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Rainey signal ambition with moves to bring in real quality

 

Key man: Conor Brockschmidt has joined Rainey
Key man: Conor Brockschmidt has joined Rainey

By Ronnie Ingram

It's all go for Rainey after last season's successes as they prepare for more senior rugby in AIL 2A and in the SONI URP Division 1 where they start with a home game against champions Ballynahinch tomorrow.

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They have been recruiting and a couple of star South African performers will be arriving in the next few weeks.

Conor Brockschmidt is a powerful No 8 who showed his talent when playing for Instonians six seasons ago. The German international has an EU passport and is therefore not restricted.

He will be joined by tight head prop Craig Hume who also played for Wits University. The 23-year-old hooker will only be in Magherafelt for six months so his arrival may be towards the end of next month.

Gavin Martin's wedding in Portugal has deprived them of a few players but Adam Bratton, formerly with City of Derry, comes in to the front row while former Ulster Junior Martin Connolly, normally a centre, plays at out-half in the absence of Andrew Magrath.

Another Ulster Junior, Michael Poskitt, has moved from Coleraine and will be a big asset.

"Hinch are the cream of the crop, they are in 1A and Brian McLaughlin is a top class coach," said Rainey Director of Rugby Barney Smyth.

"Nevertheless we will gain from the experience as last season's games in Division 2 were too easy and when we came to our first game in the AIL we were ill-prepared."

Hinch opposite number Harry McAleese will be giving a number of younger players the opportunity to show their talents.

"Johnny Blair and Ross Adair have been called into the Ulster 'A' squad and we are introducing former Ulster Academy player Sean O'Hagan at out-half," he added.

Division 1: Rainey v Ballynahinch, Banbridge v Malone, Ballymena v Queen's (2pm)

Division 2: Belfast Harlequins v Bangor, City of Derry v City of Armagh, Omagh v Dungannon

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