TAB MVP: HARRY BYRNE

The first edition of Tab MVP, The Tab’s spotlight on big names in university sport, brings you Harry Byrne: Captain of UBRFC and social stalwart.


As a second year Politics student, Harry Byrne has plenty of spare time to focus on captaining what he calls “the biggest and best sports club in the university”. 

It’s a responsibility he takes seriously. Rugby clubs and their captains have bad reputations for arrogance and egos, but Harry himself is down to earth and modest, traits which he says reflect the nature of the club itself.

The man who has it all: good looks, charm and modesty

“It was nice as a fresher not being constantly bullied or looked down on by senior players like friends of mine at other universities. There is a really good inclusive club atmosphere, and people in the top teams are there because they deserve to be.”

This was one reason Harry put himself forward for club captain, but he is also highly ambitious. The front row forward has played for the second team, but also has first team aspirations for the season. However, the strength in depth in his position may make this dream difficult to realise.

There are other motives for taking on such a demanding role, and after a bit of coaxing, Harry bluntly reveals:

“Well, I suppose it looks really good on my CV. It shows that I actually did something with my time at university.”

“It really helps with your numbers”

That’s fair enough. We all need to bolster our CVs to show our time at university wasn’t pissed away down the Lounge toilets, whether it be running a rugby club or writing for The Tab sports section. But there’s more:

“It’s also extremely helpful on a night out. Towards the end of last year I noticed a lot of drinks being pushed my way in clubs, not having to really queue on nights out and just generally more people talking to me”.

I smell a candidate for BNOC of the week. The friendliness of the rugby club might have been one attraction for Harry, but so too was the social aspect. He spoke fondly of Christmas dinner, varsity and away games; and he can always be found at 7.30 on a Wednesday evening in Roo Bar.

Finally, there was the sage advice from previous club captain Dave Cuthbertson, which if Harry wasn’t already convinced, must have really sealed the deal:

“When I told Dave I was thinking of running for club captain, he went on and on about the amount of girls who would literally throw themselves at me. He said it really helps with your numbers”.

Ex-club captain Will Brady told The Tab that “if Cuthbertson’s position did not get him where he wanted he could always resort to the failsafe proclamation of undying love”.

“I just want to strike a happy balance”: Harry with previous club captain Dave Cuthbertson on an infamous rugby social

So what of Harry’s ambition for his tenure?

“Two years before me Brady was a massive nause, and last year Cuthbo tried so hard not to be Brady he went too far the other way, so I just want to strike a happy balance.”

Should he get it right, Harry will be a tough act to follow.

The Tab feel it is important to mention (though Harry did not) that he is currently in a relationship, though we by no means wish to disappoint or discourage the swathes of women already queuing up.