MARIETTA, Ga. — The Toronto Arrows and Rugby ATL, who are sharing facilities in Marietta, Ga., will have a trophy on the line Saturday when they meet in Major League Rugby play.
The two clubs announced Tuesday the creation of the Fire and Ice Cup, calling it a "commemoration of sportsmanship and unity through rugby."
The Arrows (3-4-0) set up shop in suburban Atlanta due to pandemic-related travel restrictions. The Toronto team is sharing training facilities and Life University's Lupo Family Field with Rugby ATL (3-3-0).
"We compete on the pitch for 80 minutes, but at the end of the day rugby is a fellowship, a brother and sisterhood that brings us together to support the greater good of the sport," Scott Lawrence, Rugby ATL's GM and head coach, said in a statement. "It's been our pleasure to host the Arrows and we're grateful for the opportunity to live the rugby ethos that binds our community."
The teams will play for the cup annually. It can only be reclaimed if won in the home stadium of the previous year's winner.
“The Fire and Ice Cup is a fantastic way to commemorate an unprecedented year for our two clubs,” said Arrows director of rugby Chris Silverthorn. “We’re grateful for Rugby ATL opening their doors for us and giving us a sense of ‘home’ in this nomadic year of ours, displaying the unity of our sport.
"This cup will not only add to our growing rivalry with Atlanta but will also serve as a reminder of how two clubs could come together to overcome challenges under an incredibly difficult set of circumstances.”
Saturday's meeting is officially a Toronto home game.
The Fire and Ice Cup is presented by Walton Communities, which develops, owns and manages apartment communities in Atlanta and Augusta.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 4, 2021.