OGDC Acquires Canadian Lock Kyle Baillie from Toronto
By: Alistair Kirsch-Poole
Mar 28, 2023 - 12:00pm
Old Glory has traded for Toronto Arrows lock Kyle Baillie as a replacement for the injured Stan South. The 31-year-old Canadian comes in with a wealth of experience at both international and club level.
His first professional contract was in Australia with Eastern Suburbs in the Shute Shield in 2015, where he stayed just one season before returning to North America to join PRO Rugby's Ohio Aviators. He proved excellent with the Aviators, so when PRO collapsed after just one year, he was given a shot with the Saracens in the Premiership on a trial basis. Unfortunately, injury derailed that opportunity, so he joined the London Scottish in the RFU Championship instead.
In 2019, he joined the NOLA Gold for their second season. He stayed with them for three seasons, becoming a key part of the team and assuming the captaincy in 2021. However, in 2022 he was traded to the Toronto Arrows, returning to his home country. He played in most of the Arrows' matches that season, but has been curiously absent from the lineup in 2023.
He debuted internationally for Canada in 2016, and has totaled 35 appearances in the seven years since.
Baillie comes in as a replacement for Stan South, who seems unlikely to recover from his back injury before the end of the season. Importantly, though, he is a domestic option at lock, and thus will not take up a foreign player slot in the lineup. That will open up a significant amount of flexibility around selections.
Most likely, we will see Baillie line up with Tevita Naqali, with Collin Grosse move to the bench to cover both back row and lock. However, given how well Grosse has been playing, he might challenge for a starting spot. We may also see Grosse and Baillie together in order to open a foreign slot for other positions, as well as provide Naqali some rest.
How soon he's going to arrive remains to be seen, since his visa has yet to be finalized. However, with the trade officially being made according to the league, it shouldn't be too long before we see Baillie in an Old Glory jersey.