Belfast Telegraph

Tuesday 29 July 2014

Down High

Down High

Every week in Local Heroes we look at teams who will take part in this year’s Rugby Schools’ Cup. Down High are next up, with captain Michael Scott introducing his side.

Michael Kennedy (Centre) - Michael is a strong, hardworking midfield player. He has confidence in both attack and defence. His quick thinking allows him to break tackles, run through gaps and shift the ball wide when needed.

Sam Lockhart (Hooker) - A strong and highly motivated player. His line out throwing has improved greatly and is one of his valuable skills which he brings to the team.

Aaron Cairns (scrumhalf) - A solid performer who plays aggressively in defence and attack. He finds gaps around rucks and uses his quick burst of speed well to punch holes in defences when no other options are available.

Gareth Hunter (Tighthead Prop) - Not only a superb srummager but is also willing to carry the ball forward. He loves to ruck.

Chris Kerr (outhalf) - A valuable team member on and off the pitch. His high skill level and tactical kicking always provide an excellent attacking platform.

Andrew Harper (Hooker) - Pace and strength make him a constant attacking threat, while his explosive power makes him invaluable at the breakdown. His dedication to rugby has seen him selected for Ulster U19 schools.

Marc Eccles (Full-back) - Can punch a hole in any defence. Marc is constantly running hard and fast lines. His aggressive tackling and his kicking abilities always pose a threat to the opposition.

Janusz McNeill (Centre) - A valued and inspirational part of the back line at 13 where his ability to tackle and ball retention is impeccable.

Jamie Partridge (Openside) - A very influential player in the back row playing an integral role in every match. Provides constant pressure whether it be tackling, rucking or mauling.

Stuart Orr (Prop) - Standing at 6 foot weighing 16 stone has a natural edge to his game. His intense rucking and scrummaging helps secure quick ball. He carries the ball well and breaks many tackles with his power. He is organised in defence and efficient. His hard work has been recognised with him attending the U17 RDS Ulster Rugby.

Ben Hilary (Winger) - a well rounded player who can beat his opposite man time and again. His speed and good handling brings depth and variety to the team.

Sam Seymour (Utility back) - Has seen a vast improvement starting on the rugby tour to Canada where he showed his silky smooth skills and crunching tackles all over the field. He also has a keen interest in garden gnomes.

William Truesdale (No 6) - A very influential player on the pitch, he carries the team well and his workrate is second to none. If you need someone to hit it up he is always there, always first to the ruck and sets the standard for the rest of the players.

Jamie Graham (second row) - A very inspirational leader as his commitment to the cause never falters. His lung busting runs and try saving tackles provide the team with motivation and a psychological boost at all times.

Scott Sterling (scrum-half) - Skillful in both hands and feet. His precise kicks and passes allow the rest of the backs to shin.

John Donnan’s (flanker) - Progression onto the first fifteen this season followed a strong season at Medallion level. John has become the main component in the strong Down High line out. He has the ability to channel his aggression at the break down using his strength to create a solid platform for quick ball from the ruck.

Stuart Farquhar (Loose-head) - A reliable member of the pack and is technically very good in the scrum. His strength enables him to play at loose and tight head.

Matthew McKeown (second row) - Standing at 6’4 Matthew brings great promise to the Down High pack. He adds versatility to the pack due to his scintillating pace and ability round the park. He feels just as much at home in the back row as he does in his normal 2nd row slot. Matthew has recently been rewarded by gaining a place in the Ulster U-16 Regional Development Squad.

Michael Scott (No 8) - A skillful no 8 who not only carries the ball well but hits hard all the time. He is fiery captain who leads from the front and gives his all to the team effort.

Alex Scott (second row) - A very valuable member of the 1st XV with his expertise in line out jumping and prowess with ball in hand means he always gains yards in a match. “Man of the Tour” in Canada he was part of the Ulster U19 Clubs set-up

Andrew Keatley (No 14) - The kind of player that would play rugby in any conditions. His pace and fast feet are invaluable and on a whole is a great asset.

Stuart Milligan (Back row) - Stuart brings robustness and consistency to the back row. He takes on the workload of a forward with enthusiasm and is always prepared to carry the ball strongly and to ruck aggressively. He is a crucial component of the team whether starting or as a impact sub.

Andrew Curran (Winger) - A soccer convert he shows tremendous pace whether chasing kicks or leaving his opposition standing in his wake. A quiet person off the pitch he certainly changes persona once over the white line.

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