Sunday Night Spotlight: John Ryberg

Published: Apr. 21, 2019 at 11:20 PM CDT
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John Ryberg was a dominant force on the defensive line for Xavier during his football playing days. He also wrestled and ran track. His original plan was to walk-on at Iowa for football, but it didn't work out.

"I just needed to fill that void because I like contact sports and the competition," said Ryberg.

A couple of friends suggested he give rugby a try. So he joined the club team at the University of Iowa.

"My first practice, I didn't know any of the rules," he said.

After he graduated, he moved to Denver and joined the Glendale Raptors. They were a part of the Pacific Rugby Premiership before joining Major League Rugby.

Ryberg currently leads the league with 10 tries and nine try assists. Two weeks ago, he was named the player of the week after scoring three tries and bringing the Raptors back from a 32-0 deficit against Houston.

"I was fortunate to have three tries and got named player of the week, but it's a team sport," he said.

Ryberg not only stays busy with rugby, he also has a full-time job as a project engineer.

"Obviously I wanted to play professional rugby, I still had a career and I wanted to see if I could do both," he said. "So far, it's worked out."

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