Each week we will look at the teams competing in this season’s Rugby Schools’ Cup. We begin with holders Methody with coach Nick Wells reviewing his squad for the campaign.
Rob Gilmore (Prop) – Athletic front row forward with a good head for the game and the ability and strength to deliver hard hits all over the park.
Gareth Reilly (Hooker) – Good player in all aspects of the game with a high workrate and is a strong in scrums and rucks.
Conor Carey (Prop) – His strength makes him a rock at both scrum and lineout, he drags tacklers with him when he carries. Plays water polo for Ireland.
Rory Harrison (Prop/hooker) – Versatile player, with the ability to play as any one of the front five with ease. His size is a great asset.
Peter McCluggage (Lock) – Good work rate and determination, jumps well in the lineout and provides great drive at scrum and ruck time.
Shay McIntosh (Back row) – Transferred from Coleraine AI last year, his speed and power have earned him a place in the squad as a fifth year. Enjoys tractors.
Callum Long (Lock) – His aggression and strength allow him to get in the face of the opposition and have an impact. He never backs down from a challenge.
Ben Martin (Prop) – Agile and athletic prop who is able to make an impact all over the field because of his sheer pace.
Patrick McKee (Lock, back row) – Deceptively quick and strong, he regularly breaks runs and surprises defences with his elusiveness. Solid lineout jumper.
Stephen Leckey (No 8) – Consistently performs at a very high level, carries with ease and tackles anything that moves. His ability to steal ball at lineout is vital. Voted player of the year last season. Opens the batting for Ulster at cricket. Enjoys bird-watching and collecting small vintage model cars in his spare time.
Niall Annett (Captain, back row) – The Captain leads by example both on and off the field. His athletic ability and competitive instinct enables him to play front or back row and get to the break down early, stealing ball more often than not.
Matthew Edgar (Back row) – Powerful back row with great ball skills and decision making ability, flexibility to play a number of positions and roles in both scrum and line-out.
Michael Heaney (Scrum-half) – A former Medallion Shield winning captain. Has a powerful and accurate pass from ruck or scrum and the hands and skill to make an impact. Plays cricket for both Ulster and Ireland as an all rounder. Was a member of the Civil Service North team that won the Ulster Senior cup this summer.
Patrick Jackson (Out-half) – A fluid passer of the ball with a good kicking game and the ability to make breaks himself. His decision making and organisational skills make him the lynchpin of the side.
Craig Gilroy (Wing) – A strong ball carrier on the wing with enough pace to be a threat from anywhere on the pitch with his quick feet.
Patrick Robinson (Centre) – Great lines of running combined with good hands, quick feet and solid defence make him a vital part of the team. A very reliable and accurate place kicker. Plays representative tennis at Ulster level.
Michael Allen (Centre) – His combination of power and pace allow him to dominate defences. He can break the line in any situation and has the ability to finish with a try more often than not. A superb athlete, he won the all Ireland javelin title this year.
Troy Turkington-Thompson (Wing) – His pace allows him to be all over the field and consistently beats defenders one on one if given space.
Blaine McIlroy (Full-back) – Knows how to position himself well all over the field and has good skills with the ability to launch a solid counter-attack all kicks.
Luke Kernaghan (Centre/wing) – The most versatile player on the squad with the ability to play anywhere in the backs. Picks good lines and hits them hard, has a good kicking game.
David Martin (Wing) – Shows great strength in running over defenders and hits a very good line either at centre or at wing.