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  • John Coumbe-Lilley

Raptors Rugby Launches Its First Development Camp

Updated: Mar 14, 2022

Camp Date Announced for April 29th to May 1st


I am delighted to write my first post for Raptors Rugby League. I am one of the founders of the Illinois Rugby League with our President, Janet Kean, and Vice President, Lauren Trout. My official role is secretary and a focus on performance. Right now, we are a lean organization, but knowing Janet, Lauren, and me, we will focus on a sound start-up process, knowing we have the experience to deliver the goods.


I aim to promote and engage athletes and coaches in the benefits, values, and positive experiences rugby league can create in Illinois and beyond. Rugby league requires the most commitment from athletes who play team sports of any contact sport I know. But, it’s a sport for players. The players focus their intensity, effort, and quality that makes rugby league such a great game to play and a spectacle to watch. Coaches of rugby league are a unique bunch too because they have to prepare their players optimally, knowing ultimately it’s a players game and performance on the field and players determine the outcomes of games. This creates drama and tension that only a rugby league game can create.


Raptors Rugby League provides opportunities for players and coaches to experience rugby league, develop their skills and compete with motivated and skilled opponents.

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 the USA Women’s Redtails and US Men’s Hawks teams by creating experiences they can flourish in and display their abilities and character.





Our Upcoming Development Camp


Our upcoming camp, on April 29-May 1 in Yorkville, IL will prepare women’s and men’s teams for the Naples 9s in Florida to raise player awareness, develop skills, and set them up for success as a team in Florida. In 2021 Lauren and I were part of the first women’s 9s rugby league tournament ever in the USA. So we have an idea about how to create a positive experience and warm relationships successfully, and we want to share what we know with players and coaches.


Players should expect a well-run and organized camp. Janet, Lauren, I, and our adviser Mike Brogan have proven track records operating camps, creating positive experiences, and helping players and coaches achieve their goals in rugby league and rugby union. Athletes should prepare for high-impact field sessions focused on skill development, learning, and execution. People will not get smashed at this camp. There are moments for that kind of thing, but not at this event. So instead, I will focus on performance; Janet leads operations and assures we do what we are supposed to do over the three days, and Lauren oversees the player experience.


This camp aims to prepare players to play in a cohesive team in a representative level environment to compete to win championships. No matter what state you are from, your level of rugby league experience, this is an opportunity to show your athleticism, build your skills, make relationships and play rugby league. Join us!


Camp Details

  • Dates: Friday, April 29th - Sunday, May 1st

  • Events: Friday, 6:30 pm - 8:30 pm Check-In and Classroom Session Saturday, 8:30 am - 4:30 pm Field Work and Classroom Sessions Sunday, 8:30 am - 12:00 pm Field Work and Classroom Session

  • Registration Fee: $75.00 per player (includes a t-shirt, lunch on Saturday & Sunday, access to an athletic trainer, and a discount hotel code)

  • Requirements: Players must be 18+ years of age


Interested in joining the hunt? Click here to register!

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