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Young Player of the Year Contender: Magnus Bradbury

Paul Eddison

10 Apr 2017

Magnus Bradbury

It hasn’t been the easiest of seasons for Edinburgh in the Guinness PRO12, but back rower Magnus Bradbury has hinted during it that they could be in for a brighter future.

It’s been a campaign of significant progress for the 21-year-old, capped off by an international debut for Scotland in their 19-16 victory over Argentina at BT Murrayfield last November.

He’s also experienced a run to the latter stages of a European competition for the first time, as he helped Edinburgh through to the quarter finals of the Challenge Cup.

Bradbury made his Guinness PRO12 debut aged just 19 when he was named in their starting line-up against Leinster in October 2014, although he had to be patient in waiting for further chances.

He was used mostly as a means of injecting fresh legs into proceedings off the bench last season, but this year has seen him develop into being one of the first names on the team sheet for interim head coach Duncan Hodge.

Starting at No.8 in Round Two against the Scarlets, Bradbury made a big impact by scoring his first try in the Guinness PRO12 in what was only his second start towards half-time as Edinburgh ran out 20-9 winners.

He struck again the following week against Leinster, although this score was just a consolation in a 33-20 defeat, but his dynamism from the back of the scrum had already shone through.

It was a real mark of his rapid progress that Scotland head coach Vern Cotter saw fit to call him into his squad for the Autumn Internationals, despite all his other options in the back row.

He had already crossed the whitewash a couple more times – against Benetton Treviso and Ulster – before winning his first senior cap with Scotland in what was a war of attrition against Argentina.

Bradbury impressed in the 52 minutes he was on the pitch against the Pumas on what was a proud day for his family – his mother Dee is the vice president of the Scottish Rugby Union.

Recalling the day, Bradbury said: “It was a bit weird having my mum there as vice president of the SRU and in the build-up to the match.

“I was a bit overwhelmed to begin with but when it’s your first cap, people make a point of speaking to you and that helped.

“It was pretty surreal when I got out on the pitch but I got my head down straight away and just tried to do what I do.”

He wasn’t named in the Scots’ RBS 6 Nations squad, but you’d think it won’t be long until he’s lining up in a dark blue jersey again under new head coach Gregor Townsend.

A knee injury picked up against the Ospreys on March 3 has kept Bradbury out of action for over a month now – including their Challenge Cup quarter-final against La Rochelle.

Nonetheless, his form is another reason for Scottish rugby to be excited about what lies ahead and incoming head coach Richard Cockerill will certainly be looking forward to working with Bradbury.

The Guinness PRO12 Final takes place on May 27 at Aviva Stadium, Dublin.
Fans can guarantee their place by booking their tickets via www.ticketmaster.ie

Further information: www.pro12rugby.com/final