Meet Bournville’s Talented Trio of Brothers

Rugby is very much a family game at Bournville with three sets of brothers currently in the senior squad.

Scrum-half Ben Tibbetts and brother Will, a back-row forward, have been joined in the side by full-back Owen Williams and brother Rhys, a fly-half or centre, along with centres Sam and Archie Grimshaw.

For each set of brothers the experience of playing at the same club and, in some cases, competing for the same position, with a sibling is different.

“It is definitely a mixed bag. It is great as we do get on well with each other, however, it can be testing at times as I know how to push Rhys’s buttons and vice-versa,” said Owen Williams.

“He doesn’t appreciate it when I say he’s done this wrong or could’ve made a different call at a certain time and there have been some big nibbles over the years.”

Like the Williams brothers, the Tibbetts arrived at Avery Fields from Stourbridge Lions and Ben enjoys the experience of playing behind Will – as they did in the season opener at Hinckley.

“It’s pretty cool I guess. I can’t imagine there’s a huge amount of brothers that can say they’ve played National Two rugby together,” he said.

“I don’t think my Mum would give the same answer with us both playing as there’s more for her to worry about and lots more rugby chat around the house which I can imagine gets tiresome after a while.”

The Grimshaws played alongside each other in the centre for Sutton Coldfield before joining Bournville and renewed their pairing in the pre-season friendly at Bromsgrove in August.

“It’s class playing and training with my brother because we have a really good relationship and we can actually be harsh on each other during sessions – when he turns up,” said Sam.

“We played together in pre-season this year at Bromsgrove but we also played together for our home town club Sutton Coldfield two seasons back which was the first time so was a surreal moment for me and my parents really enjoyed it.”

The Grimshaws had the unusual experience of playing against each other last season in a BUCS match with Sam lining up for Hartpury and Archie opposite him for Cardiff Met.

“It was a really surreal moment because it reminded me of when we practiced rugby in the garden when we were younger,” Sam said.

“Hartpury won which made it better but I much prefer playing with him.”

The Tibbetts brothers have to go back to their school days for the only time they faced each other and are not keen to repeat the experience.

“I think we played against each other once back at School in the House Rugby Tournament. From my memory he actually came out on top so it wasn’t a great memory from my side,” Ben said.

“But in regards to competitive club rugby luckily I’ve only played with him as I think he’d get under my skin very easily.

“I think when we’re younger there was an incredibly strong sibling rivalry but I think as we’ve both got older I think we’ve grown out of it to a certain degree.

“But still if I do a bad kick or pass he’ll be the first one to tell me afterwards in the changing room – but I must admit I do the same.”

For the Williams brothers their sibling rivalry has largely been confined to matches in the back garden.

“We played against each other plenty of times in the garden or front room as teenagers. Looking back, it was enjoyable as I always seemed to win,” Owen said.

“I would say that the rivalry has toned down dramatically over the last couple of years as we are now a lot older, but it used to be massive and probably unbearable at times when we were younger.

“As kids we constantly battled to be the best at whatever we seemed to do together or separately. rugby and cricket seemed to bring the worst out of us as we played those two sports the most.”

Although the experiences of the three sets of brothers have been different they are all now committed to pushing Bournville up the National Two West table.

“I think the Exeter University result was massive and has put us in good stead to kick on now going into the next block of games before Christmas,” said Ben Tibbetts.

“We’ve shown we’re able to be competitive week in and week out but we just need to improve our mentality on changing those narrows losses to wins.”






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