Schools’ cup history

Schools' Cup HistoryBangor Grammar School players and supporters begin their celebrations as the famous shield and cup is handed over at Kingspan Stadium after their 17-9 victory over Annadale. 18/3/1978

The Schools Cup is the world’s second oldest rugby competition (after the Hospitals Cup) having been competed for every year since 1876. It is run by the Ulster Branch of the Irish Rugby Football Union (IRFU) and has been sponsored by Danske Bank for the past 13 years.


The traditional St Patrick’s Day Final at Kingspan Stadium is one of the great occasions in the rugby calendar and eagerly anticipated by all followers of the game.


As well as the main School’s Cup competition, the tournament also includes the Schools’ Bowl, Medallion Shield, Subsidiary Shield, Schools’ Trophy, and the Under 16 High Schools’ Trophy.


The initial rounds of the Schools Cup will routinely attract two to three hundred spectators, more if one or both of the schools playing are viewed as contenders. The semi-finals and finals have crowds of up to five or six thousand, more if it was a local derby match. The St. Patrick’s Day final is also televised live on BBC Northern Ireland, complete with half-time punditry and post-match interviews.