Limavady Grammar School and Rainey Endowed Magherafelt have been drawn together in the same group of this season's Ulster Schools' Cup that kicks off later this month.

The competition begins on Saturday, October 19 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 involved.

“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.”

2019/20 ULSTER SCHOOLS’ CUP GROUP STAGE FIXTURES

Round 1 (Saturday, October 19):
Group A: Rainey Endowed v Dromore High; Friends’ School v Limavady Grammar
Group B: Regent House v Bangor Grammar; Foyle College v Down HS
Group C: Ballyclare HS v Omagh Academy; Cambridge House GS v Lurgan College
Group D: Dalriada School v Sullivan Upper; Strabane Academy v Grosvenor Grammar
Group E: Belfast HS v Belfast Royal Academy; Banbridge Academy v Coleraine Grammar
Group F: Enniskillen Royal GS v Portadown College; RS Dungannon v Larne Grammar

Round 2 (Saturday, November 16):
Group A: Friends’ School v Rainey Endowed; Limavady Grammar v Dromore High
Group B: Bangor Grammar v Down HS; Regent House v Foyle College
Group C: Cambridge House GS v Ballyclare HS; Lurgan College v Omagh Academy
Group D: Sullivan Upper v Grosvenor Grammar; Dalriada School v Strabane Academy
Group E: Coleraine Grammar v Belfast Royal Academy; Banbridge Academy v Belfast HS
Group F: Enniskillen Royal GS v RS Dungannon; Portadown College v Larne Grammar

Round 3 (Saturday, December 7):
Group A: Limavady Grammar v Rainey Endowed; Dromore High v Friends’ School
Group B: Bangor Grammar v Foyle College; Down HS v Regent House
Group C: Ballyclare HS v Lurgan College; Omagh Academy v Cambridge House GS
Group D: Strabane Academy v Sullivan Upper; Grosvenor Grammar v Dalriada School
Group E: Belfast Royal Academy v Banbridge Academy; Coleraine Grammar v Belfast HS
Group F: Larne Grammar v Enniskillen Royal GS; Portadown College v RS Dungannon

KNOCKOUT STAGES

The top 10 teams (6 winners and 4 best placed runners-up) from the group stages will qualify for the knockout stages of the Schools’ Cup and Subsidiary Shield, where they will be joined by the Tier 1 teams. The remaining teams will then enter into knockout competition for the Schools’ Trophy and Schools’ Bowl.

Schools’ Cup Knockout Stages Dates:
Last 16: Saturday, February 8, 2020
Quarter-Finals: Saturday, February 22, 2020
Semi-Finals: Tuesday, March 3 and Wednesday, March 4, 2020
Final: Tuesday, March 17 , 2020

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