunch in Los Angeles. Do you know the occupation of Mike Brady, the father in this show about a blended family? (Anthony Barcelo/Ernie Carswell & Partners via AP, File)
QUIZ: A celebration of dad on Father’s Day

How much do you know about famous fathers?

Emily Steele holds up a collage of her son, 16-year-old Elijah-Iain Beauregard who was stabbed and killed in June 2019, outside of Kelowna Law Courts on June 18. (Aaron Hemens/Capital News)
Kelowna woman who fatally stabbed teen facing up to 1.5 years of jail time

Her jail sentence would be followed by an additional one to 1.5 years of supervision

Cpl. Scott MacLeod and Police Service Dog Jago. Jago was killed in the line of duty on Thursday, June 17. (RCMP)
Abbotsford police, RCMP grieve 4-year-old service dog killed in line of duty

Jago killed by armed suspect during ‘high-risk’ incident in Alberta

The George Road wildfire near Lytton, B.C., has grown to 250 hectares. (BC Wildfire Service)
B.C. drone sighting halts helicopters fighting 250 hectares of wildfire

‘If a drone collides with firefighting aircraft the consequences could be deadly,’ says BC Wildfire Service

A dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine is pictured at a vaccination site in Vancouver Thursday, March 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
NACI advice to mix vaccines gets varied reaction from AstraZeneca double-dosers

NACI recommends an mRNA vaccine for all Canadians receiving a second dose of a COVID-19 vaccine

Most Read