As a high school All-American rugby player with significant international exposure, sophomore Patrick Madden has brought his talent and love for the game to the Cal Poly Club Rugby team. Madden is looking to add on another chapter to his lengthy book of achievements and personal successes.
“The USA platform is a super cool thing to be a part of, but it all starts here and now,” Madden said. “I just hope I can keep building this and keep making my way up through the ranks.”
Madden took on the captain role of the Cal Poly Club Rugby team at the start of his sophomore season. With a driven and offensive mindset on the field, the San Diego native is currently the leading point scorer for the Mustangs.
“When it comes down to legacy, I would love to leave a personal legacy of being in the Cal Poly Club Rugby Hall Of Fame,” Madden said.
Despite only being in his second year with the team, Madden has demonstrated the skills and qualities of a senior, according to head coach James Tesoriero.
“We identified [Madden] as a leader before he gained entry to Cal Poly,” Tesoriero said. “There were some obvious leadership qualities, as a captain of the high school [All-American] team, so when he gained admission it was a shoe-in that he would gain a leadership role almost immediately.”
Before coming to Cal Poly, Madden was recognized as a U.S.A. High School Rugby All-American and a U.S.A. Men’s Junior Rugby All-American in 2016 and 2017. During his high school years, Madden had the opportunity to play on tour in New Zealand. He also founded and served as the president of the rugby club at University City High School in 2015. The list of accomplishments and honors throughout his rugby career goes on.
“The accolades come but a lot of the guys here keep me humble with it all, they keep me grounded, but it’s always cool to get recognized for what you’re doing,” Madden said.
When he first came to Cal Poly he won the Mark Loane medal, which is given to America’s most accomplished high school rugby player. As a result of this award, he received a full-ride scholarship to travel to Brisbane, Australia, where he was granted the opportunity to play with the highly reputed University of Queensland Rugby Club.
As current captain of the fifteens Cal Poly Club Rugby team, Madden exceeds the expectations placed on a club sport’s student athlete.
“[Madden’s] training habits have been impeccable,” Tesoriero said. “[Madden] is always one of the first ones here and works very hard, he sets a good example for our guys.”
Rugby has taken Madden all over the world. He has significant international experience, which allowed him to flourish as a player. As a 15 year old, he not only made the U.S.A team, but was a starter at the number 10, fly-high, position and named captain.
“I have been here [at Cal Poly] and loving it,” Madden said. “I am still gonna rep with the USA, so it’s kinda a lot of time and I’m jumping back-and-forth a lot.”
He then went on with the team to compete and gain caps, an honor earned every time a player plays and starts for a team, in France, Belgium, England, Dubai, New Zealand, and Canada.
“We have been extremely lucky to have [Madden],” senior and Cal Poly Club Rugby president Connor Miller said, “I am a fourth year and he is a second year and I think he has already had more experience and maturity in rugby than the rest of us combined.”
Despite a losing record of 1-6, Madden has managed to keep the team’s spirits high. He assists in practices by transmitting his rugby experience to influence the team.
“[Madden] enjoys our wins and suffers our loses so he kind of is a bit of a bench mark in that way so that the guys can see what the games mean to him.” Tesoriero said.
Tesoriero emphasized that Madden’s innate and genuine desire to lead, while also playing to his greatest potential, is what sets him apart from other players. Madden exudes a strong connection to the game and his fellow team members.
“The coaches and myself will give a group of the players to [Madden], and hewill basically lead them through some training drills,” Tesoriero said. “He is almost like a coach on the field.”
As captain of both Cal Poly club teams, Madden said he is hoping to light a spark within his teammates and propel them into the Sevens National Championship tournament at the end of summer, looking to add another accolade to his rugby career.
“I’m doing well with it and I see a future with it, so of course that drives me a bit,” Madden said. “With all the friends I’ve made, it’s kind of hard to leave what you love.”