D2 Dynamic Duos: Whitewater's Robbie Sindic And Levi Van Lanen

Sindic Tricks And Van Lanen Sticks

In 2013, Robby Sindic and Levi Van Lanen lined up across from each other in their high school rugby state championships. By 2018, they had won two Division II National Championships and a Division II 7s National Championship. This fly half and inside center combo are nearly impossible to tackle for a loss, and after 80 minutes all that forward momentum adds up. 

The University of Wisconsin-Whitewater ran off back-to-back national championships in 2016 and 2017, before falling short to NC State in 2018. The duo of Robby Sindic and Levi Van Lanen should be credited with much of the Warhawks’ perennial success.

Sindic is an absolute unit and likely the biggest fly half in college rugby at 6-0 and 250lbs. At first glance you’d look at his #17 jersey in warm-ups and expect Sindic to come off the bench as a front rower, but Sindic is a technician. His passing ability and vision are unmatched at this level and his bag of tricks is deeper than any in college rugby. 

“Robby Sindic is not your typical fly half. He sees things on the field before they even happen,” said his inside center Levi Van Lanen.

Van Lanen is Sindic's aggressive two-way center and former rival turned recruit. At inside-center Van Lanen is not going to try sidestep you, “I’m trying to attack the defense where they are weak,” he says.


Van Lanen likes to establish the crashing run early. But throughout the match he'll incorporate his weaving running style. He is not trying to dance but instead trying to glide around the park looking for weak shoulders. 

The Warhawks have displayed several line-breaking backs in the last five years, but Van Lanen has done it from multiple positions and rarely commits a turnover or penalty. “Having a hard-nose running center like Levi is what makes my bag of tricks so versatile,” said Sindic. “I have a safety net, a hard crash ball that will break the line even if there isn’t a hole.”

This duo sparked one of college rugby’s most impressive dynasties, compiling a championship résumé that can stand side-by-side to some of the great Cal and BYU runs, and these two aren’t done. The duo look to repeat as First Team All-Americans in sevens, but more importantly they hope to bring home one last national championship.

D1A Pools For USA Rugby College 7s Set

Matt Rogers On Arizona Offensive Success

The Men's D1A pool are set for this coming weekend's USA Rugby College 7s Championships.

Danville Powerful In Taking 5th

null

After winning last year's Boys HS Club national title, the Danville Oaks had big dreams, but repeating at this tournament isn't easy.

Montpellier Beats Stade Francais To Edge Closer To Top 14 Playoffs

Montpellier can continue to dream of making the Top 14 playoffs as they moved into the sixth spot after making 14-man Stade Francais pay in the final 10 minutes of a crucial 42-25 victory on Sunday.

Rocky Mountain Reaches New Heights At HS Nationals

Rocky Mountain Takes Tier II

In what many said was the most competitive Tier II bracket since there has been a Tier II bracket, Rocky Mountain HS of Idaho held off the Eastside Lions of Washington to win it all.

Five Find Glory In West Regional Club Playoffs

null

The USA Rugby West Regional Club playoffs finished up in Austin, TX with the worst weather, thankfully, holding off, and five teams advancing to a national final June 1-2.

Jesuit Wins Nailbiter Single-School Championship

Kelecki Latu Helps Save A Title

The Jesuit of Sacramento Marauders won their ninth High School National Championship in dramatic fashion as they edged Herriman Saturday in Salt Lake City.

Back Bay Rules In HS Club Championships

null

Back Bay put in an impressive performance in defeating Royal Irish to win the 2019 HS Club championship.

All Deadlocked In Single-School

We won’t know the match for the single-school HS National Championships because lightning has delayed one of the semifinals, but we do know the other finalist.

Brilliant Back Bay, Gutsy Royal Irish In HS Club

Brutally clinical play saw Back Bay and Royal Irish through to the Boys HS Rugby National Championships club final.

HS Single-School SF Halted By Lightning

Play has been suspended at the Boys HS Rugby National Championships due to lightning.