Sydney rugby fits big Bryce
RUGBY: He stands 194cm tall, weighs 95 kilograms – and he’s only 19 years of age.
Former Grafton Redmen rugby player Bryce Speechley is home for the Christmas break to spend time with family and friends before he heads back to Sydney to commence training with the Randwick Rugby Club Colts side.
Speechley joined the famous club last year after being approached by Randwick talent scouts following some outstanding performances at junior representative level.
“I got recruited from someone seeing me play rep. football,” Speechley said. “I was in the NSW All Schools side and made a shadow player for the Australian Schoolboys. They watched all the carnivals and sent me a letter asking me if I was interested in coming down to Sydney.
“I had a meeting with them and had a walk through the club and met the coaches-it was pretty good.”
Randwick, also known as the ‘Galloping Greens’ have produced many Wallabies and is one of the most recognised rugby clubs in Australia.
They built their success on exciting, try scoring rugby and Speechley can’t wait for the season to come around.
“They play a good brand of rugby and are very professional. Their sort of upper-class but are one of the best clubs in Sydney,” he said.
“A lot of Wallabies play for Randwick and they come out to training. They usually play for the Brumbies so they come back during the week and help out. Most of them live in and around Coogee.”
Speechley said he has played most positions in the back row but prefers to play breakaway.
“I usually play at number eight but like breakaway,” he said.
So how did the talented back-rower end up playing rugby in a town more noted for rugby league?
“I went to Westlawn School and Paul McLennan’s wife used to work there. She asked if I was interested in going to rugby training which I did,” he said.
“My brother Jonathan also played representative rugby and played for Country so he pretty much got me involved.”
Speechley said the hustle and bustle of living in Sydney was not a major concern. “It’s obviously fairly busy but I’m getting used to it. Training is full-on. We do weights three times a week and train twice a week...they pretty much flog you.”
Off the playing field Speechley is furthering his education by undertaking a Sports Coaching and Administration degree at the Australian College of Physical Education at Homebush.
Speechley is also a talented cricketer who bowls at a lively pace but said it has been hard to find time to play with rugby and his study.
Another former Grafton Redman, Tom Ellem is also playing rugby in Sydney and Speechley said they have already crossed paths on the field.
“Tom plays for Eastwood and I played against him twice this year. It was the only two wins we had this year...they were both tough games,” he said.
Speechley said he is hopeful of gaining a contract in the near future.
“I would eventually like to get a contract somewhere. I’ll just try and perform for Randwick and see what happens from there,” he said.