Following the inaugural season in the Major League Rugby competition, Glendale Raptors forwards coach Kieran “Ted” Browner recently announced he is stepping down from his position, handing the torch to Peter Borlase for the 2019 season.
“It was a very difficult decision,” Browner reflected recently. “I have been with the Raptors since the very beginning and have loved every moment of coaching these players over the years. I will no doubt continue to work with the club and look forward to helping Luke Gross mold the next generation of professional players and coaches. As the MLR enters its second season of full-time professionalism, I knew I had to reevaluate where my priorities were. Unfortunately, I just can’t commit to the increased time away from my family. My wife has a very successful career and we made the decision to put that first. As a result, I need to be more flexible as a caregiver for our young son.”
“I’ve been so fortunate to work with great coaches like David Williams and Mark Bullock over the years,” Browner added, “and I am really happy that we were able to bring my great friend Pete Borlase into the role to replace me. Pete and I have worked together before and I know that with him, Duncan James and of course David’s leading from the front, the future is bright for the Raptors.”
Although born in New Zealand, Peter Borlase is definitely not a new name to the Colorado rugby scene. After playing professional rugby for several years overseas, Borlase and his family settled down in Denver where he coached with the USA Under-20s, the PRO Rugby Denver Stampede and the Denver Barbarians Rugby Football Club before being recruited for the position in Glendale.
“I have observed Pete coaching at various levels over the years and he brings the type of expertise required for professional rugby. He also has the empathy needed to work with the diverse set of players on the Raptors Team. I’m very grateful for everything Ted has done for this program, but we are also very aware that family comes first and we are convinced Pete will be a great addition to this squad,” said Glendale’s Director of Rugby Mark Bullock.
“I’m very grateful to be presented this opportunity to join the Glendale Raptors organization ahead of the 2019 Major League Rugby season,” Borlase added. “After following the 2018 MLR season closely, I knew they had something special here and I really wanted to be a part of it. I have to thank Kieran for the hard work and foundation he’s put in place up until now. He’s set the bar very high and left me a great working environment to take over. I can’t wait to see what this season has in store!”
The Glendale Raptors kicked off their intense preseason training regimen last week in preparation for their first preseason match scheduled against the San Diego Legion in San Diego on Sunday, January 13. The Raptors will have an additional preseason match the following week, on January 19, in Houston against the SaberCats before they kick off the regular Major League Rugby season the last week of January in Seattle.