The Glendale Raptors signed Luke White for the 2020 Major League Rugby season. The 28-years-old lock is 6’3″ and 270lbs.
This is the third year that Luke has played with the Glendale Raptors in MLR. During the 2019 season, he assumed a leadership role as either captain or vice-captain. He played 1,041 minutes in 16 matches, scoring 3 tries. He made 180 carries for 1159 meters with many of the carries crash balls down the middle of the pitch which opened up the wide channel for the backs. He also made 159 tackles and had 4 lineout takes and 1 steal. He had 6 linebreaks, 4 tackle breaks, and made 11 offloads.
After the 2019 season, Luke has turned to coach as an Assistant Coach at Harvard University for their Fall season.
White is from Sydney, Australia and has been a key contributor at Glendale for some time. The 2019 season was an important one for him, as he became USA eligible in January 2019. Playing for the USA National team would be an honor and an accomplishment if it is realized is the future.
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 in the front row. He is an unselfish player who has placed the team’s needs 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.
In Fall 2018, 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.
During 2019 Luke continued to play lock and in 2020 will do the same. Playing lock instead of prop helped the team, but also means that chances of playing for the USA National Team are diminished. Luke is a leader and plays at full tilt in an effort to see the team succeed.
After spending time coaching rugby at Harvard during Fall 2019, he’ll return to Glendale in time for preseason training and assume a leadership role again in 2020.
DJCoil Rugby Interview with Luke White
It is always difficult to do interviews immediately following a loss. Luke showed his character and leadership joining me for an interview following a match against Rugby United New York at MCU Park on March 24, 2019.