The launch of the 2019/20 Danske Bank Ulster Schools’ Rugby competitions took place at Kingspan Stadium today, 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 of the schools.
“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 this 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.”
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