Coleraine Rugby Club hosts Under-12 Secondary Schools competition

Last Thursday Coleraine Rugby Club played host to nine schools from the North of the province in the Ulster Rugby Secondary Schools U12 cup.

This was a qualifying round for North Region.

Coleraine College.

Coleraine College.

Schools from Magherafelt, Londonderry, Limavady, Coleraine, Ballymoney, Ballymena and Bushmills took part in the event which saw them play two matches each.

The stronger teams then played each other in the remaining games, with the top three teams qualifying for a finals day later this month, where they will play the qualifiers from the other regions throughout the province.

Also on Thursday 3rd March Allen Clarke, the Ulster forwards coach who along with Gary McClarty presented the new tour kit which was very kindly supplied by McClarty Insurance.

The Coleraine P7 team are travelling to Dublin to play in a tournament at Willow Park school this weekend, in what is the start of a busy period for the Mini Section at Sandel Lodge.

Dunluce School.

Dunluce School.

Club representative, Gerry Lafferty, said: “As Ulster Rugby’s Community Rugby Officer for Coleraine RF&CC I would like to say how privileged Coleraine Mini Rugby are to have such a renowned figure in the world of Rugby show such an interest in the boys at Coleraine.”

Clarke has been successful as both a player and a coach. He won eight international caps and was a key member of the Ulster team that won the European Cup in 1999.

Following his retirement from playing due to injury he moved into coaching and established the Ulster Rugby Academy.

He was appointed assistant coach to Mark McCall and helped guide Ulster to the Magners League title in 2006.

Ballymoney High School.

Ballymoney High School.

The following season he left Ulster to take up a position as High Performance Manager with the IRFU and was responsible for helping to build Irish Rugby’s age grade structure and developing young players, many of whom have gone on to become Ireland internationals.

Following a successful five years, Clarke returned to his native province in 2012 as Elite Performance Manager.

He has further developed the Academy and has expanded the scale and scope of the province’s age grade programme.

Clarke, who is renowned for his work rate, his attention to detail and his knowledge of forward play, has also coached at international level - coaching Ireland A and more recently Emerging Ireland team to victory in the 2015 Tbilisi Cup.