Kyle McGhie – A spark reignited with Super Series
Kyle McGhie started playing Super Series rugby in the inaugural year in 2019. Following some movement back and forth between teams abroad and down south, Kyle has found his home at Stirling Wolves and reignited his ambition for professional rugby.
Kyle began playing rugby with the North Berwick Minis in East Lothian and continued the game through his school years whilst at Loretto School. He began playing senior rugby with Musselburgh RFC and played there through their promotion from National 1 into the Premiership.
When the then FOSROC Super6 competition was introduced in 2019, McGhie joined the Boroughmuir Bears before entering his second year at U20, using the competition as a channel to gain more experience as he continued his rugby career.
“It was pitched as the opportunity for young players to bridge the gap between professionalism and amateur rugby and I think for me when I was 18/19 and getting my first cap at Scotland U20 to be in and around that environment was great for me and my development.
“You were playing against professional players in the opposition which didn’t happen at Premiership or any other level of rugby in Scotland outside of junior internationals.
“I think we can even see that just now with the FOSROC Future XV, being able to play together and being in this environment I think will have a very positive impact going into their next U20 year – I know it did for me.”
As McGhie tied up his Six Nations campaign in 2020 the Covid-19 pandemic hit, and he was unable to participate in the World Rugby U20 Trophy that year as all rugby was put on hold. After the pandemic, Kyle ventured out to Romania following a professional contract with CSA Steaua București, but unfortunately complications with Brexit halted the move.
Following a season down south at Tonbridge Juddians RFC, Kyle moved back over the border in 2022 and rejoined the Super Series fold spending one season at Southern Knights. Kyle made the move to Stirling Wolves at the beginning of the 2023 FOSROC Super Series Sprint and hasn’t looked back.
“I absolutely love it at Stirling, the team and the culture here is amazing. Eddie Pollock, Scott Lawson and Duncan Hodge have been great with the coaching set-up here along with Sean Kennedy and Craig Jackson has just been fantastic.
“Learning from senior players like Marcus Holden and Craig Jackson, it’s a great balance between youth and experience and I think the culture that they have at Stirling is the best that I have ever been involved with in any team. They are playing high level rugby but also making it fun as well.”
Rugby must run in the McGhie blood as Kyle’s younger sister Francesca McGhie also plays professionally and made her international debut against England in the 2023 TikTok Women’s Six Nations. She currently has eight international caps under her belt.
“Francesca and I have a great relationship both ‘on and off the field’ but when the rugby head is on, she listens to what I have to say, and she certainly gives it back to me as well, so we help each other out with our performances.
“I think for me having seen my sister develop so quickly it’s ignited something in me, a sort of fire to think ‘okay, my sister is playing at this level, I want to do that too, let’s see how far I can get with it as well’ and it’s amazing having that inter-family rivalry.
“We’re probably two of the most competitive people on the planet so to be able to share that passion for our sport is incredible and to be able to share that with your family as well certainly makes for interesting talk around the dinner table that’s for sure.”
With two rounds of the regular league competition left in this year’s FOSROC Super Series Championship ahead of the semi-finals in November, the battle for a semi-final spot is heating up with Stirling Wolves among the teams looking to secure their place.
Looking ahead to the final few weeks Kyle said: “The quality of the competition has certainly increased; I would say this season especially with Heriot’s and Ayrshire Bulls leading the way at the top of the table and then the battle for 3rd and 4th is very close.”
The competitiveness of the competition leading into the final few rounds has not shaken Kyle and he is determined to finish his season on a high with Stirling Wolves:
“I’ve always said that I want to play at the highest level I possibly can, I think in terms of my progression I’ve been able to play some of the best rugby I’ve ever played at Stirling so far this season and I hope to continue that going forward.
“If there was every an opportunity for a contract with Edinburgh Rugby or Glasgow Warriors or another pro-team that would be great, but I know that there is very tough competition at the moment. So, I’m just trying to go out week-by-week to perform my best not only for Wolves but for myself as well.”