Glendale launches Men’s U20s Elite Development Program

June 28, 2017

Glendale launches Men’s U20s Elite Development Program

U18 Boys Rugby vs New Zealand

Photo: Infinity Park

Infinity Park Release

GLENDALE, COLO – American rugby is entering a new stage of professional athletics and increasing ability to compete on the international stage. With a new professional league set to launch in 2018, the need to develop young rugby players into high-performance athletes is greater than ever.

The Glendale Men’s U20 Elite Development Program (EDP) is poised to meet the next generation of performance rugby development in the United States. The program serves to fill a key gap in the current pathway to high-performance American rugby and gives young athletes the skills needed to compete at the highest levels, both on and off the field.


Glendale has cemented an official partnership with Eagle Impact Rugby Academy (EIRA), an invitation only year-round rugby academy, to create an official pipeline for the high-performance high school rugby athletes that participate in EIRA at multiple levels, as well as athletes participating in and graduating from the High School All-American program. EIRA has a presence in nine major markets across America including: Southern California, New York, North Carolina, Mid-West, Mid-Atlantic, Northwest, Texas, Indiana, and Florida. All of these markets draw from their surrounding regions providing scouting coverage for much of America.

The sport of rugby and the skills learned while pursuing excellence on the rugby pitch provide powerful lessons and tools for achieving greatness in education and work outside of the grass, the stands and the tackle bags. The EDP provides an excellent opportunity for young rugby players to pursue the next step of their careers, while preparing for the next step of their lives outside of sport. In order to give athletes the foundation needed to succeed outside of the U20 program, Glendale strives to help them connect to and sustain opportunities in higher education and employment.

The Men’s U20 program combines technical, tactical, physical, psychological, nutritional along with holistic skills and development to create well-rounded athletes coached by a staff of experienced and knowledgeable coaches, administration and medical professionals.

Dave Synnott, Head Coach
Dave played at the elite level for Cambridge Rugby Club England and East of England early in his rugby career. He has coached a number of teams at the high school and collegiate levels in the United States, including acting as Head Coach of Rugby Nebraska High School All State from 2013-2017, Boys High School All Americans, Eagle Impact Rugby Academy with USA Rugby and also won 2 national NSCRO titles with Wayne State College women’s team.

John McGuire, Assistant Coach
John has represented the Glendale Raptors since 2009 as both a player and a coach. John first joined the club as a Journeyman Forward having played around the world with the majority of his 20-year playing career in St. Louis, MO for the Super League’s St. Louis Bombers. After winning the USA Rugby Men’s Division I Club Championship with Glendale in 2011, he hung up his boots and focused on coaching. John has served as the Head Coach and Forwards Coach of the Raptors DII Development side, assisted with the Youth Development program and camps, while also coaching the Vail Rugby Club to two Mountain League Championships and one coveted Triple Crown. With additional experience in coaching High School rugby in St. Louis and Australia, John utilizes a progressive, player-focused coaching style, with an emphasis on the ethos of good sportsmanship, both on and off the field.

Coaches and Staff | Glendale Rugby
Glendale Men’s U20s Head Coach: Dave Synnott
Glendale Men’s U20s Assistant Coach: John McGuire
Director of Rugby: Mark Bullock
Director of Rugby Development: Luke Gross
Glendale Raptors Head Coach: David Williams
Glendale Raptors Assistant Coach: Kieran Browner
Senior Coordinator: Jackson Thom
Medical Director: Amy Valenta
Strength & Conditioning: Nico Rithner
Sports Psychology: Katie Wurst

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