Development is arguably the most important aspect of an athlete’s career. The Glendale Raptors embrace this idea, as their Raptors Rugby Academy allows players the opportunity to grow their game so that they may one day play for the club’s elite team. The elite team’s co-captain Chad London talked with Mile High Sports Radio about the program as well as their upcoming matchup against BYU.

Although he’s currently one of the team’s best players, London himself went through the developmental program when he first came to Denver. Despite his talent, he had to earn his spot like every other member of the club.

“When I first came to Denver four years ago, that’s how I basically progressed in the system. I had to play Division Two cause I was new to the club, so I was not automatically given the opportunity to go into the elite team,” said London. “It’s a good way for guys that are in the Division Three and Division Two team that work hard and obviously put their foot forward to move up.”

Not only coaches are contributing to the development of young players either. Players on the elite team are also helping members of the lower-division teams evolve their game. 

“One of the great things is now that a lot of the players in our club that are unfortunately injured and can not play rugby this season, they’ve actually put their hands up and have helped coach the Division Two, Division Three teams, which is a great initiative, and you know, allows the guys to get a sense of how to play and what they need to do to move up to that elite team,” said London.

London and the top team will face BYU for the second time this season on March 25 in Provo, Utah at 1:00 p.m. In the teams’ first matchup on February 11, the Raptors dominated in a 57-12 drubbing. Despite this, London feels BYU shouldn’t be overlooked.

“I’m expecting them to be a completely different team, but, at the same time, you know, we’ve obviously adapted to that, and hopefully we can put the performance on the field.”

Listen to the full interview with Chad London, including his thoughts on American sports, in the podcast below.

Sorry – this audio content is no longer available.