Stirling County’s teenage flanker Kevin Bryce is today named as recipient of this season’s John Macphail Scholarship. The scholarship will enable 18-year-old Bryce, who recently was part of the Scotland under-19 squad at the IRB World Championship for that age level in Belfast, to spend his summer playing club rugby in Auckland, New Zealand.Stirling County’s teenage flanker Kevin Bryce is today named as recipient of this season’s John Macphail Scholarship.
The scholarship will enable 18-year-old Bryce, who recently was part of the Scotland under-19 squad at the IRB World Championship for that age level in Belfast, to spend his summer playing club rugby in Auckland, New Zealand.
Bryce – whose father Jock was a stalwart back-row, then, latterly, a prop with North and Midlands and Heriot’s before taking on a coaching role, this season helping Stirling County win promotion back to Premier Division 1 – said: “I’m really honoured to receive this scholarship. Hopefully this will give me the chance to develop my rugby and help me to realise my long-term ambition, which is to play for my country.”
John Macphail won two caps for Scotland as a hooker against England in 1949 and South Africa in 1951. In his business career he was chief executive then chairman of the Edrington Group, a private company that is owned by the Robertson Trust.
John Macphail died in the summer of 2004 and his family and the trustees were keen to establish a scholarship in his memory.
The first two recipients of the scholarship were, in 2005, John Barclay, Glasgow Warriors’ impressive openside flanker and Scotland A cap; and, last year, Graham Hogg, Scotland 7s and under-20 centre.
Duncan Munro, Director, The Robertson Scholarship Trust, said: "The Trust is delighted to provide further opportunity for a talented, young player with the potential to play for Scotland to gain experience and develop their skills in the challenging environment of New Zealand club rugby. We congratulate Kevin on his selection as the third John Macphail Rugby Scholar and look forward to following his progress during the course of the summer."
Stephen Gemmell, Senior National Academy Coach, said: “We are very pleased that Kevin has been chosen by our national academy and age-grade coaches as the recipient of this award. We hope that Kevin will gain as much from the experience as John and Graham have in the past.”
KEVIN BRYCE (Stirling County)
Open-side flanker. Born: 7.9.88 in Stirling. Height: 5ft 11in (1.81m). Weight: 15st (95kg).
Kevin Tuckerman Bryce has played for Caledonia’s under-16 and under-18 teams as well as Scotland under-18 and Scotland under-19. The Alloa Academy former pupil is a member of both the Scottish Rugby Junior Academy and the Central Scotland Institute of Sport. His father, Jock, coaches the forwards at Stirling County, and has just helped the club win promotion back to Premier Division 1.