Scholarship named for rugby legend
All Blacks great Bryan Williams is upholding his commitment to grassroots rugby by lending his name to a new scholarship.
The Mt Albert Grammar School old boy and former director of rugby will help fundraise for the school’s Bryan Williams Rugby Scholarship to support a promising young player from outside of Auckland board at School House.
It is the first scholarship of its kind to be offered at the school allowing a student to benefit from both rugby coaching and academic opportunities.
The scholarship will be open to students from across New Zealand and cover at least part of their boarding expenses for up to five years.
Williams has played, coached and administered at the highest level of rugby but has stayed in touch with the grassroots of the sport he began playing in 1960.
For his services to the game the Ponsonby stalwart was made a Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit in this year’s Queen’s Birthday honours.
‘‘I’ve always felt the need for a scholarship of this sort,’’ Williams says.
‘‘The boy awarded it will bring his talent to the school and in return will benefit from the school’s sporting and academic culture.’’
Fundraising will begin next year with the aim of awarding it to its first recipient for the 2015 school year.
Mt Albert Grammar’s First XV captain Joshua Goodhue, originally from Northland, has boarded at School House for the past four years.
The scholarship will give young athletes who might not have been able to otherwise a chance to attend the school, he says.
‘‘I came to MAGS for its level of rugby and also for its education,’’ he says.
Opportunity knocks: Albert Grammar headmaster Dale Burden, left, All Blacks great Bryan Williams, centre, and First XV captain Joshua Goodhue, right, are getting behind the school’s new Bryan Williams Rugby Scholarship.