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Morgan is relishing his first taste of Schools' action as RBAI coach

New challenge: Jason Morgan is in his first year as RBAI boss
New challenge: Jason Morgan is in his first year as RBAI boss

By Ronnie Ingram

Jason Morgan is the new man at the helm of RBAI and he has quite the difficult act to follow after fellow Kiwi Daniel Soper became a part of the Ulster senior set-up.

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Morgan has achieved a lot in the last few seasons with Bangor, helping to resurrect the Grammar's former glories and also having a large coaching and playing role in the local team regaining All-Ireland League status.

He is relishing the new challenge at Inst and tomorrow's tie against Dungannon Royal will be his first Cup experience with his new team.

"I have noted Dungannon's performances of late and they've had a few unexpected successes but also a couple of unforeseen losses and that makes them dangerous on their day," he said.

"We haven't played them as yet so they are an unknown quantity and unpredictable, so we need to be fully alert and at our best to progress.

"Like all teams we have had injury problems but that is the nature of the game as very few schools are able to turn out at full strength.

"Our captain and Irish Schools' inside centre Angus Adair has not fully recovered from an ankle break suffered at representative training in October, but hopefully he will be fit for future rounds should we progress.

"We are hopeful that Max Peston, who sustained a leg problem in Glasgow, will be fit but unfortunately Ewan McKee is out for the season after a knee injury in the gym."

Robin McIlveen is a natural leader and has been deputising as captain in Adair's absence.

He is the goal kicker and the leading points scorer, while Ulster Schools' winger Jude Postlethwaite has moved into the centre.

He is an extremely athletic individual who is dangerous with ball in hand and possesses great distribution skills. He is also strong defensively.

Paddy Eames has the ability to dominate the battle in the air at the lineout and this is his first season in the squad.

Second row Daniel Eakin is the workhorse of the pack and is just back after a lengthy injury. Also up front is Alex Weir, the blindside flanker who is clever, very physical and is able to steal the ball at the breakdown.

In the backs, Lewis McNamara is versatile and skilful at both out-half and full-back.

Dungannon Royal may have gained plenty of confidence after their six-try 38-0 home win over Larne Grammar, but having to travel to fortress Osborne Park makes their task considerably more difficult.

Only two teams remain from the second round entry point but both face uphill battles, with Cambridge House at home to Wallace High, while Down High have a long trip to Enniskillen Grammar.

Only two of the top-seeded teams have been drawn against each other so it will be a real derby tussle between the holders Campbell College and Sullivan Upper at Holywood.

Danske Bank Schools' Cup: Enniskillen Grammar v Down High, RBAI v RS Dungannon, RS Armagh v Bangor Grammar, Sullivan Upper v Campbell College (holders), Cambridge House v Wallace High, Ballymena Academy v Belfast Royal Academy, Dalriada v Methodist College, Rainey Endowed v Ballyclare High.

Danske Bank Schools' Bowl: Larne Grammar v Coleraine Grammar, Regent House v Friends' School, Omagh Academy v Portadown College, Lurgan College v Belfast High.

Danske Bank Schools' Trophy: Strabane Academy v Limavady Grammar, Foyle College v Dromore High.

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