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Chris Henry: Schools' Cup journey is one to cherish for your lifetime

Flashback: Wallace’s Mark McCormick up against RBAI’s Richard Fegan in the 2003 final at Ravenhill
Flashback: Wallace’s Mark McCormick up against RBAI’s Richard Fegan in the 2003 final at Ravenhill
Chris Henry

By Chris Henry

No matter what level you go on to play at afterwards, there's no doubt about it, schools rugby is special.

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When I was at Wallace we lost the Schools' Cup final to RBAI, not made any easier by the fact that I'd grown up playing mini-rugby at Malone with half the Inst team. Despite the result though, it was an unbelievable experience to be a part of.

I still remember being in Ravenhill, as it was then, and sitting in the changing room thinking to myself that this was where the likes of Tony McWhirter and Andy Ward sat to get changed.

I remember the whole build-up to the game being fantastic all through the school and in a lot of ways these big contests are the first time as a player that you really feel pressure.

You want to do it for your school, your family and your friends, as well as yourself. Some players probably cope with that better than others.

It's mad to think now because you've got exams coming up to be worrying about, the A-Levels aren't far away, but there's no point denying that for those few weeks, rugby is all you can think about. I'll be at Kingspan tomorrow to see my old school in action in their semi-final against Methody... hopefully I'll be back there again supporting them in a few weeks' time too!

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