Bio coming soon.
Keith Friedlander was born, raised and fed the wonderful sport of rugby since he was a toddler in South Africa, and then for the past 15 years while growing up in Sydney, Australia. He’s played every position on the field from 6 to 15, but don’t worry — he loves them all equally.
Says Keith of the sport: “I believe that rugby can be a simple game that thrives with the right puzzle pieces in place. Diehard defense and breakdown dominance are the key, but they need to be executed by a team of people hungry to improve and buy into something bigger than themselves. This is culture, and this what I’m all about.
“My obsession with sport in general, but rugby in particular, is in its unique power to improve you as a player, teammate and person. There are not many other sports where you go to war with fellow soldiers and return as brothers, strong in body, mind and spirit. I am excited to have found my N.Y. team and am here to help you improve in any way I can, both on the field as rugby giants, but also off the field as a mentor and friend.”
Quentin “Q” O’Brien was born in Dublin and started playing rugby at 16. His first day in senior school, Q was told, “You are a prop” and that was it — 28 years and counting in the front row, only occasionally branching out to hooker or lock.
Having played at competitive levels in Ireland, Italy, Canada, Australia and now New York, Q has played close to 490 “grade” games, including 250-plus first grade and representative games, and is looking forward to breaking into the 500 club with the Village Lions as player-coach.
Following a full-knee reconstruction (ACL, MCL, PCL) in 2009/2010, Q took up coaching, achieving his Level 3 qualification, and in his first year coached his Perth club third grade side to the Grand Final; they were also finalists in 2011 and 2012.
In 2013, Q put on the boots again and ran out as player-coach, finishing the 2014 season in Australia in August before moving to NYC and joining the Lions in September.
In 2015, Q stepped into a coaching role for the Lions and saw out the spring season, helping the men to a 2-2 record. For the rest of 2015, Q will assist head coach Andrew Britt with the D2 forward pack and will act as player-coach for the D3 side, supporting the team as required.
Q’s philosophy on rugby is fairly simple: “Let’s get the basics right, let’s execute well and whatever you do, go forward.
“For me, rugby is best approached with a willingness to learn and improve, a high-level intensity. You need great passion, you need controlled aggression, but for me, above all, it’s about being there for your mates. Supporting each other on and off the pitch in Australia what we call mateship.”
Tad Gruman became enamored with the sport of rugby at a young age, growing up in Korea, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Singapore, New Zealand, and Australia.
He played at Kenyon College in Gambier, Ohio, and helped coach the Syracuse University Hammerheads D1 and D3 programs while attending law school.
Tad is passionate about the growth of rugby in the United States, from the youth to Olympic levels.