Schol­ar­ship named for rugby leg­end

Auckland City Harbour News - - SPORT -

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.

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