David Williams is a native of England, but he’s making a big impact in the United States. As head coach of the Glendale Raptors Men’s Elite squad and Glendale Merlins Men’s 7s team, Williams now calls Glendale, Colo. – aka RugbyTown USA – home.
This weekend, Williams’ rugby home, Infinity Park, will be the center of the rugby world as Glendale lives up to its moniker hosting the 6th Annual RugbyTown 7s tournament. The global feel of this tournament will be apparent, as teams from the U.S., Canada, Cayman Islands, Fiji and the United Kingdom will compete.
Williams joined Sean Walsh and TJ McBride on Mile High Sports AM 1340 | FM 104.7, along with British Army 7s head coach Stuart Cook, to prepare fans with what to expect in this highly competitive international tournament.
“[Expect] some great athleticism from athletes from around the globe,” Williams told Walsh and McBride. “Some fast-paced, skillful action, which any U.S. person who hasn’t seen the sport of rugby will just appreciate the level of athleticism being witnessed on this pitch here at Infinity Park this weekend.”
This will be the fifth trip to RugbyTown 7s for Cook’s British Army side. “We first came to RugbyTown in 2012,” Cook said.
Both Cook and Williams will have a big test on their hands should they advance out of pool play.
The Fiji/Savu Water are a newly minted Fijian team comprised of some of the world’s best rugby players. They’ll be competing in Pool C against a stacked group including the Atavus All-Stars (Seattle), Canada Maple Leafs, Ramblin Jesters (London) and USA Collegiate All-Americans. A bulk of the Fiji/Savu Water lineup are gold-medal winners from the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio.
Williams says the mere presence of the Fijians will elevate play across all pools.
“It really pushes the level of competition,” he says. “Every player always wants to test themselves against the best, and obviously having a few gold medalists out here, which are the best players in the world at 7s. And then you have the British Army, you have players from England, players from Canada, players from around the globe, and then all-star teams from the U.S. as well. It’s a great testing ground for every athlete of every team.”
Fans can catch every match at the RugbyTown 7s with general admission tickets Friday – Sunday. Combined tickets for the tournament and Saturday’s “Bruises and Brews” beerfest are also available, as are the Infinity Park Hospitality Suites.
Listen to the full interview with Williams and Cook, including Cook’s thoughts on playing at altitude, in the podcast below.
Catch Walsh & McBride every weekday from 2p-4p on Mile High Sports AM 1340 | FM 104.7 or stream live any time for the best local coverage of Colorado sports from Denver’s biggest sports talk lineup.
Featured Image Credit: Justin Purdy, RugbyTown 7s