Ballyclare High School players contribute to Ulster Rugby’s inter-pro victories

Ballyclare High School has had huge success in having nine players involved with Ulster Rugby over the summer at under-18 and under-19 level.

With the U18 School and Club Side, five Ballyclare High players were involved in victories against Connacht and Munster.

At Ulster U19, Kyle Ferguson and Owen Warren both played in the win against Connacht, while Upper 6th teammate Peter Gillespie is training with the squad and hopeful to recover from injury to make an inter-pro game in the coming weeks. Past pupil Angus Robson was on the bench against Connacht.

“This is a huge achievement by the players to be recognised and selected by Ulster Rugby for themselves, their family and friends but also our school and community,” said Mike Orchin-McKeever, director of rugby at Ballyclare High School and also head coach of Ballyclare RFC.

Zachary Scarlett, Bryn McCallan, Tom McAllister, Luke McIlwrath and James Spence.

Mike also commented on Adam Warren, who was selected on the bench for the Ulster U-19 squad against Connacht. “Adam had attended a few senior training sessions in May and June, he is a great guy to work with and seems to really enjoy his rugby. He looks a really strong runner with good skills.”

Meanwhile, Ballyclare High School rugby coach Aaron Playfair recently attended a residential IRFU Performance Coach course. Aaron was the youngest on the course and found the weekend a success.

He said: “I really enjoyed the presentations and sharing of thoughts with other coaches. We had a few Zoom calls on weekends leading up to it but it was great to get some practical coaching and pick a few brains of other coaches.”

Mike Orchin-McKeever said he was delighted with the progress of Aaron since he left school in regards to remain playing the game but also now his enthusiasm towards coaching.

Owen Warren throwing into the line-out against Connacht.

“Aaron was in a medallion pre-season when I started and went onto play senior level for school and then onto Ballyclare RFC 1st XV.”

Aaron is now he is head coach of the school U16 and a senior assistant coach.

Mike continued: “He’s great to bounce ideas off, challenge my thinking and thought process.”

Aaron will have a few formats of assessment over the season to then be accredited the award.

Ballyclare High School representatives pictured post-match at Energia Stadium after the Connacht victory.


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Kyle Ferguson and Owen Warren representing Ulster at under-19 level, missing fromthe photo on match day is Angus Robson.
Aaron Playfair, Ballyclare High School rugby coach.