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Canadian international Dan Moor, captain of Toronto Arrows, retires from rugby

TORONTO — Winger Dan Moor made a splash in his debut for the Canadian rugby team, scoring a pair of tries in a 33-17 win over Uruguay in Americas Rugby Championship play on Feb. 6, 2016. Playing in the compact stadium at Langford, B.C.

TORONTO — Winger Dan Moor made a splash in his debut for the Canadian rugby team, scoring a pair of tries in a 33-17 win over Uruguay in Americas Rugby Championship play on Feb. 6, 2016.

Playing in the compact stadium at Langford, B.C., Moor shared the moment with his parents.

"I just remember after the first try being able to look into the stands and see the expression on my Dad's face and it was just pure joy. And to be able to give them a hug after the game," he recalled.

Moor's parents were also on hand in 2017 at Twickenham, the home of English rugby, to see Moor start for Oxford University against Cambridge in the 136th edition of the storied Varsity Match.

It takes a village to help an athlete reach the highest level of their sport.

"But no more so than your family," said Moor. "Behind me, they've been incredibly supportive. For them to go on this journey where they spent a bunch of hours driving around Ontario for grassroots rugby, to all of a sudden being able to see me pull on an international jersey, to see me play at Twickenham ... is really special."

Moor, captain of the Toronto Arrows, is embarking on a new journey after announcing Wednesday that he is retiring from pro rugby,

The Toronto native, who turns 30 next month, won 14 caps for Canada and is the Arrows' franchise leader in a number of categories.

"A great person, rugby man and leader," said Arrows president Bill Webb.

"A total professional," added GM Mark Winokur.

Moor also drew tributes from former Canada captain and World Rugby Hall of Famer Al Charron ("a fine ambassador to the sport of rugby, Ontario, the Arrows and Canada") to Rugby Canada chairman Tim Powers ("a first-class fellow").

MLR suspended play on March 12 because of the global pandemic, cancelling the season a week later. The second-year Arrows were second in the standings with a 4-1-0 record at the time.

Moor said it gave him "time and space" to ponder his transition from rugby.

"I can walk away now with no concussions and one bad shoulder, but pretty much everything else ready to go," he said. "I've been able to experience a ton.

"Not achieve everything I wanted to do by any means — a title with the Arrows would have been great, being able to represent Canada at one of the World Cups would have been great. But I'm very satisfied with my lot in life and excited for what's next."

He starts in November with Bain & Company, a management consulting firm.

Moor joined the Arrows from Yorkshire Carnegie of England's second-tier Championship in December 2018, shortly ahead of the Arrows' inaugural season in Major League Rugby.

"To sign a professional contract in England is an accomplishment that I'll look back at and definitely be fond of," he said.

He finished his debut season in the North American league ranked ninth in the league in tries scored (7) and line-breaks (11) and was named to MLR's second all-star team.

He leaves as the Arrows' franchise leader in minutes played (1,574), tries scored (11), carry metres (1,345), tackle breaks (11), and offloads (11). He stands second in all-time carries (168) and line breaks (13), third in appearances (21), and fourth in dominant tackles (13).

On the international front, Moor's last appearance was July 2017 against the U.S.

Moor's wing position has been well-stocked for Canada in recent years with DTH van der Merwe, Taylor Paris and Jeff Hassler all playing professionally overseas.

Moor said while he was "definitely gutted" to miss out on making the 2019 Rugby World Cup final roster, he "went down swinging."

"I couldn't have asked more of how I performed in the season going into that World Cup campaign. I went out to the (selection) camp, I thought I showed up as one of the fittest in the group and was training well. It didn't pan out for me and that's sport. That's why it's such a great provider of lessons and experiences."

He says such disappointments have been a learning experience that have made him a better person.

"If you go about it the right way as an athlete, it's an unbelievable facilitator of intangible skills. The biggest one being how do you pick yourself up off the mat after a loss or a selection issue or whatever it may be."

Moor won several MacTier Cups and McCormick Cups with the Ontario Blues and Balmy Beach, respectively. He captained Queen's University before earning his MBA at Oxford.

Moor will remain close to the Arrows as part of the club's advisory team.


This report by The Canadian Press was first published June 24, 2020.


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Neil Davidson, The Canadian Press