A FORMER Scottish rugby internationalist from Alloa has converted his modern apprentice in plumbing into an award-winning result.

Kevin Bryce, who studies the trade at Forth Valley College, was one of only 13 modern apprentices chosen by the Scotland and Northern Ireland Plumbing Employers' Federation (SNIPEF) in their Best Apprentice Plumber Awards for 2021.

The accolade seeks to recognise the best as they put in the hard work and determination to achieve the status of qualified plumber and came as a big confidence boost for the 33-year-old.

Kevin has returned to the trade he loves after an impressive six year career as a professional rugby player with Glasgow Warriors.

In that time the talented hooker also gained three caps for Scotland, including the 2015 World Cup match against the USA.

Before he made it on the pitch, Kevin had started a plumbing apprenticeship.

However, he was let go by an employer who was unable to accommodate his regular away trips to matches.

Having had to hang up the boots at a relatively early age through injury, Kevin has decided to complete his training and is in his third year of studies.

Kevin said: "I really love what I do and it does not feel like a job to me.

"I know there are some great plumbers in my class at Forth Valley College and I do feel a bit embarrassed receiving this prize at the age of 33.

"I really just want to be a good plumbing and heating engineer and to receive this recognition is a real big boost to my confidence.

"I hope I can also inspire other mature students to try and secure a modern apprenticeship, it is possible and age should not come into it, but you really have to work hard when you get the chance."

Kevin, who studies at the college's Falkirk campus, is recommending modern apprenticeships to anyone looking to train up in a trade.

One of his lecturers, Steven Adams, added: "Kevin fully deserves this recognition from SNIPEF as his dedication and hard work to his professional trade, has similarities to the efforts he put in throughout his impressive rugby career.

"He is an inspiration to other students and we are sure he will go on to have a great career as a plumbing and heating engineer."