Ulster Rugby: Regional squad training for young players from Ballyclare High School

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A total of 22 Ballyclare High School players are currently part of Ulster Rugby age grade training, from regional development to higher end extended squads.

And 21 of the 22 are due to be part of school senior rugby for the 2021/22 season.

U19s: Alex Darrah, Angus Robson, Callum Baird, Kyle Ferguson, Owen Warren and Peter Gillespie are all under review but hope to be part of a busy summer with a reselection of squads to take place in coming weeks. Similarly, the U18 squad will do the same where James Spence and Zachary Scarlett are training. These squads train two-three times a week.

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Ulster Regional squads are hosting weekly sessions over a five-week period, at the close of the programme squads will be selected for a provincial summer training programme and a summer regional programme.

Alex Darrah.Alex Darrah.
Alex Darrah.

U17: Aaron Beattie, David Gillespie (brother of Peter), Ethan Norwood, Daniel Graham, Jacob Scarlett (brother of Jacob), James Cochrane, Jamie Purdy, Joel Logan and Tom McAllister. U16: Charlie Lloyd, Ewan Jones, Finn Lutton, Tom Brannigan and Tom Neill.

Alex Darrah said: “It is so much faster and I am enjoying the challenge but it is very enjoyable.”

Kyle Ferguson said: “it is good to mix with players of a higher level from other schools.”

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Tom McAllister commented: “It is good to be back in a group and interact with other boys my age and play rugby, nice to meet new people and get back to normality. Sessions have been tiring and challenging but overall fun.”

Zachary Scarlett.Zachary Scarlett.
Zachary Scarlett.

Mike Orchin-McKeever, Ballyclare High School director of rugby, is delighted with the amount of players getting the opportunity to be part of Ulster Rugby sessions.

“This is a brilliant experience for players to be part of for so many reasons. They have had a long period of time without rugby and this gives them more time to play, it challenges them as players outside of their comfort zone to train with guys from other schools and it bench marks them with others at similar level.

“From a school point of view, it’s great to have so many involved and hopefully they enjoy it and become better players from the experience.


Click here to read: Ballyclare High players make welcome return to field after lockdown