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20th NOVEMBER 2017 – DANSKE BANK ULSTER SCHOOLS’ RUGBY COMPETITIONS LAUNCHED

Monday, 20 November 2017

The launch of the 2017/18 Danske Bank Ulster Schools’ Rugby competitions took place at Kingspan Stadium today, Monday 20th November.

In attendance were David McCann (Royal Belfast Academical Institution), Philip Jackson (Dromore High School) and Grace Shrestha (The Royal School Dungannon), representing last year’s Schools’ Cup, High Schools’ Trophy and Girls Schools’ Cup champions respectively.

The draw for the opening two rounds of the Danske Bank Ulster Schools’ Cup, the world’s second-oldest rugby competition, also took place in the presence of the 1st XV captains from each of the 33 participating schools.

Last season, Michael Lowry led Royal Belfast Academical Institution to a 12-8 final victory over old rivals Methodist College, securing a historic three-in-a-row for the RBAI boys, their 32nd outright competition success.

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 sit on top of the roll of honour with 35 outright titles.

Speaking at the launch, IRFU Ulster Branch President Graffin Parke, commented:

“The Schools’ Cup is one of the most prestigious competitions in the local rugby calendar and it is clear from the fantastic attendance at today’s draw that the appetite and anticipation for the forthcoming season is as strong as ever.

“Along with the players and staff from each of the participating Schools’ Cup teams, we are delighted to be joined by players from the reigning High Schools’ Trophy and Girls Schools’ Cup winners, representing the spectrum of activity across the provincial schools’ rugby programme.

“Once again I would like to thank Danske Bank for their continued support – it is greatly appreciated and we look forward to working together during another exciting season of schools’ rugby in Ulster.”

Lewis McCallan, Senior Corporate Banking Manager at Danske Bank added:

“Our partnership with Ulster Schools’ rugby is hugely important to us. As a local bank, we are committed to making a positive contribution to the communities where our staff and customers live and work, and our partnership with Ulster Schools’ rugby allows us to do that.
 
“This is our thirteenth year to support the Ulster Schools’ Cup and in this time we have seen how important the competition is in developing the talent of local young players, especially when we see players like Craig Gilroy, Luke Marshall and Jacob Stockdale come through the ranks of Schools’ Cup rugby and go on to play for Ulster and Ireland.”
 
“We wish all the teams competing in this year’s competition the best of luck for the months’ ahead and are already looking forward to getting back to Kingspan Stadium on the 19th of March.”

2017/18 DANSKE BANK ULSTER SCHOOLS’ RUGBY COMPETITIONS

Danske Bank Ulster Schools’ Cup:

Round 1 – Saturday 9th December 2017

Carrickfergus Grammar School v Strabane Academy
Wellington College v Belfast High School

Round 2 – Saturday 6th January 2018

Portadown College v Limavady Grammar School
Larne Grammar School v Lurgan College
Cambridge House Grammar School v Banbridge Academy
Carrickfergus Grammar School / Strabane Academy v Regent House
Rainey Endowed School v Wellington College / Belfast High School
Grosvenor Grammar School v Antrim Grammar School
Foyle College v Dromore High School

Round 3 – Saturday 20th January 2018

The seven winners from Round 2 are joined by nine further teams: Bangor Grammar School, Belfast Royal Academy, Coleraine Grammar School, Dalriada School, Down High School, Friends’ School, Lisburn, Omagh Academy, The Royal School Dungannon and Sullivan Upper School.

Round 4 – Saturday 3rd February 2018

The eight winners from Round 3 will be joined by the remaining eight sides: Ballyclare High School, Ballymena Academy, Campbell College, Enniskillen Royal Grammar School, Methodist College Belfast, Royal Belfast Academical Institution, The Royal School Armagh and Wallace High School.

Quarter Finals – Saturday 17th February 2018

Semi Final 1 – Monday 5th March 2018 (Kingspan Stadium, 2.30pm)

Semi Final 2 – Wednesday 6th March 2018 (Kingspan Stadium, 2.30pm)

Final – Monday 19th March 2018 (Kingspan Stadium, 3.00pm)

Danske Bank Subsidiary Shield
Quarter Finals – Saturday 17th February 2018Semi Finals – Saturday 3rd March 2018Final – Wednesday 14th March 2018
 
Danske Bank Schools’ Bowl

Quarter Finals – Saturday 3rd February 2018
Semi Finals – Saturday 17th February 2018
Final – Wednesday 28th February 2018

Danske Bank Schools’ Trophy

Round 1 – Saturday 6th January 2018
Quarter Finals – Saturday 20th January 2018
Semi Finals – Saturday 3rd February 2018
Final – Wednesday 21st February 2018

Danske Bank Medallion Shield

Round 1 – Saturday 25th November 2017
Round 2 – Saturday 9th December 2017Round 3 – Saturday 13th January 2018Round 4 – Saturday 27th January 2018Quarter Finals – Saturday 10th February 2018Semi Finals – Saturday 24th February 2018Final – Tuesday 13th March 2018
 
Danske Bank Medallion Plate
Quarter Finals – Saturday 10th February 2018
Semi Finals – Saturday 24th February 2018
Final – Saturday 10th March 2018

Danske Bank Medallion Bowl
Quarter Finals – Saturday 27th January 2018Semi Finals – Saturday 10th February 2018Final – Saturday 24th February 2018

Danske Bank Medallion Trophy

Round 1 – Saturday 13th January 2018
Quarter Finals – Saturday 27th January 2018Semi Finals – Saturday 10th February 2018Final – Saturday 24th February 2018

Danske Bank U16 High Schools’ Trophy

Round 1 – Ties to be completed by Wednesday 29th November 2017

Shimna v St. Eunan’s
Banbridge v Slemish
St Columba’s v Our Lady and St Patrick’s Knock
Oakgrove v Strangford
Omagh HS v Carndonagh
Carrick College v St Patrick’s Keady
Ashfield v St Columb’s
Glastry v Bye
Markethill v Bye

Round 2 – Ties to be completed by Wednesday 20th December 2017

The nine qualifiers from Round 1 will be joined by the seven seeded teams: Dromore HS, Craigavon SHS, Ballynahinch, Limavady HS, Ballyclare Secondary, Sperrin Integrated and Fivemiletown.

DANSKE BANK GIRLS SECONDARY SCHOOLS’ RUGBY

Girls Participation Tag:
Run on a local blitz format at various locations throughout the week commencing 5th March 2018.

Girls Competition Tag (For more experienced schools / players):
One-day blitz format at Mid-Ulster Sports Arena Cookstown on Friday 20th April 2018.
Winners awarded the Danske Bank Ulster Girls’ Schools Tag Cup.

Girls Contact 7s:
Wednesday 25th October 2017, Mid Ulster Sports Arena – All Junior & Senior Teams
Tuesday 19th December 2017, Mid Ulster Sports Arena – All Junior & Senior Teams
Wednesday 28th February 2018, Mid Ulster Sports Arena – All Junior & Senior Teams
Wednesday 21st March 2018, Kingspan Stadium – Ulster Senior Girls X7s Cup Final
Thursday 22nd March 2018, Mid Ulster Sports Arena – Ulster Junior Girls X7s Cup Final