Graeme wins monthly rugby award

GRAEME Byrne, fly half with Ipswich YM, has been chosen for the first Player of the Month award of 2007.Byrne, 26, was nominated by first-team captain Liam Gladwell for his outstanding performance at stand off this season, having played at wing/full-back previously.

GRAEME Byrne, fly half with Ipswich YM, has been chosen for the first Player of the Month award of 2007.

Byrne, 26, was nominated by first-team captain Liam Gladwell for his outstanding performance at stand off this season, having played at wing/full-back previously.

He has only been playing rugby union for a few years, and previously played football for Stowmarket.

On receiving his award, Graeme said: “I'm really happy that Liam nominated me to be the first player of the month for 2007 as there are a number of players at the YM who are playing well at present.


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“We're having a good season at the YM and I'm enjoying the added responsibility of playing at 10, as it can get a bit lonely playing on the wing.”

Byrne lists Jonny Wilkinson as his rugby hero, and when he's not charging around on the rugby pitch he dedicates much of his time to his 'man band' Menergy X, who claim to be more than just another male harmony band, and hope to fill the void left by East 17 and Blue.

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Graeme draws his musical inspiration from Take That legend Gary Barlow and hopes to one day meet his hero in person.

A spokesman for the Rushmere club said: “Graeme has come on leaps and bounds this year since changing position from full- back/wing to fly-half.

“With Lee Elliston being injured this year, and John Mitchell also being unavailable, we hadn't anyone to play stand off and it was a brave decision from Graeme to step in.

“Graeme has only played rugby for a few years and when he first came to the club he had a lot of pace and power but had a lot to learn about the game.

“Fortunately, Graeme is a quick learner and he soon picked the up game and he developed into a county standard player.

“Since his switch to stand off, Graeme's all round game has continued to improve and he now looks at home in that position.

“Kicking and running with the ball in hand are particular strengths of his and other aspects of his play such as passing and tackling are no longer weak points.

“In the backs we all miss Graeme when he's not playing and our only worry is that as his commitments to his boy band increase, he'll be able to find the time to keep concentrating on his rugby.”

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