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Introduction to Schools Rugby

Introduction To Schools

The Danske Bank Ulster Schools’ Cup is the world’s second-oldest rugby competition, it was first won by the Royal School Armagh back in 1876.

Last season, Michael Lowry led Royal Belfast Academical Institution to success in the Danske Bank Schools’ Cup.

The competition begins in January, with the final to be played on St. Patrick’s Day in front of a large crowd at Kingspan Stadium.

The Girls Schools’ Cup is a non-contact version of the game involving over 60 schools from across the Province. The competition was won by Enniskillen Collegiate last year.

This tournament is a non-contact version of the game with no tackling, no pushing in the scrum and no jumping in the lineout. The competition kicks off in February, with the final taking place at Kingspan Stadium in March.

The majority of the current Ulster Women’s squad have progressed through the Girls Schools’ Cup competition, many of whom have also represented Ireland.

High Schools rugby, which is sponsored by Ulster Carpets, is one of the fastest growing areas of our game. Each year U16 teams compete for the Pollock Cup and Danske Bank High Schools’ Trophy, the final of which is played at Kingspan Stadium in March. There are also competitions at U12 and U14 level.

The Ulster Rugby Primary Schools season generally runs from Easter until the end of the summer term and it is a modified full contact game.

Teams play 8-a-side rugby on a smaller pitch, with an emphasis placed on participation rather than competition. Some of the modified regulations include uncontested scrums and no lineouts.

Each school will have the opportunity to take part in at least one local blitz and may be eligible to take part at the Ulster Rugby Festival held at Kingspan Stadium in May.

Currently teams are allocated a slot at the festival on a rotational basis, provided they are affiliated to the IRFU Ulster Branch and take part in one of the regional blitzes. This year 32 school teams played at Kingspan Stadium with 76 schools taking part in total across the Province.