Merlins Rugby TeamsGlendale Merlins Rugby
Since 2007, Glendale has been the nexus of rugby in the United States.
At the center of that success lies a network of players, coaches, trainers, and more who have built a winning culture and a growing community of supporters. Surrounding that core is an extensive youth program and a stadium and ancillary facilities that play host to top teams from around the world. Continuing to follow that blueprint will lift rugby’s status even more in the next decade at Infinity Park, and throughout the country. Read more.
The Merlins Era
The name Raptors represented the array of teams that called Glendale home for the club’s first ten years. The year 2017 ushered in a new era; the Merlins era. All amateur teams that play in Infinity Park will play under the Merlins name. As of 2018 the flagship program at Infinity Park, the men’s elite team, returned to using the Glendale Raptors name, this time exclusively, as it became a founding member of Major League Rugby, the nation’s premier professional rugby league. The other teams will retain the new moniker to best reflect the identity that they have developed during these beginning years. The merlin, a bird of prey known for its ferocity, aerial acrobatics, and sense of loyalty, reflects the values and aspirations of this family of teams.
Infinity Park is a destination for aspiring rugby players. Being selected to play for the Merlins is an acknowledgment of a player’s past performance and achievements. But those who become a Merlin have their eyes not on the past, but on the future, with many Merlins players aspiring to move on to play at higher levels, including professional play and U.S. national teams. Infinity Park is more than the a passive setting in which these lofty goals exist; it is often the catalyst that helps players achieve them. While a Merlin or a Raptor, players have access to an entire staff of professional coaches and trainers, state-of-the-art fitness facilities, and world-class competition. Players looking to advance along the rugby pathway and onto the biggest stages, including the Olympics, know that the playing at Infinity Park is one-of-a-kind opportunity for rugby development.
The Rugby Pathway
The array of programming and play offered at Infinity Park casts a wide net. The vision is bigger than hosting games for a single premier team. The goal has always been to create and nurture a thriving rugby culture in Glendale, throughout Colorado, and across the country. As part of this vision, Glendale has developed comprehensive programming to bring the sport to the next generation of players and fans—a “rugby pathway” on which children of any age can learn and grow. The Glendale Youth Rugby program teaches rugby basics to children as young as 5 and up through high school. The sport’s ethos of teamwork, diversity, community, and respect have attracted families looking for a positive, safe environment in which children can learn and grow. At the far end of this pathway, one finds the Rugby Raptors Academy—an exclusive training ground for the nation’s best players under 23. The academy gives young players access to top coaches and competitive play so they can hone their skills in hopes of playing professionally.