GLENDALE, CO – The Glendale Raptors have announced that Peter Borlase will serve as the head coach for Colorado’s professional rugby team, as they begin their third Major League Rugby (MLR) season.
Borlase was an assistant coach for the Raptors side during the 2019 season, serving as the forwards specialist under the previous head coach, David Williams. Williams was released earlier this month after the Raptors finished their season early, not making the playoffs and finishing 7-7-2 in their second season in the #MLR.
“I had to make some very tough decisions after this season,” said the Raptors General Manager and Director of Rugby, Mark Bullock. “However, my job is to ensure that the needs of the organization and the needs of the players align; and the final decision was made to restructure.
“I have observed Pete coaching at various levels over the years, and he not only has the expertise needed for this level, but has a player-centered approach that works well in this modern era. We are convinced Pete will be a great leader for this team moving forward.”
Born in New Zealand, Borlase played top-level professional rugby for several years overseas before coming to Colorado and planting roots in Denver. He has been with the Glendale Raptors for just one season; but prior to his time in Glendale, he coached with a team in Spain, the USA Under-20s, the PRO Rugby Denver Stampede and the Denver Barbarians Rugby Football Club.
Although there are still a few staff members who are yet to be announced, it has also been confirmed that Luke Gross will be the Raptors new defense coach and Nico Rithner will serve as the strength and conditioning coach.
Gross is currently serving as Glendale’s Director of Amateur Rugby, as well as the Women’s Premier League head coach in Glendale. He has a tremendous amount of coaching experience to lend the Raptors program, coaching for more than 10 years at the highest levels of the game in the U.S. He also has played professional rugby overseas, and has participated in three World Cups, accumulating 62 U.S. National Team caps.
Rithner is a long-time strength and conditioning expert, who has lived in the Denver area for more than a decade. He is the president of the International Kettlebell Lifting Federation and has worked as a professional coach with the Colorado Weightlifting Club and Colorado Kettlebell Club, in addition to his many seasons working with the Glendale Rugby teams, coaching athletes to take their training to the next level.
The Raptors are currently in their off-season and will reconvene in early December to prepare for their third season in the MLR. Look for a schedule to be announced soon.