Band of brothers in team

The three sets of brothers who play for the John McGlashan College first XV forward pack are ...
The three sets of brothers who play for the John McGlashan College first XV forward pack are (from left) Jack Colbourne, Tom Colbourne, Harrison Morton, Mitchell Morton, Liam Ferguson and Keegan Ferguson. PHOTO: GERARD O’BRIEN
You think First XV rugby can be brutal?

Try the tussle over the last slice of toast, the rumble for the remote or the clash over the comfy chair.

Now that’s brutal.

And that intense competition might just give John McGlashan College the edge in the Otago Premier School tournament this year.

The team boasts three sets of brothers. That is more than a quarter of the squad and virtually the entire tight five.

All six boys are hardened competitors, too. It is just most of the battles have taken place at home.

Now they are all on the same side — well, sort of.

"If you see your brother on the pads you go a little bit harder," Jack Colbourne joked (we think).

The 17-year-old loose forward captains the side and his younger brother Tom (16) started from the bench.

"There is a great team bond between us. We are all great friends."

The Morton brothers make for conspicuous figures in the middle of the lineout.

They are both locks and Harrison (17) edges Mitchell (15) by a centimetre or two. Either way, they are both tall lads.

"It is actually quite good playing with my brother — a bit of rivalry. It is competition for a spot."

"I reckon it [having so many brothers in the side] brings us together more."

Front-rowers Liam Ferguson (18) and Keegan (15) Ferguson have the same problem.

They can both play hooker which means they could end up jostling over the No2 jersey.

Keegan started at hooker in the opening game on Saturday.

But Liam, who played tighthead, threw the ball into the lineout which is typically the exclusive domain of the hooker. He also scored a try, so he probably has the family bragging rights for now.

"You always go a little bit harder in training and let him know who the older brother is. But it is all fun and games," Liam said.

You were hard pressed to get a single smile out of the six lads following the game. The team lost 17-15 to Southland Boys’ at John McGlashan College.

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