In 2007, the URSC inaugurated the Jack Kyle Bursary. This is 100% sponsored by the Ulster Rugby Supporters Club and is awarded on an annual basis to an up and coming member of the Ulster Rugby Hughes Insurance Academy.
As with previous seasons, the Bursary, is part funded by the URSC's Big Ballot, many prizes for which are generously donated by local businesses.
The Bursary, which is now in its tenth year, includes past recipients: Craig Gilroy, Paddy McAlister, Mark McCrea, Ian Whitten, Iain Henderson, Stuart Olding, Angelo Marica, Alan O'Connor and Adam McBurney. Last year the bursary was awarded to Dave Shanahan.
Commenting on Rob's achievement Bryn Cunningham, Ulster Rugby's Operations Director said:
"Rob is an exciting talent, who will now progress through to the senior ranks. This year he has already shown an outstanding ability to beat defenders and turn a nothing situation into a devastating attack. Relatively small in stature, it also highlights to all aspiring players that size isn't everything in the modern game, that pure rugby ability alongside the right attitude will always be the most important facets to success."
Kieran Campbell, Academy Manager added:
''Rob has worked hard to develop his game over the last 24 months. In particular, he has improved the defensive aspects of his game and this has been a key reason for the acceleration of his career in the last six months. He has become a student of the game and has maximised his potential through investing time with the integrated service team in the Ulster Academy and benefitting from the exposure to the senior coaches due to the strong synergy which exists between the Academy and senior team in every young player's individual development plan.
"We are extremely proud of Rob, a player who has been in the Ulster High Performance Pathway since 15 years of age, who has all the attributes to embark on a successful professional career with Ulster Rugby and very deserving of this award."