Blair United Rugby team opens recruitment to B-A students


Public domain image

The Blair United Rugby team is looking for players, noting that rugby is a great way to get better for fall football.

Jacob Hawn , Staff Writer

The Blair United Rugby team is seeking new players for the upcoming season, and Bellwood-Antis students are eligible to participate. 

The club team, which is through Hollidaysburg School district, is open for all students in the area including Altoona, Bishop Guilfoyle, Hollidaysburg, Bellwood-Antis, and many others. There are four teams in which students can participate, ranging from grades 6-12. These include both boys and girls teams. 

The Blair United Rugby Team had 60 boys and girls playing last year, and has produced 12 collegiate athletes attending Penn State University, Ohio State University, Shippensburg University, and others. 

“I mainly play as it helps me to stay in shape for football,” said a team member. “I lift Monday, Wednesday and Friday, Rugby the other days of the week.” 

The sport of rugby is said to have many benefits for athletes playing other sports, especially field sports such as football and soccer. 

“Rugby and American football are the perfect, complementary out of season sports for each other,” said current Penn State Rugby head coach Justin Hundley. “Both games keep athletes physically prepared throughout the offseason and allow players to work on skills that are carried into both sports.” 

Former Penn State Rugby player Joe Pullara also had a lot to say about the benefits of rugby. 

“Rugby helps tacklers learn how to track and close in the space on the ball carrier for an effective one on one tackle,” said Pullara. “It can help decrease the amount of missed tackles in the open field.” 

If students are interested, they can contact head coach Andy Haines for more information. Preseason practices will begin the first week of February, and will be held every Thursday evening and Saturday afternoon. Each player is required to fundraise and pay $200 to cover fees for the season.