SCRUMMAGED together on the rugby field they are, quite literally, brothers in arms.
Now a Lothians XV has proven family bonds are the key to success after clinching the East Two league with five pairs of siblings on the teamsheet.
Two-thirds of the Dunbar RFC side which secured promotion at the weekend were brothers – with another two pairs of siblings earning game time in this season’s campaign.
For the title-clinching match at home to Earlston, which the Hallhill outfit won 81-0, captain Jamie Peters was joined in the team by his brother Gary, the Wightman brothers Andrew and Ian, Courtney brothers Robert and Keith, Donnellan brothers Kieran and Kyle and Peebles brothers John and Gary.
The other siblings to have pulled on Dunbar colours this season are Andrew and Robert Lunam and Dougal and Robbie Wishart.
Stand-off Jamie, 29, who is also club captain, said: “It certainly is quite amazing how many sets of brothers we have involved at the club.
“I guess in a lot of smaller clubs there are various players related, but I can’t imagine many are like us.
“We are a pretty close-knit group anyway at Dunbar, but having all the brothers involved is certainly good fun.”
As well as the abundance of brothers, Peter’s father Bobby is the team manager and the Donnellan’s father Gerry was a former head coach.
And the brotherly love being shown has managed to push the team on this term, with the sibling-stacked side winning the regional division at a canter and lifting the RBS Edinburgh Regional Bowl last month with a stunning 50-10 victory over Edinburgh Northern.
Now they are just one match away from date at Murrayfield, with an RBS National Bowl semi-final approaching at the end of the month.
The Dunbar captain added: “It has been such a great time to be involved at Dunbar. We are now focusing on getting to Murrayfield to put the icing on the cake.”
Andrew Wightman, 32, vice-captain of Dunbar RFC who plays alongside his younger brother Ian, poured cold water on advice to broadcast the classic Sister Sledge hit We Are Family over the Tannoy next season.
“I can’t see us having that next season,” he said. “Because Dunbar is a small town most of us have grown up with each other anyway. We are a quite a close club but having so many brothers playing together can only be a good thing.”