top of page

Seawolves Head to Championship Series Western Conference Eliminator in Style

Interview by Amina Diakite

Photo of Seattle Seawolves' players Jordan Chait, Alex Glover and Tavite Lopeti
Photography by Kyle J Yunker, Zero Five Photography

Nfm Magazine caught up with rising rugby stars Jordan Chait, Alex Glover, and Tavite Lopeti from the Seattle Seawolves. The conversation revolved around their off-field passions and the defining moments that led them to pursue a career in Major League Rugby. The players have dominated the game this past year since signing with the Seawolves in 2022. They helped the team gain substantial success last season finishing first in the Western Conference and leading them to the Championship Finals. Although their everyday lives are centered around rugby for 10 months out of the year, these charming gentlemen took a moment to dive into who they are outside of the game.

Major League Rugby, which has a large audience internationally, has certainly made its mark in the United States. Even though Alex Glover, Jordan Chait, and Tavite Lopeti are some of the best rugby players on the field right now, the question remains, why rugby?

Jordan Chait, a fly half on the team, began playing rugby at an early age. From South Africa, where rugby is a part of the country's fabric, Chait explains how his first rugby memories were of his father. “I think I was sort of born with a rugby ball in my hand. I've played it my whole life since I was able to walk basically, I think my earliest rugby memories are playing in the back garden with my dad— kicking the ball around and running around and stuff. So it's always been there from the start.”

For Alex Glover, who’s the team's hooker, from Oakland California, rugby was a sport introduced later in life. After having little luck with football, Glover decided to switch gears after some guidance from friends and his coach at the time. “I played on defense playing football, and I wasn't able to run a ball. So one of my friends had me go play rugby. And then I started having a lot of fun with it. I started traveling the world… and in high school, I was still kind of thinking should I go play college football because I signed to go play college football, or should I stick with Rugby. "And my coach said, ‘Don't ever play football again’,” Glover recounts, laughing.

Their teammate Tavite Lopeti, from Hayward, California who plays center on the team, was also introduced to the game by his father, and said ultimately rugby gave him a significant opportunity to further his education. From that moment on he fell in love with the game. “I mean, rugby’s not too well known out here in America. In America, we got basketball, football, baseball. So I mainly grew up playing those sports basketball [and] football, mainly and then my dad kind of introduced me to rugby in high school as something new, so I got into that…But honestly, the only reason why I kept at it was because it just gave me an opportunity to finish school after high school…what made me you know, want to keep continuing playing rugby was I just fell in love with it when I got into college.”

Rugby is a pretty intense sport, and for Glover, Chait, and Lopeti who are constantly cutting up the field, carving out time for rest and other interests is essential. For Glover, spending time doing non-related rugby things is a crucial aspect of keeping a healthy mental and physical balance. “I always say— you know, when you're playing six [to] eight months out the year, you know, you get like, mentally fatigued…there was one year in college I was just doing the rugby, rugby rugby, I just burned out. You know, so I found different things to do. Like, I'm into art now, I'm into reading books now, in college I hated reading books…now I got like, 10 books. I'm really big into self help. Big into finance and investing.” In addition, Glover also mentions that he’s into fashion. He humbly admits that although his understanding of fashion is very surface-level, he tries his best to make a statement. “My fashion sense would be like minimalist mixed with a little bit of sophistication not too many stripes or too many colors.” For Glover his go-to look will probably consist of a piece from Zara since it is his favorite outlet store. And if he had the opportunity to partner up with the designer company, he would; aside from an old friend, Will Skipwith, who recently opened his own clothing line called OnceNotes, and of course the infamous late designer Virgil Abloh.

His comrade Lopeti said that on his off days taking breaks is crucial. This means hanging out with the team, reading, or listening to music. When it comes to fashion Lopeti is a big believer in 'look good, feel good', and aims to simply wear what he likes. “Yeah, for me, I mean, I don't really care about names if I like the shirt, or if it [has] like a message on there or if I like the color... I'm going to buy it." Lopeti goes on to explain that he's a huge thrifter, and loves thrifting in Seattle. “I just go thrifting a lot actually out here. But yeah, ever since I got out to Seattle, that's probably what really inspired me. People out here are way more groovy than in California.” If he had to describe it, Lopeti said he’d best describe his style as hipster, and is proud to stick beside the old pinstripe polo shirt rugby look despite the heat he receives from his teammates.

For Chait music is a huge passion outside of rugby. “I do a bit of DJing with my best mates back in South Africa. I'm very passionate about music...I love like house music DJs. Like Adam Port and Rampa kind of music.” When not behind a DJ booth you can catch Chait at the beach, or on the golf course. Most likely wearing a comfy fit to match. “Style wise I would say…there's more like oversized T-shirts and flannel shirts. I love my flannel shirts. Yeah. And a bucket hat. I'm a big fan of bucket hats. Yeah so like surfer… skater. And I can also be, for the occasion, I can be a bit smart as well. Put on a corduroy or a quarter zip polo or something, you know.”

Other than sports and extracurricular activities that keep the team busy the players also have ambitions and plans to contribute to their local communities in the future. Glover plans to use his platform to promote and teach financial literacy, and personal development courses aimed at athletes. This will help protect them and build their brand. Tavite is looking to clean up his neighborhood through initiatives and is eager to find more ways to help. Lastly, Chait is looking to continue donating shoes to children in South Africa, with the hopes of creating an international initiative one day.

Tavite Lopeti, along with eight other Seawolves, has been selected to represent the USA Men's Eagle Player Pool in 2023. All players show a great deal of excitement when it comes to playing the game they love, and they look forward to continuing with the Seawolves in the future.

As the Seawolves gear up for the Championship Series Western Conference Eliminator match against the Houston SaberCats, the anticipation is palpable. The clash of the titans is set to take place on June 24th at 3pm at Starfire Sports in Tukwila, Washington. This is a match you won't want to miss, so be sure to secure your tickets and join us in cheering on our beloved Seawolves. Beyond the stadium, you can continue to show your support and stay updated on all things Seawolves by following the team on Instagram at @seawolvesrugby. Join us in this thrilling journey as we rally behind our team, celebrating their victories and standing by them through every tackle and try. Let's roar together for the Seawolves!

bottom of page