ABOUT RAPTORS RUGBY
Raptors Rugby League provides opportunities for players and coaches to experience rugby league, develop their skills and compete with motivated and skilled opponents. We aim to focus on specific development and competitive opportunities to help players learn, grow and compete. We want to help as many players as possible reach their developmental goals whether that's playing for the USA Women’s Redtails and US Men’s Hawks teams or just getting better for their local clubs. We aim to help by creating experiences where athletes can flourish and display their abilities and character.
Co-Founder & President
Janet was born in St. Helens, UK, and therefore was born to love Rugby League! From watching her brother play to supporting the mighty Saints, it was never a case of if, but when she would play herself!
Being a trailblazer at college, she founded her college's first women's rugby team, then moved on to coaching, gaining her RFL Level 1 & 2 coaching certificates during her post-graduate studies at Leeds University. Since moving to Illinois in 2006, Janet has immersed herself in the rugby world here in the USA. She can still be found playing on the occasional social team and looks forward to bringing Rugby League to the masses from grassroots players to supporters of our national teams.
With the Raptors, Janet focuses on team management, finances, partnerships, and organizational functions.
Co-Founder & Vice President
Lauren began her rugby playing career in 2008 and has a wealth of experience in both playing and coaching. Teams she has played for include Chicago North Shore WRFC, American Pro Rugby Training Center, USA Rugby Developmental 7s, Atlantis, the Stars, the Chicago Griffins, the Chicago Lions, and Purdue Women's Rugby. She also was recently named to the USA Women's Rugby League Team.
She has been coaching rugby since 2016 and was named USA Rugby's Club Coach of the Year in 2016. Lauren has her level 200 certification in rugby union and is currently earning her certifications for rugby league. Teams she has coached or is still coaching include Chicago North Shore, Illinois Collegiate All-Stars, and the CARFU Women's All-Stars. Lauren was also recently asked to coach "The Team" franchise in the 2023 PR7s circuit.
At Raptors Rugby, Lauren focuses on player development, talent identification, communications, and organizational functions.
Co-Founder & Secretary
John is a rugby league level 3 and rugby union level 300 coach. He has an extensive coaching background at all levels of Rugby. Teams he has coached include the CARFU Men’s Development Team (2001), USA U19 Junior Boys World Cup Team (2003), Rugby Canada U19-U20 Women (2006-2009), Technical advisor to the 2009 Rugby Canada Women’s 7s World Cup team, and USA Women’s Rugby National Team mental skills coach (20011-2014).
More recently (2019-2021), he worked with Chicago North Shore's sevens and rugby league programs. Helping the team to become shield winners at the National Sevens tournament and champions of the first women’s rugby league 9s tournament in the U.S.
In addition to rugby, he has worked at two Olympic Games (Vancouver, 2014) (Rio, 2016) as a sport psychology and high-performance adviser. He has five years of experience coaching USA Youth Soccer Olympic Development Teams.
With the Raptors, John focuses on high-performance activities, sustainable relationships, sports networking, and governance functions.