Four Blaine high school football players travel to UK for rugby

Blaine High School rugby players, from l., Travis Siebol, Brady Otto and Gunnar Arnason are traveling to Wales to play four matches for Chuckanut Bay Rugby. Not pictured: John Kramme. Photo courtesy of Brad Otto.

By Oliver Lazenby

Four Blaine High School students are on a trip to England and Wales with the Chuckanut Bay Rugby club.

The club makes the trip annually. This year, they’re playing four games against teams from England and Wales, said assistant coach Braden Otto. The trip goes from March 29 until April 10.

Braden Otto, Gunnar Arneson, Travis Siebol and John Kramme are the Blaine High School players going on the trip. The players, all high school seniors, will stay with members of the teams they play.

Those same teams have traveled to the U.S. to play the Chuckanut Bay team and stay with local athletes, Otto said.

“The club has a longstanding history with a lot of the teams we play,” Otto said. “They go and have a great game of rugby and get all muddy, and then go home and spend the night at the opposing team’s house. That’s rugby culture.”

Athletes from all over Whatcom County play with Chuckanut Bay Rugby. For the team, the trip is a chance to see rugby in its birthplace. In addition to competing, they’ll also watch a professional game, Otto said.

“The level of competition is considerably better than in the states, but we’re catching up,” Otto said. “We have won games against these teams before.”

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