The launch of the 2019/20 Danske Bank Ulster Schools’ Rugby competitions took place at Kingspan Stadium yesterday, Monday 7th October, in the company of representatives from the Boys Schools’ Cup, Girls Schools’ Cup, Medallion Shield and High Schools’ Trophy.
The Danske Bank Ulster Boys Schools’ Cup will kick-off on Saturday 19th October under a new format, with six groups of four competing in a group stage for the first time. Following a review process and proposal by a working group of the Ulster Branch Schools Committee, the changes to the format reflect an effort to improve the player experience and provide more appropriate and competitive fixtures.
First won by The Royal School Armagh back in 1876, the Schools’ Cup has been competed for every year since, with 17 different schools having collected the famous cup, while Methodist College cemented their place at the top of the roll of honour with their 36th outright title last year.
Speaking at the launch, IRFU Ulster Branch Senior Vice-President, Philip Gregg, commented:
“We are delighted once again to welcome both the 1st XV captains for this year’s Boys Schools’ Cup as well as representatives from the Girls Schools’ Cup, Medallion Shield and High Schools’ Trophy competitions – celebrating all levels of Danske Bank Ulster Schools’ rugby competition. I would like to reiterate our thanks to Danske Bank for their continued support of schools’ rugby in Ulster, as we enter the 15th year of their partnership.
“The Boys Schools’ Cup is one of the most prestigious competitions in the provincial rugby calendar, and the new format adds another level of excitement and anticipation for the season ahead. I would urge all the schools to embrace the new format and I’m sure it will lead to a more meaningful rugby experience for all involved.
“To all those participating in schools’ rugby this year – at whatever level that is – go out and enjoy yourselves, play with a smile on your face and make the most of the opportunity to create memories along with your school friends that will last for the rest of your life.”
Richard Caldwell, Managing Director of Personal Banking and Small Business at Danske Bank, said:
“We are proudly celebrating our 15th year of supporting the Schools’ Cup. The competition is a central part of our support for local communities throughout Northern Ireland, alongside our other youth partnerships with Ulster Schools’ GAA and the Northern Ireland Schools Football Association.
“It’s exciting to see the competition refreshed and changing this year with an additional 60% more matches, which we believe will improve the experience for all players and provide more competitive fixtures throughout the season. We wish every team the best of luck and look forward to following the action as it unfolds over the next few months.”
2019/20 DANSKE BANK ULSTER SCHOOLS’ CUP GROUPS
|Group A||Group B||Group C||Group D||Group E||Group F|
|Tier 2A School||Rainey Endowed||Bangor Grammar||Ballyclare HS||Sullivan Upper||Belfast Royal Academy||Enniskillen Royal GS|
|Tier 2B School||Friends’ School||Down High||Omagh Academy||Dalriada School||Coleraine Grammar||RS Dungannon|
|Tier 3A School||Dromore High||Regent House||Cambridge House GS||Grosvenor Grammar||Belfast HS||Portadown College|
|Tier 3B School||Limavady Grammar||Foyle College||Lurgan College||Strabane Academy||Banbridge Academy||Larne Grammar|
2019/20 DANSKE BANK ULSTER SCHOOLS’ CUP GROUP STAGE FIXTURES
Round 1 (Saturday 19th October 2019):
Group A: Rainey Endowed v Dromore High; Friends’ School v Limavady Grammar
Group B: Regent House v Bangor Grammar; Foyle College v Down HS
Group C: Ballyclare HS v Omagh Academy; Cambridge House GS v Lurgan College
Group D: Dalriada School v Sullivan Upper; Strabane Academy v Grosvenor Grammar
Group E: Belfast HS v Belfast Royal Academy; Banbridge Academy v Coleraine Grammar
Group F: Enniskillen Royal GS v Portadown College; RS Dungannon v Larne Grammar
Round 2 (Saturday 16th November 2019):
Group A: Friends’ School v Rainey Endowed; Limavady Grammar v Dromore High
Group B: Bangor Grammar v Down HS; Regent House v Foyle College
Group C: Cambridge House GS v Ballyclare HS; Lurgan College v Omagh Academy
Group D: Sullivan Upper v Grosvenor Grammar; Dalriada School v Strabane Academy
Group E: Coleraine Grammar v Belfast Royal Academy; Banbridge Academy v Belfast HS
Group F: Enniskillen Royal GS v RS Dungannon; Portadown College v Larne Grammar
Round 3 (Saturday 7th December 2019):
Group A: Limavady Grammar v Rainey Endowed; Dromore High v Friends’ School
Group B: Bangor Grammar v Foyle College; Down HS v Regent House
Group C: Ballyclare HS v Lurgan College; Omagh Academy v Cambridge House GS
Group D: Strabane Academy v Sullivan Upper; Grosvenor Grammar v Dalriada School
Group E: Belfast Royal Academy v Banbridge Academy; Coleraine Grammar v Belfast HS
Group F: Larne Grammar v Enniskillen Royal GS; Portadown College v RS Dungannon
The top 10 teams (6 winners and 4 best placed runners-up) from the group stages will qualify for the knockout stages of the Schools’ Cup and Subsidiary Shield, where they will be joined by the Tier 1 teams. The remaining teams will then enter into knockout competition for the Schools’ Trophy and Schools’ Bowl.
Schools’ Cup Knockout Stages Dates:
Last 16: Saturday 8th February 2020
Quarter-Finals: Saturday 22nd February 2020
Semi-Finals: Tuesday 3rd March & Wednesday 4th March 2020
Final: Tuesday 17th March 2020
- Pictured at the launch of the 2019/20 Danske Bank Ulster Schools’ Competitions are (L-R) Sam Anderson (Craigavon Senior High School / High Schools’ Trophy), Katie Hetherington (Enniskillen Royal GS / Girls Schools’ Cup), Adam Reid (Methodist College / Boys Schools’ Cup), Philip Gregg, IRFU Ulster Branch Senior Vice-President, Johnny O’Kane (Methodist College / Medallion Shield) and Richard Caldwell, Managing Director of Personal Banking and Small Business at Danske Bank.
- Pictured at the launch of the 2019/20 Danske Bank Ulster Schools’ Cup are the 1st XV captains of the participating teams along with Richard Caldwell, Managing Director of Personal Banking and Small Business at Danske Bank, Adam Reid, captain of reigning champions, Methodist College, and Philip Gregg, IRFU Ulster Branch Senior Vice-President.
For more information, contact:
Ulster Rugby: Damian Kelly (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Danske Bank: Danielle Baker (email@example.com)