Glendale Raptors & Luke White
The Glendale Raptors have signed Luke White for the 2019 Major League Rugby season. White is 27-years-old, 6’3″, and 270-pound. He is a prop, but the team needed to play him at lock for much of the 2018 Major League Rugby season.
White is from Sydney, Australia and has been a key contributor at Glendale for some time. The 2019 season promises to be an important one for him, as he becomes U.S. eligible in January 2019. Not only does he want to see the Raptors excel, but he dreams of inclusion on the U.S. 2019 Rugby World Cup squad. The club signing a lock with significant experience would help in this regard, returning him to prop.
White went to high school at Saint Ignatius College, Riverview, one of the best rugby schools in Australia. The team won the GPS 1st XV premiership in both 2008 and in 2009. He also spent the 2009-2010 season with the Wests Tigers Rugby League training squad. He then joined the Manly Marlins Rugby Union Club for the 2010-2011 season.
Between 2012-2015 White concentrated on his education at the College of Physical Education (ACPE), where he studied Sports Coaching and Administration. He also spent time coaching both rugby and as a former shot put champion, coaching the shot put, at St. Ignatius College and at St. Aloysius College.
In 2015 he joined the Glendale Raptors and helped them to win the Pacific Rugby Premiership and was recognized for his performance with the MVP award. He also played with Glendale in 2016 prior to joining the Denver Stampede. After the season he resumed playing with the Raptors before the teams changed names for to the Glendale Merlins for its amateur team.
Luke provides a steadying influence row the front row. He is an unselfish player who has placed team needed before his own. Although he played both prop and lock during the 2018 Major League Rugby season, loosehead prop is his more natural position. A combination of factors led him to spend more time at lock last year. The red cards of two players and then subsequent international duty, had him moving from the front row.
The 2019 season will hopefully see the team utilize him in the front row, a more natural position for him. Regardless of what position he plays, he will play at full tilt in an effort to see the team succeed.
Since August, he played in exhibition matches for the Raptors wherever needed. This was a way for the team to blend seasoned veterans in key positions, while younger players could be evaluated to see how they might be a fit for the 2019 season.