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It would be like missing the Heineken Cup final

My View

By Stephen Ferris

I was lucky enough to play in a Heineken Cup final for Ulster and, for these boys at Friends' at the minute, this game will feel just as important to them as that did to me back then.

For many of them, this will be the most important game of rugby they'll ever play in their lives, and for some in the last year at school, maybe even the last they'll have because the end of the Schools' Cup is pretty much the end of the rugby season.

So obviously you have to just feel massively disappointed for them.

As an old Friends' pupil, I've been to see them a few times this season, and was at the 30-0 win over Grosvenor in the last round, and I've been down at training a fair bit as well.

There is a really good team there at the minute and some talented guys; guys who have been working hard all through not just this season but for the last six or seven years to get here and be looking towards a quarter-final in the Schools' Cup.

It's really disappointing for them that it now looks as if they could miss out on this game because of a ski trip.

Maybe, let's face facts, the school didn't expect to get this far, maybe there was a bit of naivety on their part about it, but I suppose now it's just a little bit of common sense that you're looking for. You're hoping that people can get together and sort out the outcome.

Without knowing the ins and outs of the appeal process, I can see what the Schools' Committee are saying as well about setting a precedent and needing to get the games in.

If it was known in advance, they don't want to allow this kind of thing to happen again.

But, you talk about the spirit of the competition, and nobody wants to see young guys miss out on an experience like this for the sake of 48 hours.

Belfast Telegraph

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