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Filed under Showcase, Sports

Local HS Rugby Team Looking for Players

High school rugby is one of the fastest growing sports in the USA.

Photo courtesy of Andy Haines.

Photo courtesy of Andy Haines.

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Rugby is a sport that most people around Tyrone probably see only late at night on ESPN2 or during the 2016 Olympic games.

Until now.

Last spring, a local high school team, Blair United Rugby, was formed. The team is open to any Blair County high school male under the age of 19. There is also a junior high team for boys in junior high school under 15 years of age.

Rugby is a fast, contact sport that involves tackling, passing, running and kicking. While played without pads, it actually has less injuries that a typical football game, as contact is restricted to the shoulders and below”

— Andy Haines

“Rugby is a fast, contact sport that involves tackling, passing, running and kicking. While played without pads, it actually has less injuries than a typical football game, since contact is restricted to the shoulders and below,” said Blair Rugby head coach Andy Haines.

The rugby team is a club sport that was approved by the Hollidaysburg School District and is based in Hollidaysburg.

Last season the team consisted of 25 boys from Central, Bishop Guilfoyle, Altoona and Hollidaysburg school districts.

Even though the team ended with a losing record, the coaches were happy with the turnout that they received.

According to Haines, no previous experience is necessary to join.  Everyone plays offense and  defense.  Size is not important.  The only requirements are to not be afraid of contact, work hard and be willing to learn.

The boys who played were all looking for a new challenge and came to the team with a background in a variety of other sports including wrestling, basketball, football, soccer, track and cross country.

Being that the team was made up of mostly sophomores, Haines feels that the future of this team is very bright. Two players were selected for the 2016 All-State Junior Varsity team, which was a huge accomplishment.

Coach Haines came to a few of the Tyrone football clinics over the summer to demonstrate how to safely and correctly tackle in the sport of rugby.  According to Haines, many of the boys seemed to take an interest in the sport.

“We would love to get some kids from Tyrone playing,” Haines said.

The team practices two days a week starting in January. Games will be from March through May, and are usually played on Sundays. Some travel is required since many of the team’s opponents are based in the Pittsburgh area.

If anyone has any questions about joining the team you can email coach Andy Haines at [email protected]

Check out the team’s Twitter or Instagram at Blair United Rugby and check out their website at www.hollidaysburgrugby.com 

blair rugby

2016 Blair Rugby squad

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1 Comment

One Response to “Local HS Rugby Team Looking for Players”

  1. beverly on October 11th, 2017 2:36 pm

    i don’t get it or understand the whole rugby thing is it just football

    [Reply]

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Local HS Rugby Team Looking for Players